La Traviata

GIUSEPPE VERDI

Conducted by Christopher Larkin
Directed by Elise Sandell

A poignant portrait of love and loss à Paris.

A crown jewel of grand opera, La Traviata tells the story of the brilliant and beautiful Parisian courtesan Violetta Valéry as she falls deeply in love with Alfredo Germont. Haunted by her reputation and illness, Violetta navigates sexual politics and confronts societal expectations as she braves the most broken of hearts.


About our production 

Performed in Italian with English captions.
Approximately 3 hours, including two intermissions.

Classic sets and costumes honor tradition on the grandest scale. Romanian soprano Aurelia Florian, whose performance of Violetta at the San Francisco Opera was called “incandescent” by the San Francisco Chronicle, makes her Portland Opera debut as our tour de force heroine. Tenor Jonathan Boyd returns to Portland Opera as Alfredo.


Plan Your Visit | Concierge Services

Looking for dining options, directions, or more information? Create your opera experience with the assistance of our Portland Opera Concierge: Concierge@portlandopera.org | 503-241-1802.

Join us one hour before curtain for a discussion providing context and unique insights into the world of the opera. After the performance join Christopher Mattaliano, Portland Opera’s general director, along with cast members or collaborators, for a post-show conversation.

Tickets start at $35. View seating map for Keller Auditorium.


Accessibility

The performance of La Traviata on November 4 at 2 PM will include an audio description of the visual and physical events on stage for patrons who are blind or have low vision. For patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing, each performance is visually translated with English text projected above the stage. If you require wheelchair, ADA, or companion seating, please let our Patron Services team know when you purchase tickets, so that we can ensure your visit to the opera is an excellent one.

Cast

Violetta Valery
Aurelia Florian

Alfredo Germont
Jonathan Boyd

Giorgio Germont
Weston Hurt

Gastone de Letorieres
David Warner

Baron Douphol
Daniel Mobbs

Marchese D’Obigny
Geoffrey Schellenberg

Doctor Grenville
Damien Geter

Flora Bervoix
Camille Sherman

Annina
Helen Huang

Conductor
Christopher Larkin

Director
Elise Sandell

Plot & Program Notes

La Traviata is adapted from La Dame aux Camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. In 1936, Greta Garbo took on the role of the famous courtesan in the film adaptation, Camille. Verdi composed over 25 operas during his career, with La Traviata being one of his peak “middle period” operas which, along with Il Trovatore and Rigoletto, remain some of the most popular works in the operatic repertoire.

Synopsis

ACT I — In her Paris salon, the courtesan Violetta Valery greets party guests, including Flora Bervoix, the Marquis d’Obigny, Baron Douphol, and Gastone, who introduces a new admirer, Alfredo Germont. This young man, having adored Violetta from afar, joins her in a drinking song. An orchestra is heard in the next room, but as guests move there to dance, Violetta suffers a fainting spell, sends the guests on ahead, and goes to her parlor to recover. Alfredo comes in, and since they are alone, confesses his love. At first Violetta protests that love means nothing to her. Something about the young man’s sincerity touches her, however, and she promises to meet him the next day. After the guests have gone, Violetta wonders if Alfredo could actually be the man she could love. But she decides she wants freedom, though Alfredo’s voice, heard outside, argues in favor of romance.

ACT II — Some months later Alfredo and Violetta are living in a country house near Paris, where he praises their contentment. But when the maid, Annina, reveals that Violetta has pawned her jewels to keep the house, Alfredo leaves for the city to settle matters at his own cost. Violetta comes looking for him and finds an invitation from Flora to a party that night. Violetta has no intention of going back to her old life, but trouble intrudes with the appearance of Alfredo’s father. Though impressed by Violetta’s ladylike manners, he demands she renounce his son: the scandal of Alfredo’s affair with her has threatened his daughter’s engagement. Violetta says she cannot, but Germont eventually convinces her. Alone, the desolate woman sends a message of acceptance to Flora and begins a farewell note to Alfredo. He enters suddenly, surprising her, and she can barely control herself as she reminds him of how deeply she loves him before rushing out. Now a servant hands Alfredo her farewell note as Germont returns to console his son with reminders of family life in Provence. But Alfredo, seeing Flora’s invitation, suspects Violetta has thrown him over for another lover. Furious, he determines to confront her at the party.

At her soirée that evening, Flora learns from the Marquis that Violetta and Alfredo have parted, then clears the floor for the entertainment. Soon Alfredo strides in, making bitter comments about love and gambling recklessly at cards. Violetta has arrived with Baron Douphol, who challenges Alfredo to a game and loses a small fortune to him. Everyone goes in to supper, but Violetta has asked Alfredo to see her. Fearful of the Baron’s anger, she wants Alfredo to leave, but he misunderstands her apprehension and demands that she admit she loves Douphol. Crushed, she pretends she does. Now Alfredo calls in the others, denounces his former love and hurls his winnings at her feet. Germont enters in time to see this and denounces his son’s behavior. The guests rebuke Alfredo and Douphol challenges him to a duel.

ACT III — In Violetta’s bedroom six months later, Dr. Grenvil tells Annina that her mistress has not long to live: tuberculosis has claimed her. Alone, Violetta rereads a letter from Germont saying the Baron was only wounded in his duel with Alfredo, who knows all and is on his way to beg her pardon. But Violetta senses it is too late. Paris is celebrating Mardi Gras and, after revelers pass outside, Annina rushes in to announce Alfredo. The lovers ecstatically plan to leave Paris forever. Germont enters with the doctor before Violetta is seized with a last resurgence of strength. Feeling life return, she staggers and falls dead at her lover’s feet.

Courtesy of Opera News