La Traviata
(The Fallen Woman)

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Music:Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto:Francesco Maria Piave, based on Alexandre Dumas's La Dame aux Camélias
Premiere:Venice, March 6, 1853

La Traviata created an outrage with its sympathetic portrayal of Violetta, the ailing courtesan who is redeemed by love. When she learns of Alfredo's adoration for her, sickly Violetta hesitantly abandons a life of revelry to live with her lover, and the two are blissfully happy. But Alfredo's father warns Violetta that her scandalous past threatens his son's future and asks her to abandon her lover. A tormented Violetta agrees to return to her old ways, leaving Alfredo furious at her apparent betrayal. Overcome with grief, Violetta falls mortally ill, and Alfredo's father, taking pity on her, informs his son of her sacrifice. Alfredo rushes to Violetta's side, arriving in time for a rapturous deathbed duet.

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