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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.
Creative team includes
Conductor Simon Phillippo
Director David McVicar
Revival Director Sarah Crisp
Designer Tanya McCallin
Lighting Designer Jennifer Tipton
Choreographer Andrew George
Lighting realised on tour by Benjamin Naylor
Revival Choreographer Colm Seery
Dance Captain Joanna Jeffries
Chorus Master Stephen Harris
Musical Preparation Russell Moreton
Staff Director Katherine Wilde
Language Coach Matteo Dalle Fratte
Stage Manager Suzie Erith
Production Manager Robert Pagett
Violetta Valéry Linda Richardson
Flora Rebecca Afonwy-Jones (ex. 11 March), Amanda Baldwin (11 March)
Marquis d'Obigny Philip Lloyd-Evans
Baron Douphol Jack O'Kelly
Gaston Howard Kirk
Alfredo Germont Peter Sonn (until 1 March), Ji-Min Park (4, 8, 11 March, 12 April), Leonardo Capalbo (from 15 March ex. 12 April)
Annina Sian Meinir
Giuseppe Michael Clifton-Thompson
Giorgio Germont Alan Opie
Doctor Grenvil Martin Lloyd
Messenger George Newton-Fitzgerald
Flora's Servant Laurence Cole
Dancers Esther Fuge, Joanna Jeffries, Sophia McGregor, Jenna Sloan, Gordon Brandie, Nicholas Keegan, Ashley James Orwin
Act One | Paris
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, Alfredo is not. He again protests his love but she discourages him. Left alone when her guests finally depart, Violetta finds herself unexpectedly touched 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.
Scene One |
A country house near Paris, three months later
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.
Scene Two | Flora’s house in Paris, the same night
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.
Act Three | Violetta’s sickroom, a few months later
Violetta is dying, friendless and in penury, with only 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.
Audiences share their thoughts on La traviata.
Watch our La traviata trailer.
Listen to David Pountney introduce our Fallen Women season.
Images from McVicar's elegant production.