La traviata: Character Map
La traviata: Roles
|Violetta Valéry||a courtesan||soprano|
|Alfredo Germont||a young bourgeois from the countryside||tenor|
|Giorgio Germont||Alfredo’s father||baritone|
|Flora Bervoix||Violetta’s friend||mezzo-soprano|
|Gastone de Letorières||Alfredo’s friend||tenor|
|Barone Douphol||Violetta’s patron||baritone|
- Native title: La traviata
- Composers: Giuseppe Verdi
- Librettist: Francesco Maria Piave
- Based on: La Dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils
- Language: Italian
- Premiere: March 6, 1853, Teatro La Fenice, Venice
- Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes (Act 1: 35 minutes, Act 2: 60 minutes, Act 3: 35 minutes)
La traviata: Short Synopsis
Violetta, a courtesan suffering from tuberculosis, and Alfredo, a young bourgeois man from the south of France, fall in love.
Please come and see me when these flowers wither.
I will see you tomorrow.
Violetta has quit her job as a courtesan and is living with Alfredo in the suburbs of Paris. Germont, Alfredo’s father, comes to see Violetta.
Please be an angel of comfort for my family.
At Germont’s request, she decides to leave Alfredo. Violetta leaves him without explaining. Alfredo mistakenly believes that she has chosen money over love. He insults her in front of people.
A few months later, Violetta’s illness worsens. Alfredo and Germont rush to her, but Violetta dies.
La traviata: Act1, Synopsis
The drawing room in Violetta’s house
Paris around 1850. At night. Violetta is chatting with a group of gaily dressed people. She greets Flora and her guests, who have arrived late.
Sorry for the delay. We had a great time at Flora’s soiree and the time flew by.
Thank you, Flora and friends, for coming. Let’s enjoy the rest of the evening.
I’m worried about your illness if you keep playing like this.
Surrendering to joy is the medicine that cures my illness.
Gastone enters with Alfredo.
I’d like you to meet Alfredo Germont. He is a very good friend of mine.
Thank you for introducing him.
Violetta holds out her hand and Alfredo kisses it.
Come on, everybody, let’s have some fun.
Alfredo always thinks of you. When you were sick, he came here to check on you.
Please don’t. I’m nothing to him.
But I’m not lying.
(To Alfredo) Why? I don’t understand.
Thank you for your consideration. The Baron didn’t care that I was ill, did he?
I’ve only known you for a year.
He’s only known me for a few minutes.
(whispers to Flora) I don’t like this young man.
Baron, would you like to read a poem at this delightful time?
The Baron refuses.
Well, Alfredo, how about you?
Alfredo refuses at first, but Violetta urges him to read the poem.
Drink a glass of joy. Let’s drink the sweet crush that brings love. (looks at Violetta) For a certain eye has an almighty power over my heart.
Libiamo, ne’ lieti calici
I will enjoy spending time with all of you. Anything in this world that doesn’t amuse me is crap. Let’s have some fun, because the joy of love can easily fade away.
That’s because you don’t know love yet.
It’s no use talking to someone who has nothing to do with love.
This is my destiny.
Waltz music is coming from the next room.
Would you like to waltz?
Everyone tries to go into the next room. Violetta collapses. She tries to get up and falls down again.
I’m a little sick. Everyone, please enjoy yourselves in the next room first.
When the guests leave, Alfredo remains in the room. Violetta looks at her face in a hand mirror.
What a pale face I have.
Violetta notices Alfredo.
You’re here, aren’t you?
Are you feeling better? I am worried about your health, living like this.
How long have you loved me?
I’ve loved you for a year.
One day you appeared before me. Since that day I have been living in an unknown love. This love is the heartbeat of the whole universe, mysterious and noble, bringing pain and joy to the heart.
Un dì, felice, eterea
If this is true, then run away from me. All I can offer you is friendship. I do not know how to love and I do not suffer from such heroic love.
You will have to find someone else. It won’t be difficult to forget me. Enough talk of love?
I will follow you. I’ll go.
Violetta stops Alfredo and gives him the flowers.
This flower is for you.
Please come to see me when these flowers wither.
Alfredo accepts the flowers.
I’ll come to see you tomorrow.
