Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Verdi’s La Traviata, where passion leads to betrayal, beauty to corruption and appearances are often deceiving. Violetta Valèry, the most beautiful woman in Paris, is also the most famous courtesan. To stop herself falling into a world of poverty, she must sell herself,
falling instead into a world of frivolity, jewels and flowers. A world of shimmering artifice that veils a less beguiling core. Liberated by her intense passion for Alfredo, they retreat to the country and create an idyllic world for themselves, built on their joyful and truthful discovery of each other. But love cannot keep the real world away. The harsh realities of respectability, morality and disease rear their ugly heads, and Violetta cannot escape for long.
La Traviata exposes the dark side of the whirl of champagne and camellias, revealing the thorns that appear if you choose to sleep in a bed of roses. Verdi’s music is seductive and lush, containing some of the most beautiful and resonant melodies in opera, such as Libiamo” the drinking song, “Sempre Libera” and “Di Provenza”.
La Traviata provides an emotional and intimately romantic evening’s entertainment, and is perfectly suited to complement a gala dinner, whether in an elegant ballroom or in a luxuriant garden. echo’s production is exquisitely designed and provides a piquant visual experience as well as singing of exceptional quality.
Act 1: Violetta’s Apartment
The most famous courtesan of Paris, Violetta Valèry, is hosting a party attended by her rich protector Baron Douphol. Her friend Gaston introduces her to Alfredo Germont. Alfredo has often watched her buying camellias at the flower stall and has longed to meet her. He seizes a moment to declare his love for her. Violetta, however, is mortally ill and contemplates the folly of following her heart into such a romantic liaison.
Act 2 Scene 1: I In a country retreat
Three months have passed and Violetta and Alfredo are now living together. Violetta has been forced to sell some of her possessions in order to meet their expenses. When Alfredo is informed of this by Annina, Violetta’s maid, he rushes to Paris in an attempt to raise further funds. While he is away, Violetta receives an unexpected visit from Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s father. Germont tells Violetta
that her relationship with his son is threatening the respectability of his own family and in particular that of his daughter, whose imminent marriage to the man she loves is in jeopardy because of the scandal created by Alfredo’s ongoing liaison with Violetta.
Stricken with grief and guilt, Violetta eventually agrees to break off her affair with Alfredo and to return to Paris to her previous protector, informing Alfredo of her decision via only a cold letter.
Act 2 Scene 2: At Flora’s Salon, that evening
Alfredo arrives in advance of Violetta, who arrives escorted by Baron Douphol. Alfredo challenges the Baron to a game of cards and
wins the stakes. A distraught Violetta begs Alfredo to accept the situation, keeping from him the real reason for her decision, and letting him believe that she prefers to remain with the Baron forever. Infuriated Alfredo insults her in front of the guests, asking them to witness how he settles his debts, by flinging his winnings in her face. Germont arrives to see this display and refuses to recognise Alfredo as his son. The baron then challenges Alfredo to a duel.
Act 3 Violetta’s apartment some months later
Violetta has been abandoned by everyone except the loyal maid Annina. The once sumptuous apartment is empty except for the bed where Violetta lays dying, ravaged by the final stages of consumption. A letter from Germont arrives, informing her that Alfredo has discovered the sacrifice she has made for him, and is rushing to her bedside to ask her forgiveness. Alfredo arrives and death ecstatically, but only momentarily forgotten. Violetta begs Alfredo to remember her when he falls in love again. As Germont finally
realises the love that is between the two, he understands the sacrifice Violetta has made. As she draws her last ecstatic breath, she
sees herself once again at the height of her former beauty. Alas it is an illusion brought on by the final stages of her terrible illness.