ongoing until March 4
Teatro dell’ Opera – piazza Beniamino Gigli, 1. Calendar of the shows: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 8:00 pm, Sunday at 4:30 pm – tickets from € 22 up to € 170
Tel. 06 4817003 | www.operaroma.it
Opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on La Dame aux Camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas (fils). A Teatro dell’Opera di Roma production created by Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti with Orchestra, Chorus and Corps de Ballet of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. Performed in original language with Italian and English subtitles. Directed by Sofia Coppola.
The salon in Violetta’s house. Violetta Valéry, a famed courtesan, throws a lavish party at her Paris salon to celebrate her recovery from an illness. Gastone, a viscount, has brought with him a friend, Alfredo Germont, a young bourgeois from a provincial family who has long adored Violetta from afar. While walking to the salon, Gastone tells Violetta that Alfredo loves her, and that while she was ill, he came to her house every day. Alfredo joins them, admitting the truth of Gastone’s remarks.
Baron Douphol, Violetta’s current lover, waits nearby to escort her to the salon; once there, the Baron is asked to give a toast, but refuses, and the crowd turns to Alfredo, who agrees to sing a brindisi – a drinking song. From the next room, the sound of the orchestra is heard and the guests move there to dance. After a series of severe coughs and almost fainting, Violetta begins to feel dizzy and asks her guests to go ahead and to leave her to rest until she recovers. While the guests dance in the next room, Violetta looks at her pale face in her mirror. Alfredo enters and expresses his concern for her fragile health, later declaring his love for her. At first, she rejects him because his love means nothing to her, but there is something about Alfredo that touches her heart. He is about to leave when she gives him a flower, telling him to return it when it has wilted, which will be the very next day.
After the guests leave, Violetta wonders if Alfredo could actually be the one in her life. But she concludes that she needs freedom to live her life. From off stage, Alfredo’s voice is heard singing about love as he walks down the street.
Scene 1: Violetta’s country house outside Paris. Three months later, Alfredo and Violetta are living together in a peaceful country house outside Paris. Violetta has fallen in love with Alfredo and she has completely abandoned her former life. Alfredo sings of their happy life together. Annina, the maid, arrives from Paris, and, when questioned by Alfredo, tells him that she went there to sell the horses, carriages and everything owned by Violetta to support their country lifestyle. Alfredo is shocked to learn this and leaves for Paris immediately to settle matters himself. Violetta returns home and receives an invitation from her friend, Flora, to a party in Paris that evening. Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, is announced and demands that she break off her relationship with his son for the sake of his family, since he reveals that Violetta’s relationship with Alfredo has threatened his daughter’s engagement because of Violetta’s reputation. Meanwhile, he reluctantly becomes impressed by Violetta’s nobility, something which he did not expect from a courtesan. She responds that she cannot end the relationship because she loves him so much, but Giorgio pleads with her for the sake of his family. With growing remorse, she finally agrees and says goodbye to Giorgio. In a gesture of gratitude for her kindness and sacrifice, Giorgio kisses her forehead before leaving her weeping alone.
Violetta gives a note to Annina to send to Flora accepting the party invitation and, as she is writing a farewell letter to Alfredo, he enters. She can barely control her sadness and tears; she tells him repeatedly of her unconditional love. Before rushing out and setting off for Paris, she hands the farewell letter to her servant to give to Alfredo. Soon, the servant brings the letter to Alfredo and, as soon as he has read it, Giorgio returns and attempts to comfort his son, reminding him of his family in Provence. Alfredo suspects that the Baron is behind his separation with Violetta, and the party invitation, which he finds on the desk, strengthens his suspicions. He decides to confront Violetta at the party. Giorgio tries to stop Alfredo, but he rushes out.
Scene 2: party at Flora’s house. At the party, the Marquis tells Flora that Violetta and Alfredo have separated, much to the amazement of everyone who had previously seen the happy couple. Violetta arrives with Baron Douphol. They see Alfredo at the gambling table. When he sees them, Alfredo loudly proclaims that he will take Violetta home with him. Feeling annoyed, the Baron goes to the gambling table and joins him in a game. As they bet, Alfredo wins some large sums until Flora announces that supper is ready. Alfredo leaves with handfuls of money.
As everyone is leaving the room, Violetta has asked Alfredo to see her. Fearing that the Baron’s anger will lead him to challenge Alfredo to a duel, she gently asks Alfredo to leave. Alfredo misunderstands her apprehension and demands that she admit that she loves the Baron. In grief, she makes that admission and, furiously, Alfredo calls the guests to witness what he has to say. He humiliates and denounces Violetta in front of the guests and then throws his winnings at her feet in payment for her services. She faints onto the floor. The guests reprimand Alfredo. In search of his son, Giorgio enters the hall and, knowing the real significance of the scene, denounces his son’s behavior. Flora and the ladies attempt to persuade Violetta to leave the dining room, but Violetta turns to Alfredo: Alfredo, Alfredo, di questo core non puoi comprendere tutto l’amore… – “Alfredo, Alfredo, you can’t understand all the love in this heart…”.
Violetta’s bedroom. Dr. Grenvil tells Annina that Violetta will not live long since her tuberculosis has worsened. Alone in her room, Violetta reads a letter from Alfredo’s father telling her that the Baron was only wounded in his duel with Alfredo; that he has informed Alfredo of the sacrifice she has made for him and his sister; and that he is sending his son to see her as quickly as possible to ask for her forgiveness. But Violetta senses it is too late. Annina rushes in the room to tell Violetta of Alfredo‘s arrival. The lovers are reunited and Alfredo suggests that they leave Paris. But it is too late: she knows her time is up. Alfredo’s father enters with the doctor, regretting what he has done. After singing a duet with Alfredo, Violetta suddenly revives, exclaiming that the pain and discomfort have left her. A moment later, she dies in Alfredo’s arms.