The party is over, the guests greet Violetta and leave. Violetta is left alone and thinks of Alfredo.
I can’t forget his words. Would serious love be unhappy for me? O troubled soul, what shall I do?
It must have been him. He must have been the one I thought of when I was lonely.
È strano! … Ah, fors’ è lui
(From afar, Alfredo’s voice) That love is the heartbeat of the whole universe, mysterious and noble, bringing pain and joy to the heart.
I’m a fool. I’m just a woman, abandoned in Paris. I am having fun and disappearing in joy.
I fly from joy to joy. That’s how I lived my life.
Sempre libera degg’io
La traviata: Act2, Synopsis
Violetta’s country house outside Paris
Three months after their first meeting, they are in a villa on the outskirts of Paris. In the living room of the villa, Alfredo is happy with his life.
It’s been three months. Violetta left a life of luxury for me. She’s happy here. When I am with her, I feel reborn.
She calms the youthful enthusiasm of my burning heart with a smile of love. Since the day she said, “I want to be faithful to you,” I don’t know anything about this world, and I almost feel like I’m in heaven.
De’ miei bollenti spiriti
A maid enters the room.
Where have you come from?
I’m back from Paris. At your wife’s request.
I went to Paris to sell Violetta’s things, her horse and carriage. Life here is expensive.
II’m going to Paris. Don’t tell her I said that.
Oh, my regret! What a shame. Was I to live in such error? The truth came to me in a foolish dream that was about to be shattered. You have my protection. I will wash away this shame.
O mio rimorso!
Alfredo leaves for Paris to get some money. Violetta comes home.
Where is Alfredo?
He has gone to Paris. He will be back in the evening.
A male servant delivers a letter to Violetta.
This is a letter from Flora. She found my hiding place. It’s an invitation to a dinner party tonight. It’s no use waiting for me…
Alfredo’s father, Germont, is visiting.
I am Alfredo’s father. I am the father of a man who is fascinated by you and is on his way to ruin.
How dare you say such a thing to a woman. This is my house. I’m leaving. Not for me, but for you.
My son is about to give you a fortune.
You are mistaken. Nothing like this has ever happened to me, and if it did, I would refuse.
But you seem to live in luxury.
I’ve kept it a secret from Alfredo, but I’ll show it to you.
Violetta handed Germont the documents.
You are willing to give up your possessions for love. Why does the past condemn you?
The past does not exist. I love Alfredo now. Through my repentance, God has erased the past.
What a noble attitude. For this mindfulness, I would like to ask for your sacrifice.
Please don’t say anything. It must be terrible. I was expecting this.
As Alfredo’s father, I ask for the fate of my two children.
God has given me a daughter who is like an angel. If Alfredo refuses to return to his family, then the young man whose daughter is about to become his bride refuses to commit to her. Do not let the rose of love become a flower of thorns.
Pura siccome un angelo, Iddio mi diè una figlia
I’ll leave Alfredo for a while.
My wish is different.
Should I leave him forever? No. You have no idea how much I love him. I am sick and nearing the end of my days. Do you want me and him to be separated? I’d rather die.
The sacrifice will be great. But listen to me. You are beautiful and young.
Men are fickle, you know. Even if a man adores you, it will fade with time. What will happen to you? There is no consolation for you. For heaven does not bless such unions.
Please be a consoling angel for my family.
Violetta decides to leave Alfredo.
Once a woman has gone astray, even if God forgives her, people won’t forgive her, will they? Please tell the pure girl. That there was a sacrifice of a woman.
Dite alla giovine, sì bella e pura,
Weep. I know that I am asking you for a great sacrifice. My soul feels your pain.
Please embrace me as if I were your daughter. Alfred will return to you soon. He will be very hurt. Please comfort him.
Is there anything I can do?
I am going to die. Please don’t let him curse the memory of me. I want you to tell him of my grief.
Live. You will be happy. The gift for these tears will come from heaven.
Violetta writes a letter to Flora about attending the soiree and a farewell letter to Alfredo. Alfredo returns.
What are you doing?
A letter. Who are you writing it to?
It’s a letter for you.
I’m sorry to pry. I’m worried about you. My father is here.
Have you seen your father?
