Based on Alexandre Dumas’s hit play La Dame aux camélias that had opened only the year before in 1852, La Traviata (“The Fallen Woman”) is Giuseppe Verdi’s most immediate opera, set in what was the composer’s “present day”. A touching yet tragic love story, the work is also a forceful indictment of class bigotry and gender prejudice that still resonates today, a story all the more poignant — and credible — at a time when pestilence once again cuts a deadly swathe through society.
Violetta, suffering secretly from tuberculosis, is a Parisian courtesan, what today might be called a high-class escort: independent, beautiful, elegant, charming, witty, but not the sort of woman welcomed into good families. Alfredo falls in love, as does Violetta, the first true love for each of them: they embark on a happy affair that is broken up by the machinations of Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont. Alfredo’s faith is broken, but behaves abominably; even his father is ashamed. Regret comes too late, as Violetta, destitute, (having spent all of her money supporting the gallant but feckless Alfredo) succumbs to the illness that has been plaguing her. She dies in the arms of the now penitent and reconciled father and son.
Often missed in the enjoyment of some of Verdi’s best-known melodies and the subtleties of the characterization and drama. In the humanity and fallibility of its characters — people very much like us — La Traviata is a very realistic opera. This session will focus on some of these dramatic moments and the words, as well as the music, than go along with them.
Fee for the opera talk: HK$200 per person （10% off for DA members and students）
Special Discount for DA MEMBERS for the upcoming performance of La Traviata, produced by Opera Hong Kong on 5-9th October 2022: discount of 20% on all tickets.