La Traviata


In three acts by VERDI.

Text taken from the French by PIAVE.

The original of the libretto is Dumas' celebrated novel "La dame aux


The opera is like all of Verdi's works full of melody and there are

numberless special beauties in it. The prelude which opens the opera

instead of an overture, is in particular an elegy o
a noble and

interesting kind. But as the text is frivolous and sensual, of course

the music cannot be expected to be wholly free from these


The scene is laid in and near Paris. Alfred Germont is passionately in

love with Violetta Valery, one of the most frivolous beauties in Paris.

She is pleased with his sincere passion, anything like which she has

never hitherto known, and openly telling him, who she is, she warns him

herself; but he loves her all the more, and as she returns his passion,

she abandons her gay life and follows him into the country, where they

live very happily for some months.

Annina, Violetta's maid dropping a hint to Alfred that her mistress is

about to sell her house and carriage in town in order to avoid

expenses, he departs for the Capital to prevent this.

During his absence Violetta receives a visit from Alfred's father, who

tries to show her that she has destroyed not only his family's but his

son's happiness by suffering Alfred to unite himself to one so

dishonored as herself. He succeeds in convincing her, and,

broken-hearted, she determines to sacrifice herself and leave Alfred

secretly. Ignoring the possible reason for this inexplicable action,

Alfred is full of wrath and resolves to take vengeance. He finds

Violetta in the house of a former friend, Flora Bervoix, who is in a

position similar to that of Violetta.--The latter, having no other

resources and feeling herself at death's door a state of health

suggested in the first act by an attack of suffocation, has returned to

her former life.

Alfred insults her publicly. The result is a duel between her

present adorer, Baron Dauphal and Alfred.

From this time on Violetta declines rapidly, and in the last act, which

takes place in her sleeping-room, we find her dying. Hearing that

Alfred has been victorious in the duel, and receiving a letter from his

father, who is now willing to pardon and to accept her as his

daughter-in-law, she revives to some extent and Alfred, who at last

hears of her sacrifice, returns to her, but only to afford a last

glimpse of happiness to the unfortunate woman, who expires, a modern

Magdalen, full of repentance, and striving tenderly to console her

lover and his now equally desolate father.