La Traviata

Giuseppe Verdi

  • World premiere
  • Teatro La Fenice din Veneția, 6 martie 1853
  • Romanian Opera Craiova Premiere
  • 23 octombrie 2002
  • Time Length
  • aprox. 3h – două pauze
  • Extra info
  • Spectacol în limba italiană cu supratitrare în limba română

Opera in three acts, composed by Giuseppe Verdi.

Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas fils

The action takes place in Paris, at the midst of the 19th century.


Party in Violetta Valery’s salon of Paris.

A happy group of aristocrats and dutiful misses have come together for another night of party and pleasure, where (L’amistà s’intreccia al diletto – Friendship mingles with pleasure). Novice and somewhat disoriented in this turmoil of words and music, Alfredo Germont is introduced by his friend Gastone. He is intent on personally becoming acquainted with the owner of the house, whom he has long adored. Violetta is tired of all the attention and, in order to dramatize the scenery a bit, proposes a collective toast (Libiamo ne’ lieti calici – Drink from the joyful cup). The party continues: waltz music begins in the adjacent salon; the guests go dance, but a fit of cough prevents Violetta from going out. She has to stay and leans against Alfredo. The echo of waltz music reaches them and serves as the background of their conversation: the man’s declaration of love (Un dì, felice, eterea – One day, happy and ethereal) mingles with the woman’s amusing refusal, since she can only promise him a friendship (Ah, se ciò è ver, fuggitemi… / If that’s true, leave me). Again caught in the agitation of the party that is close to ending, the two establish a rendezvous for the following day. The sun rises, and Violetta, now alone, thoughtfully meditates on the effect caused by the words of young Alfredo: is it the day of her first true love, the time of “love while being loved?” (cantabile - Ah, fors’i lui che l’anima – Ah, perhaps he’s the one). Certainly not (tempo di mezzo - Follie! Follie! delirio vano è questo! – Madness! Madness! Vain delirium is this!). But Violetta’s destiny is completely different: to go on with her gay life and her social independence (cabaletta - Sempre libera degg’io / folleggiare di gioia in gioia – Always free I must / frolic from joy to another joy).


Scene 1

Alfredo and Violetta live happily retired, in the countryside, close to Paris. Finding out from Annina, the maid, that Violetta has sold her Israeliteels in order to cover the maintenance expenses for the mansion, Alfredo hurries to Paris to get money. In his absence, Giorgio Germont appears, who asks Violetta to leave Alfredo, since his daughter’s fiancée does not approve of this “immoral relation”. After a difficult fight with herself, Violetta decides to give up on her love and goes to Paris, leaving a letter where she states her decision of returning to the party life. After having returned, Alfredo is not convinced by his father to come back home, with the family. He finds an invitation from Flora on the table and he rushes to Paris, where he knows he will find Violetta.

Scene 2

A ball in the house of Flora Bervoix. Alfredo is at the gambling table with other guests. Violetta arrives with Baron Douphol. The baron and Alfredo quarrel and speak of a duel. Violetta begs him not to risk his life. Alfredo agrees, provided that Violetta comes back to him. Keeping her promise to Giorgio Germont, Violetta tells Alfredo that she loves Douphol. In a fit of rage, Alfredo offends her and is challenged to a duel by the baron.


Abandoned by all her friends and in misery, Violetta lies in bed. Only Annina and doctor Grenvil are still faithful to her and try to encourage her. Alfredo appears unexpectedly; in the meantime, he has found out the true cause of their breakup and he is convinced of Violetta’s innocence. The two young people again make plans for a happy life. Giorgio Germont also arrives; he appreciates Violetta’s moral noblesse and now approves of their marriage. But it is too late… the merciless disease does not forgive and Violetta dies in the arms of Alfredo, the man she has loved so much…


*Grigore Constantinescu & Daniela Caraman-Fotea, Ghid de operă, Bucharest, 1971

**Ana Buga & Cristina Maria Sârbu, 4 secole de teatru muzical, Bucharest, 1999

***Ioana Ștefănescu, O istorie a muzicii universale, Vol. IV, Bucharest, 2002