La Traviata

  • Violetta Valéry (soprano )
  • Flora Bervoix, friend of Violetta (mezzo- soprano)
  • Annina, Violetta's maid and confidante (soprano )
  • Alfredo Germont, Violetta's lover (Tenor)
  • Giorgio Germont, his father (baritone )
  • Gastone, friend of Violetta and Alfredo (tenor )
  • Barone Douphol, Violetta's friend, even her admirer (baritone )
  • Marchese d' Obigny, acquaintance Violetta ( bass)
  • Dottore Grenvil, Violetta's doctor (Bass)
  • Giuseppe, Violetta's servant (Tenor)
  • A servant Floras ( bass)
  • A service man (Bass)
  • Friends of Violetta and Flora, bullfighters, gypsies, Masked and Others ( chorus)

La Traviata (Italian for The by way Abgekommene ) is an opera by Giuseppe Verdi (music) and Francesco Maria Piave ( Libretto ) based on the novel The Lady of the Camellias (1848 ), the author Alexandre Dumas fils in February 1852 as a play on the had brought stage. The opera was premiered on March 6, 1853 at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and fell initially by the public before they revised became one of the most successful operas in music history.

As mentioned in Rigoletto and Il trovatore presented Verdi outlaws and rejected by society person at the center of the action. An opera about a class prostitute ( courtesan at that time ), which also is very realistic to the pulmonary tuberculosis perishes, was an unheard-of innovation for its time.

  • 2.1 orchestra
  • 2.2 numbers


Act 1

Paris, mid-19th century, October: The courtesan Violetta Valéry held in her salon a celebration. She is introduced to an attractive young man, Alfredo Germont, who is far more attentive and sincere than her current companion, Baron Douphol. He gives a spirited drinking song to love.

As Violetta has to rest after a coughing fit, Alfredo uses the moment by her side, to explain his love for her. They discouraged him because they do not know how to love, and be unable to deal with strong emotions.

Finally she gives him a camellia but as an invitation which he her as soon as she has finished flowering - to bring back - that is the next day. Guests say goodbye. But they are down almost Alfredo's idea of mutual devotion, but then tries to displace these thoughts with a paean to the enjoyment.

Act 2

Three months later, in January, Violetta and Alfredo are living in a house outside of Paris. Alfredo learns that Violetta has secretly sold their possessions to fund the new lifestyle of the two. Ashamed, he disappears to Paris, where he will try to raise money.

During his absence Violetta visit from Alfredo's father, Giorgio Germont, who is impressed by the sincerity of their devotion. However, he demanded of her to end the love affair in order to preserve the reputation of his family. Violetta, in the knowledge that they will die of tuberculosis, accepted that this end was perhaps the best.

Alfredo returns home and finds Violetta churned writing a letter. He is only calmed down when she (again) confesses her love for him. She goes, a messenger comes in, tells Alfredo that Violetta was driven away in a carriage, and gives him a letter from her. He initially believes that it is about the money. However, when he reads that she has decided to return to her old life, he is desperate.

Alfredo's father comes in and asks him to come home. He refuses. He finds an invitation to a party at Flora Bervoix, the friend of Violetta. Now he knows where he can find Violetta; his desperation turns into trouble, and he rushes out.

Violetta, the arm of Baron Douphol, attended the ball Floras. As gypsies and bullfighters dressed guests the others entertain with dance and song. Alfredo is a also and starts to win at cards. He can be loud remarks fall on Violetta, the anger the Baron.

As the other guests leave the room to take refreshments, Violetta asks Alfredo to leave. Alfredo replied that he would only go if they come with it. She refuses. When he confronts, calls it a promise made ( she thinks about Alfredo's father ). He believes they love Douphol.

Then Alfredo calls the guests back to the ballroom. He lets himself be carried away by his jealousy and throws the money won on Violetta, almost as a reward for their charitable services. Violetta falls to the ground unconscious, guests are outraged. Even Alfredo's father is horrified and makes his soon repentant son violent accusations. Violetta mourns the fact that she can not open her heart to her lover. Douphol calls his rival to a duel.

Act 3

February: Violetta's condition has greatly deteriorated. She is confined to bed, and the doctor indicates the servant and confidant Annina that her mistress had only hours to live. A letter from the old Giorgio Germont reported that the Baron had been wounded in the duel and is now recovering. Alfredo had to go for a while abroad.

