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The lady of the Camellias made by Verdi

November 11, 2015


The Traviata, also called The Lady of the Camellias, is an opera realized by Verdi, in 1852. It was originally named Violetta because of the name of the main character.
It was first performed on  6  March in 1853 in the La Fenice opera house in Venice.

Before telling you the story, I can tell you that famous singers such as Maria Callas played the role of Violetta and Renata Scotto or more recently Anna Netrebko.

Regarding the story, in the first act, Violetta Valéry, organized a party in her mansion; she is a famous courtesane and that’s why she has lots of friends. During this party, she meets Alfredo Dumont and after all the guests left, it’s the famous  brindisi : « Libiamo ne’ lieti calici »; literally speaking  brindisi means song to drink. And just after that Alfredo declares his love to Violetta; she is tempted by hoping real love but she rejects this unrealistic perspective. When she is alone, she sings the famous song which ends the first act, “E strano…Ah, fors’è lui .. Follie, Follie!”

In the second act, Alfredo and Violetta live the perfect love but Alfredo hears from Annina, Violetta’s maid , that she has to sell all her furniture because she needs money so he wants to help her.

When she is alone, Alfredo’s father, Mr. Germont comes to see Violetta and he talks with her about her union with his son. He says to her that their union is immoral and that it can cause damage to his daughter’s union with a really rich man. He also accuses her of forcing Alfredo to spend money for her. He adds that a union of two persons coming from different social backgrounds cannot end with a successful marriage. In fact he asks her to renounce this union with his son.  Violetta accepts what he asks her to do and writes him a break-up letter. Afterwards, she goes to the party of her friend Flora in Paris.

But Alfredo also goes to the same party and after winning the game  with his friend he throws up his money in front of Violetta. At the same moment his father appears to condemn his action.

Finally in the third act, Violetta’s health gets worse and worse, so she is cured by Anina in her flat which is invigilated by her creditors. She rereads Alfredo’s father’s letter in which he explains that he told all the story to his son and the fact that Alfredo will come to see her soon.  While outside rings the enjoyment of the carnival, Violetta turns her back to her past of sinner, while waiting for the return of Alfredo, the man whom she has never stopped loving . But at the moment he arrives, she dies in his arms, in her first real moment of  happiness.

I went to see this opera outside in the Invalids’ court and it was staged by Arielle Dombasle so it was very modern. The violinist of the orchestra was Anne Gravoin, Manuel Vall’s wife.

My mother has been used to taking me to watch Operas so I’ve learnt how to appreciate them, and despite what most  people think – that is opera is really boring and unfathomable for children –  I think opera is a way to link different arts like music, and dancing. If we are open-minded and a little bit focused on what is happening it is accessible to anyone. I think it’s a really enriching experience for all and that everyone deserves to live at least once in a lifetime.

To conclude, it was really interesting to see an Opera in these conditions if we forget the fact that it was very cold  that night and that the next day I went to school at eight.


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