Images from McVicar's elegant production.
Giorgio Germont has made a terrible mistake. Germont has realised that Violetta, the fallen woman he drove away from his son, Alfredo, was the best thing that will ever happen to his inexperienced boy. His realisation comes late in the day as Violetta’s health is getting worse. Can Germont repair the damage before it’s too late?
La traviata is an attack on hypocrisy. It is also a life-affirming celebration of the fact that essential human qualities like compassion, love and self-sacrifice do exist. Most of all, La traviata is a supreme tear-jerker. David McVicar’s masterful production makes sure that few leave the theatre with dry eyes.
"McVicar's darkly elegant production"
'I love this production because of watching the effect that the combination of a magical set, great music and intense drama has on our audience as they leave the theatre'
Free New to opera talks
Tuesday 11 February - Saturday 5 April
New to opera? La traviata is the perfect place to start. Join us for a special introduction to opera before selected performances of La traviata.
The Whole Story
Thursday 6 February - Wednesday 19 March
The Whole Story is the perfect introduction to the Fallen Women season. Before the performances begin, our team of experts will guide you through the music, stories and background to each opera.
Friday 28 February
A special hour long talk looking at how the season's operas draw on classics by Dumas and and Prévost.
David Pountney in Conversation
Friday 7 February
David Pountney and a key figure from the arts explore the Fallen Women theme.
Violetta, a courtesan under the protection of Baron Douphol, is giving a party. She is introduced to Alfredo Germont, a young man of solid Provençal family who confesses to being already in love with her. As she leads her guests off to dance, Violetta is overcome by a coughing fit. Her frivolous friends are unconcerned, but Alfredo is not. He again protests his love but she discourages him. Left alone when her guests finally depart, Violetta finds herself unexpectedly affected by the young man’s passionate declaration. Despite this she convinces herself that her only choice is to continue to pursue a life of hectic pleasure.
Violetta has given in to her feelings and she and Alfredo are now living together in the country, where her health has improved. When he accidentally discovers from her maid, Annina, that Violetta has been selling her possessions in order to pay their bills, Alfredo is overcome with shame and leaves for Paris in order to raise the necessary money.
Violetta is surprised by an unheralded visit from Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s father. Having assumed that his son has been squandering his inheritance on Violetta, he is shocked to discover that she has been paying for everything. He begs her to break away from his son as their relationship is threatening his daughter’s prospects of marriage into a respectable family. Germont persuades Violetta that she must make the sacrifice in order to protect the future happiness of both his son and daughter. A distraught Violetta finally agrees and sends word to Baron Douphol, signalling her return to Paris. When Germont leaves she writes a farewell note to Alfredo, to be given to him when she has gone.
When Alfredo reads the note he rejects his father’s attempts to console him and rushes back to Paris, determined to avenge himself for what he believes to be Violetta’s betrayal.
Another party is under way. Alfredo arrives alone, expecting to find Violetta back in her old circle. His fears are realized when she appears, on the arm of Baron Douphol. The two men play at cards and Alfredo wins a large amount of money. Desperate to prevent them fighting, Violetta tries to persuade Alfredo to leave the party. He refuses and forces her to say that she loves the baron. In a fury, Alfredo calls all the guests to witness the repayment of his debts and flings his winnings in Violetta’s face. She collapses. Germont witnesses his son’s outburst and reproaches him for his cruel behaviour.
Abandoned by her friends, Violetta is dying, alone and in penury, with only the faithful Annina for company. She reads a letter from Germont telling her that he has told Alfredo the truth and that they are both coming to beg her forgiveness.
The two lovers are reunited and plan feverishly for a happier future, but it is too late. Violetta dies in Alfredo’s arms.
Creative team includes
Conductor Simon Phillippo
Director David McVicar
Designer Tanya McCallin
Lighting Designer Jennifer Tipton
Choreographer Andrew George
Violetta Valéry Linda Richardson
Alfredo Germont Peter Sonn (until 1 March), Ji-Min Park (4, 8, 11 March), Leonardo Capalbo (from 15 March)
Giorgio Germont Alan Opie
Flora Rebecca Afonwy-Jones
All performances start at 7.15pm (except 16 February at 4pm)
Running time approximately 2 hours 40 minutes including two intervals
Sung in Italian with surtitles in English (and Welsh in Cardiff and Llandudno)
Co-production with Scottish Opera and Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona
Images from McVicar's elegant production.
8 Feb - 1 Aug
26 Feb - 3 Apr
22 Feb - 5 Apr
6 Jun - 20 Jun
6 Feb - 19 Mar