Let's drink . . .
Rodolfo, like Alfredo, yearns for a deeper love beyond the partying. Carmen shares Violetta's view that love is fleeting. Everyone else is happy to drink!
Let’s drink! For wine
gives greater passion to love’s kisses.
Let's take our pleasure
in a night of wine and song and laughter;
let the new day continue in this paradise.
La traviata (The Fallen Woman) by Giuseppe Verdi is based on a play adapted from the 1848 novel by Alexandre Dumas. The opera was originally titled Violetta, after the main character.
Alfredo Germont has long adored society courtesan Violetta Valéry from afar. At a party she hosts he gives a toast – a rousing drinking song – but Violetta is then overcome by a fainting fit. Alfredo stays with her, offering to protect her as her lover. Violetta laughs off his passionate declarations; she must be free to enjoy herself.
Violetta and Alfredo leave Paris for the countryside but their happiness is short-lived. Alfredo’s father, Germont, arrives unexpectedly, asking her to leave his son, to spare the family the shame of this connection with a courtesan. She agrees, asking only that, one day, Germont reveals her sacrifice to Alfredo.
Violetta returns to her old life in Paris and a liaison with her former lover, Baron Douphol. Alfredo encounters them at a party and tensions rise. In the final act, Violetta is dying of consumption. Alfredo now knows of her sacrifice and arrives to beg her forgiveness. Caught in the moment, the lovers plan a happy future together. But Violetta’s new-found strength is fleeting; she suddenly collapses and dies.