LA Opera Talks | La Traviata by Larry Verdugo
L.A. Opera Community Educator, Larry Verdugo, shares an interactive presentation of Verdi’s La Traviata.
Experience the glamour and romance of Verdi’s essential opera.
In the face of certain death, a beautiful courtesan dedicates her remaining days to decadent pleasures, dazzling parties and wealthy admirers. But when a devoted suitor declares his true love, she must pay for the sins of her past with a heart-breaking sacrifice. With soaring arias and passionate duets performed against an exquisitely beautiful background updated to the Art Deco era, this is quintessential Verdi: emotionally devastating and deeply, unforgettably human.
Dumas’ fictional heroine was based on the author’s semi-autobiographical love affair with a courtesan who served as the novel’s historical model: Marie Duplessis, a woman with a history of poverty and illiteracy but also one with a personal strength, keen intelligence, beauty and sharp business acumen that allowed her to emerge as one of the most notable Parisian courtesan of the 1840’s. Tragically, she was burdened with a then deadly disease and scourge of the era, consumption or tuberculosis.
Blending excerpts from Verdi’s story of love and sacrifice with Duplessis’ history and the classic film “Camille” starring the legendary Greta Garbo, “La Traviata” is the only one of the composer’s 35 operas that was based on a contemporary tale, one whose story remains immediate and heartbreaking, moving audiences since the work’s premier over 150 years ago.