The father, ashamed of his earlier moralizing and sorrow, he has caused others, Alfredo reveals the sacrifice Violetta has brought to his urging. The now wants to hurry back to his lover. Violetta knows that she has no future, and takes away from her past goodbye. Through the window penetrate in cheerful noise and singing - the Parisians celebrate Carnival.

Alfredo suddenly and only recently announced appears. He sinks, apologizing, Violetta in her arms. For a short time they forget their illness and closes his plans to for a happy future. She wants to rise, but collapses in a fit of coughing and needs to realize that she no longer has the strength to do so.

Germont comes and blesses their love. Violetta gives Alfredo a locket with her picture to remind him of it. He should look for a new chance, and his bride should then wear it, and she wanted to pray in heaven for both. Alfredo asks desperately to stay. In fact, Violetta feels to come back their old powers; it rises and falls down dead.



2 flutes (2nd piccolo ), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, Cimbasso, timpani, cymbals, bass drum, triangle, strings

Music for the Stage: 2 piccolos, flat clarinet, E-flat clarinet, 2 B clarinets, 2 horns, flugelhorn, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, tambourine, bass drum, castanets ( Banda ), harp, 2 double basses


Act I

  • 3 aria of Violetta

Act II

  • 4 Scene and Aria Alfredo
  • 5 Scene and Duet Violetta and Germont
  • 6 Scene, Duettino and Arie Germont
  • 7 Finale II


  • 8 Preludio
  • 9 Scene and romance of Violetta

Productions and adaptations

  • As masterfully applies the dramatic interpretation of the title role by Maria Callas in productions of the 1950s.
  • A determined by contemporary as later observers special rank took this staging by Luchino Visconti at La Scala in 1955, the scenic and musical set new standards appeared (Conductor: Carlo Maria Giulini, with Callas, Giuseppe Di Stefano as Alfredo, Ettore Bastianini as Giorgio Germont ). So strongly was the impression of this legendary performance later that 1964 Scala staging by Franco Zeffirelli with the conductor Herbert von Karajan failed spectacularly. Visconti later created two additional Traviata productions that are completely different from one another and from the Milan production: 1963 at the Teatro Nuovo for the Spoleto Festival ( with Franca Fabbri as Violetta and Franco Bonisolli as Alfredo ), 1965 at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich ( with Teresa Stratas as Violetta and Alfredo Fritz Wunderlich ), and finally in 1967 for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London ( Mirella Freni with Violetta and Renato Cioni as Alfredo ).
  • An acclaimed by many critics performance there was in the 1990s at the Royal Opera House conducted by Sir Georg Solti. Here, according to observers convinced not only the equipment, but also Angela Gheorghiu as Violetta.
  • In 2005 there was a highly acclaimed new production at the Salzburg Festival with Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón and Thomas Hampson, which was broadcast live on ORF and later released on DVD. Convincing were by critics and audiences particularly Netrebko and Villazón and felt the director Willy Decker, whereas the performance of the conductor Carlo Rizzi, as a replacement of the late Marcello Viotti conducted the Vienna Philharmonic here, met with little enthusiasm.
  • An unusual performance was staged on 30 September 2008 at Zurich main station by Swiss television in collaboration with the Zurich Opera House, Arte and the SBB and broadcast live. The performance with Eva Mei, Vittorio Grigolo and Angelo Vecchia took place in the middle of the commuting of the largest train station in Switzerland. The staging was by Adrian Marthaler, the conductor was Paolo Carignani.
  • The American playwright Terrence McNally sits down with Maria Callas and La Traviata reception in his plays Master Class (Master Class) and The Lisbon Traviata ( The Lisbon Traviata ) apart.

Recordings and CDs

  • 2005: Lorin Maazel; Orchestra e Coro del Teatro La Fenice, live recording Teatro La Fenice in 2004, RAI
  • 2005/ 06: Carlo Rizzi; Vienna Philharmonic; Salzburg Festival 2005
  • 2008: Zubin Mehta; Bavarian State Orchestra, Bavarian State Opera 2006


  • La traviata (1948 ), directed by Carmine gallon
  • La traviata (1967 ), directed by Mario Lanfranchi
  • La traviata (1982 ), directed by Franco Zeffirelli, with Teresa Stratas and Plácido Domingo
  • The Lady of the Camellias 1911 film starring Sarah Bernhardt; 1936 again with Greta Garbo and 1980 with Isabelle Huppert in the lead role.