No, he left me a very stern letter. But my father will be pleased when he sees you.
I don’t want to be surprised. I’ll leave you alone, you can reassure your father. I will kneel at your father’s feet. We’ll be happy. Because you love me.
Violetta was distraught and burst into tears.
You love me very much, don’t you? Why are you crying?
Look, it’s smiling at you. I’ll always be with you, in these flowers. Alfred, please love me as I love you. Goodbye.
Amami, Alfredo, amami quant’io t’amo
Violetta is leaving.
She lives for my love! It’s late already. My father will not come.
Lady Violetta has gone out. The carriage is on its way to Paris.
I know. She wanted to sell her things. But the maid will stop her.
Another one comes to visit.
The lady in the carriage asked me to give you a letter.
Alfredo receives a letter from Violetta.
I don’t know why I’m trembling. Be brave. “Alfredo, by the time this letter arrives…” Oh!
My son. What pain you are in. Wipe away your tears. Now go back to being a proud son.
Who took from you the sea and the land of Provence? Remember your home, my son.
Di Provenza il mar, il suol chi dal cor ti cancellò?
Leave me alone.
Was it in vain that I found you? No, let’s stop blaming you. Let’s go home together. You will be reunited with those who love you.
Alfredo finds an invitation to Flora’s soiree.
Will Violetta be at her soiree? I’ll have my revenge on her.
Alfredo leaves for Paris. Germont is following him.
Party at Flora’s house
Tonight I invited Violetta and Alfredo.
I heard you broke up. Violetta will be here with the Baron.
When I saw Violetta and Alfredo yesterday, they looked happy.
We are gypsies from far away. Let us see the future from your hands.
Noi siamo zingarelle venute da lontano
Gastone and the Bullfighters
We are bullfighters from Madrid. We came to Paris to have fun. Let me tell you the story.
Di Madride noi siam mattadori
The men gathered there begin to make bets. Alfredo appears.
Didn’t you come with Violetta?
I’m not with her.
Violetta and her patron arrive.
(whispers to Violetta) The man is here.
I know he is. I know him too.
Don’t try to talk to him.
Alfredo makes a bet.
You’ve won again.
I’m unlucky in love, so I’m lucky at betting. I’ll win tonight and live happily ever after in the country.
Will you live alone in the country?
No, with someone who went to the country with me. But she ran away from me.
(To Alfredo) Pity her.
(with unpleasant anger) You!
(To the Baron) Please be patient. Otherwise I’ll leave you.
Baron. You wanted to see me, sir?
You’re very lucky. I’ll take your wager.
You will? I accept the challenge.
I don’t know what will happen. I’m beginning to feel like dying.
Alfredo is the only winner. While everyone around watches the betting, dinner is ready and the place is cleared.
Violetta hurried back into the empty hall.
I asked one of them to send him a message so I could meet him here. Will he come? No, I’m sure he’ll come. Because he hates me.
Alfredo is coming.
Why did you call me here?
Please leave this place. You are in great danger. The Baron is a terrible man.
This is a fight for my life and the Baron’s. If the Baron loses, you will lose your lover and your patron. That’s what you’re afraid of.
If the Baron were to kill you, it would be my only misfortune. It would be so terrible that it would be fatal for me.
My death? What does it matter? I can leave if you insist. But you must swear to me. I want you to follow me wherever I go.
I… I can’t. I have a sacred promise to keep.
Who would make you say that? Is he a patron? Do you love him?
…Yes, I love him.
Alfredo is furious and calls the people together.
She lost all her money to be my lover. Blind, stupid and unhappy, I accepted everything she did. But the time has come. I want to clear my name. I have called you all as witnesses. I returned the money.
Alfredo throws a bundle of money at Violetta. She faints. Germont arrives amidst the commotion.
Terrible. He has killed a sensitive soul. You insulted a poor woman. Get out of here. You’ve frightened us all.
I know her virtues. But I can’t tell the truth here.
Terrible. What have I done? I don’t think she’ll ever forgive me.
Violetta, who had fainted, regained consciousness.
Alfredo, you don’t understand my feelings. It’s all for love.
Alfredo, Alfredo, di questo core non-puoi comprendere tutto l’amore…
(To Alfredo) I will not tolerate insults to this woman.
