- All Paris is celebrating. It's Carnival…
- But in this general jubilation, how many wretches suffer !
The prelude to La Traviata evokes a muted, discreet pulse, like the secret rhythm of a heart having difficulty beating. Perhaps this heart is Violetta Valéry's. When the curtain rises, she knows she is going to die, condemned by phthisis. She has chosen to let herself disappear in a whirlwind of frivolous parties and meaningless pleasures. Her encounter with Alfredo, an idealistic young man in love, will trouble her until she is convinced to give love one last chance.
The portrait of this courtesan - an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas fils' La Dame aux camélias - reveals all of Verdi's humanism. Also some of his most heart-rending singing. It has been said that it takes several voices to sing Violetta. Because the traviata - literally, the wayward woman - has several lives: the swirling vocal fireworks in Act I, the deep quiet of a secluded life in the countryside in Act II, and then sacrifice, illness, joy and finally death...
La Traviata also paints a vitriolic portrait of its times: if Violetta places love above all else, to the point of sacrificing herself to save the Germonts' honour, her sacrifice makes the hypocrisy and baseness of the materialistic bourgeoisie only more apparent. La Traviata's era saw the end of the 1848 revolutions. The society that Verdi describes now lives under surveillance, enjoying petty pleasures and large, dreary parties... No doubt Violetta's song was too free and too fiery for this narrow world: she had to pay with her life.
This Traviata marks the revival of a landmark production: Jean-François Sivadier's staging, created at the International Festival of Lyric Art in Aix-en-Provence in 2011. In this version, imagined by a genuine master of the theatre and a great lover of opera, Violetta's destiny seems to merge with that of a performer blazing with her last fires on stage before bidding an unforgettable farewell under a fine golden rain. This production is driven by a new generation of performers injecting new life into the production.
La Traviata, opera in four parts
First performed at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice on 6 March 1853
Opéra national de Lorraine
Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra de Dijon and Théâtre de Caen
Francesco Maria Piave based on the novel La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils
Opéra national de Lorraine Orchestra
Opéra national de Lorraine Chorus
Alexandre de Dardel
2h40 with interval
€ 5 - 75
Performance in Italian with French surtitles
Introduction to the performance
45 minutes before the start of the performance (free of charge, upon presentation of ticket)
Duration approx. 20 minutes
The performance of June 25 includes a Sunday workshop.