• Giuseppe Verdi
  • May 2024
  • Wexford, Dublin, Cork

La traviata

CITY VICE, COUNTRY BLISS

Violetta, a high-spirited, popular courtesan. Alfredo, her devoted but naive lover. The rural bliss they choose is shattered by fear of scandal. When their love reasserts itself, she is already on her deathbed. Opera’s most moving reunion.

Verdi’s La traviata is based on the semi-autobiographical play, La Dame aux camélias (The Lady of the Camellias), by Alexandre Dumas fils. The subject is Dumas’s relationship with Marie Duplessis, someone that composer Franz Liszt once described as the only woman he had ever loved. Verdi’s acute and heart-rending response to a woman who died of TB at the age of 23 has immortalised not just her tragedy, but also her irrepressible character and appeal.

Running time 3 hours with interval.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Join the conversation online with #INOTraviata

“With her gleaming, porcelain voice, Woodbury was able to express every emotion Violetta felt as a courtesan who, at first, did not believe in love and then gave in to love’s pain and joy.” - My San Antonio, on Amanda Woodbury
“Máire Flavin, in the title role [of Handel’s Alcina], with the glamour of a film star, handled her fall from regal witchy diva to broken woman affectingly.” - The Observer
“Mario Chang, singing Alfredo, is an elegant lyric tenor, and his theatrical poise added much drama to the opera. Chang paused at the perfect moments, offering a moment’s hesitation before toasting with ‘Libiamo ne’ lieti calici’.” - Cultural Voice of North Carolina (CVNC)

Cast & Creative Team

Cast

Amanda Woodbury (Wexford 17 May; Dublin 21, 23, 25 May; Cork, 29, 31 May) Violetta Valéry
Máire Flavin (Dublin 22, 24 May) Violetta Valéry
Mario Chang (Wexford 17 May; Dublin 21, 23, 25 May; Cork, 29, 31 May) Alfredo Germont
Yongzhao Yu (Dublin 22, 24 May) Alfredo Germont
Brett Polegato (Wexford 17 May) Giorgio Germont
Leon Kim (Dublin 21, 23, 25 May; Cork, 29, 31 May) Giorgio Germont
Anthony Clark Evans (Dublin 22, 24 May) Giorgio Germont
Aebh Kelly Flora Bervoix
Madeline Judge Annina
Patrick Hyland Gastone de Letorières
Brendan Collins Barone Douphol
Ben McAteer Marchese d'Obigny
Graeme Danby Dottore Grenvil
Ben Escorcio Giuseppe
Matthew Mannion Flora's servant
David Scott Commissioner
Irish National Opera Chorus
Irish National Opera Orchestra

Creative Team

Killian Farrell Conductor
Fergus Sheil Conductor (31 May, Cork)
Olivia Fuchs Director
Katie Davenport Set & Costume Designer
Paul Keogan Lighting Director
Jessica Kennedy Choreographer
Medb Brereton-Hurley Assistant Conductor
Richard McGrath Chorus Director
John King Assistant Director
Aoife O'Sullivan Répétiteur
Annalisa Monticelli Language Coach

Synopsis


ACT 1

Violetta Valéry, a well-known Parisian courtesan, has been convalescing from consumption and throws a party to mark her return. The young Alfredo Germont now arrives at the party, introduced by their mutual friend Gaston. During Violetta’s illness he has been asking after her every day. Violetta goads her rich patron, Baron Douphol, and asks Alfredo to propose a toast. As the guests proceed to the dance hall she collapses and, left alone, Alfredo takes the opportunity to declare his love for her. She warns him that there is no room for love in her life but gives him a camellia and asks him to return when it has withered. He joyfully agrees to visit her the next day. When all the guests have left, Violetta recalls the sincerity of Alfredo’s feelings, and contemplates allowing true love into her life. However, she decides to live by her motto: Sempre libera - to always stay free.

ACT 2, Scene 1

Violetta and Alfredo have been living together for three months in the country, far removed from Violetta’s old life. Alfredo cannot believe his luck. However, Violetta’s maid Annina reveals that Violetta is having to sell all her possessions to afford their life together. Shocked and humiliated by this information Alfredo hurries to Paris with the aim of raising some money.

Violetta receives an invitation to a party that night at Flora’s, her friend and rival, but she discards it. A guest is announced. It turns out to be Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s father. He bluntly demands that Violetta give up Alfredo and stop living off his allowance. When Violetta reveals it is she who is paying for their life together, he is surprised, but asks her to leave Alfredo for his daughter’s sake who cannot get married with this scandal hanging over the family. He demands Violetta leave Alfredo for ever and not tell him why.

Eventually, Violetta agrees to give up Alfredo for the young girl’s sake. In return she asks Germont to promise that after her death, he will tell Alfredo of her undying love for him.

Distraught, she writes a farewell letter to Alfredo, who then walks in unexpectedly. She asks him to always love her and hurries out of the house. Once she has left a messenger gives Alfredo her farewell letter. He breaks down and his father tries to comfort him. Alfredo sees the invitation to Flora’s party and rushes after Violetta.

ACT II, Scene 2

Flora’s party is in full swing, with a variety of entertainment. Gossip about Violetta leaving Alfredo abounds. To everyone’s astonishment Alfredo walks in and starts gambling. He is on a winning streak. When Violetta arrives with her former patron, Baron Douphol, Alfredo challenges the baron to a game. The baron loses. The guests go to the next room for dinner, and Violetta warns Alfredo of goading the baron. Alfredo demands an explanation for her departure. Reluctantly, she tells him she is in love with the baron. Outraged, Alfredo calls all the guests and publically humiliates Violetta by throwing his entire winnings at her to pay for their time together. Alfredo’s father arrives to witness his son’s bad behaviour, and the baron challenges Alfredo to a duel.

ACT III

Some months later Violetta is dying of tuberculosis. The doctor tells Annina that she only has a few hours to live. Outside, a carnival passes by and Violetta decides to donate her remaining money to the poor. She rereads a letter from Giorgio Germont, in which he tells her that Alfredo wounded the baron in the duel and then fled the country, but now father and son are on their way to Violetta’s sickbed. Germont has told Alfredo about Violetta’s sacrifice.

Alfredo comes rushing in and, beside themselves with joy, they start planning a future together, but it is too late.

Discover More

La traviata | Trailer

La traviata | In rehearsals

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