How painful it is. Everyone here feels your pain. Please wipe away your tears.
Events from Act2 to Act3
Alfredo and the Baron fight a duel. The Baron is injured and Alfredo leaves for a foreign country.
La traviata: Act3, Synopsis
Violetta’s illness is getting worse. She is being cared for by her maid, Annina.
Let some light into the room.
Annina has opened the window to look out onto the street.
I found a doctor in the street. He’s coming this way.
He’s a real friend. Help me get up.
A doctor appears.
How do you feel?
My body is in pain, but my soul is at peace. Yesterday, a pious priest comforted me. Religion is the salvation of the afflicted.
It won’t be long before you recover.
Doctors tell lies out of pity, don’t they?
We will meet again.
The maid saw the doctor leave the room.
(whispers to the doctor) How do you like it?
Her life would be over in a few hours.
The doctor leaves the room.
I hear a lot of noise from outside. Is today a day of celebration?
Paris is in full swing and it’s Carnival.
Even in the midst of all this celebration, how many people are suffering? Look at the money in the cupboard.
Please give 10 louis to the poor. Also, see if there are any letters addressed to me.
The maid leaves. Violetta takes the letter from Germont from her bosom and reads it.
A letter from Germont: “You kept your promise to me. There was a duel and the Baron was wounded, but he is recovering. I sent Alfredo away from Paris to keep him away from the disturbances. I told him of your sacrifice. He will return to you to ask forgiveness. I will come to you. Take care of yourself. For a better future than you deserve. Georges Germont.”
It’s too late.
I’ve waited and waited, but they won’t come for me. The doctors tell me to have hope. With a disease like this, all hope is dead.
Goodbye, happy dreams of the past. The rosy color of my face has already faded. I still miss Alfredo’s love.
Please hear the pleas of a woman who has made a wrong turn. Accept me, O God. There will be no flowers or tears on my grave. It’s all over.
Addio, del passato bei sogni ridenti
From outside the room, a chorus of people celebrating Carnival.
Are you feeling well?
Will you promise to stay calm? I wanted to prevent you from sudden joy.
Joy! That’s what you said. Alfredo. He’s here!
The maid goes to greet Alfredo. Alfredo enters the room and they embrace and rejoice.
My beloved Alfredo.
My Violetta. I was wrong. I know everything. I want you to know from the beating of my heart how much I love you. I want you to forgive me and my father.
Do you want my forgiveness? I was the wrong one. But it was only love that made me do it.
My love, let’s leave Paris. We’ll spend our lives together. Your health will return. You will be my breath and my light. All the future will smile on us.
Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo
My love, let’s leave Paris. We will spend our life together. My health will return. You will be my breath and my light. All the future will smile on us.
Violetta almost collapsed because of her illness.
It’s because I’m sick. I’m fine. Look, you’re smiling, aren’t you?
What a cruel fate.
Annina. Get me some clothes. I want to go out.
Annina gives her some clothes. Violetta is too weak to change.
God, I can’t do this.
(To Annina) Call a doctor.
(To Annina) Tell the doctor that Alfredo has returned to my love. Tell him I want to live.
(To Alfredo) If you can’t come back and save me, no one on earth can save me. Oh, I’ll die young. Our love had a cruel end.
Don’t close yourself to hope. Stay calm.
Germont, the doctor and the maid hurry in.
Violetta. I will keep my promise. I will embrace you as if you were my own daughter.
Oh, how late you have come. But I thank you. Doctor, can you see me? I’m being taken care of by someone I love.
Don’t say that. It seems that what she says is true.
Father, can you see her?
Please don’t blame me anymore. Too much regret is eating away at my soul. I can see now that I was wrong.
My dear Alfredo. This is a picture of me. May you remember the days you spent with me. If a pure maiden loves you, make her your bride. You must give her this picture. Tell her that it is a gift from those who pray from heaven for your happiness.
No, you won’t die. Don’t tell me that. You’ll live. My love.
Violetta suddenly stands up.
That’s strange. The pain is gone. A different kind of strength returns to me. I can live, can’t I? I’m so happy!
Violetta collapsed on the couch and died.