The English National Opera’s La Traviata tells the story of the tragic love between the courtesan Violetta and the romantic Alfredo Germont.
‘A toast to the pleasures of life!’ – so sings Violetta in the opening scene of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata. But beneath the surface glamour of Violetta’s Parisian life run darker undercurrents: her doomed love for Alfredo and the tensions the lovers encounter when they break society’s conventions. La Traviata, inspired by Alexandre Dumas fils’s play La Dame Aux Camélias – itself based on the true story of the courtesan Marie Duplessis – is one of the most popular operas, combining drama, profound emotion and wonderful melody.
Played out against the hypocrisy of upper-class fashionable society, Alfredo and Violetta’s love threatens to shame his family. When his father directly appeals to Violetta to relinquish her one chance of happiness, Violetta submits and her act of self-sacrifice leads to her paying the ultimate price.
La Traviata is one of the cornerstones of the operatic repertory. The score is littered with fantastic tunes that are now wildly famous (even to those who don’t know about opera) but beyond that it is the coherence of the whole piece that makes it a masterpiece. The taut plot and vivid characters paired with Verdi’s perfectly attuned music tend to result in few dry eyes by the end of Act III.
In his debut production as ENO Artistic Director, Daniel Kramer directs a production which contrasts spectacular party scenes with tender, intimate moments. Verdi’s masterpiece features one of the most iconic, romantic and tragic scores of all time.
Singing Violetta is outstanding young soprano Claudia Boyle. She is joined by rising tenor Lukhanyo Moyake as Alfredo, in his UK debut. Conductor Leo McFall makes his ENO debut in a production that showcases the award-winning ENO Chorus and Orchestra.
Sung in English, with surtitles projected above the stage.