Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata – the fallen woman- is a compelling tale of love, intrigue, money and power in 19th century France.
La traviata tells the heart wrenching story of courtesan Violetta Valéry, played by Pittsburgh favorite Danielle Pastin, last seen here in 2015’s Cosi fan tutte.
Like so many of Verdi’s works, La traviata explores grand themes through intimate family drama. Alfredo Germont – played by Cody Austin in his Pittsburgh Opera debut – wins Violetta’s love and his father’s displeasure. His father, going behind Alfredo’s back, coerces Violetta into breaking up with Alfredo because their relationship threatens his daughter’s engagement and his family’s reputation.
Violetta will not disclose his father’s role in their breakup, so Alfredo erroneously believes she loves someone else. He publicly denounces her, leaving them both grief-stricken. Will they reconcile before it’s too late?
From the rousing “Brindisi” drinking song to touching arias, La traviata’s singing and music are sure to delight.
The story opens in Paris. Violetta Valéry has been out most of the night running from party to party with her friends, who are now continuing the festivities in her upscale apartment.
An admirer of Violetta’s, Alfredo Germont, who has long adored her from afar, flirts with her in a rousing drinking song, the famous Brindisi “Libiamo ne’lieti calici”.
Alfredo then proceeds to confess to Violetta that he has loved her for more than a year. Moved, Violetta attempts to warn Alfredo, saying that she “doesn’t know how to love.” Besides, as you’ll hear in a stunning aria, Violetta wants to be ‘sempre libera’ – always free. “Free and aimless she must flutter, from pleasure to pleasure.”
Alfredo eventually wins Violetta over, and they move to a house in the country. Alfredo sings about how happy he has been ever since Violetta told him “I want to live, faithful to you alone.”
However, Alfredo’s father Giorgio Germont disapproves of Violetta’s relationship with Alfredo, because it threatens his family’s reputation and also his daughter’s engagement. He coerces Violetta into breaking up with Alfredo, then returns to console his son and remind him of his loving family back home in Provence.
Alfredo confronts Violetta at a party. She will not disclose his father’s role in their breakup, so Alfredo erroneously believes she loves someone else. Angry, he scorns her and storms off.
Violetta and Alfredo are both miserable. Six months later, Germont finally confesses his plot to Alfredo. Alfredo regrets the way he mistreated Violetta and attempts to reconcile. Violetta, however, is sadly succumbing to tuberculosis, and bids farewell “to happy dreams of by-gone days.” Alfredo's father enters with a doctor, regretting what he has done. However, it is too late- she dies in Alfredo's arms.