MB Opera, La Traviata, 2018, Photo - R. Tinker (5) copy.jpg

SYNOPSIS

The plot of La Traviata in a minute

Violetta is a beloved Parisian courtesan who suffers from a life-threatening illness. When she meets a man named Alfredo, the two fall deeply in love and move to the countryside together. One day, Alfredo’s father Germont visits Violetta and asks her to break up with his son to preserve their family’s reputation. She reluctantly agrees and ends the relationship without giving Alfredo a reason, which leaves him devastated. But in Violetta’s final days, Germont is overcome with guilt and tells his son to go reunite with his true love. Alfredo and Violetta are able to spend just a few moments together before Violetta succumbs to her illness.

Detailed synopsis

ACT I

Violetta Valéry, a famous Parisian courtesan, throws a party at her house to celebrate the pleasures of life. Her friend Gastone introduces her to Alfredo, a man who has apparently been asking about Violetta every day. Knowing that he is a romantic, the party guests ask Alfredo to propose a toast.

Just as everyone is beginning to enjoy themselves, Violetta feels faint and tells her guests to carry on partying in the next room. They all leave, except for Alfredo, who stays behind and expresses his love to Violetta. She feels awkward and rejects him at first, having never truly been in love herself. But Alfredo’s sincere words make her curious about the possibility of finding love —  Violetta hands him a flower as a parting gift, asking him to return when it wilts. 

Alone, Violetta wonders what life might be like if she allowed herself to fall for Alfredo. Could she give up her freedom and lavish lifestyle to settle down with a man?

ACT II

Three months later

Violetta and Alfredo are living together at a mansion in the countryside, away from the glitz and glamour of Paris that she has left behind. Annina, Violetta’s maid, reveals to Alfredo that Violetta has been selling her belongings to pay for this mansion. Alfredo feels humiliated and leaves for Paris immediately to settle their debt.

While Alfredo is away, Violetta gets a surprise visit from his father Germont, who is angry that his son had run away with a courtesan. Germont asks Violetta to break up with Alfredo because the relationship was destroying their family’s reputation. He reveals that Alfredo’s sister’s fiancé was threatening to end their engagement if Alfredo continued to be seen with Violetta.

Violetta is torn. At first, she refuses to even consider leaving Alfredo. But Germont appeals to her humanity, begging her to let his son go. She eventually agrees. Germont softens and thanks Violetta for making such a difficult but noble decision. She asks for only one thing in return — that Alfredo should learn about her sacrifice after she has died. 

Violetta flees the mansion and returns to Paris, saying goodbye to Alfredo with a letter. As he reads it in disbelief, Germont arrives to comfort his son. Soon Alfredo’s heartbreak gives way to jealousy and he decides to track down Violetta in Paris.

At a masked ball, Violetta arrives as the Baron’s date and Alfredo sees them together. He angrily begins a game of cards and challenges the Baron, and ends up winning a hefty sum. Once everyone has left, Alfredo confronts Violetta about her feelings for the Baron. She says she loves him. In a frenzy, Alfredo yells that he doesn’t owe Violetta anything, and starts throwing money at her.

Germont enters, having witnessed this entire scene, and scolds his son for such disgraceful behaviour towards a woman. Alfredo instantly regrets his actions.

ACT III

Violetta is extremely sick. She calls on her friend Dr. Grenvil for comfort. He reassures her, but tells Annina that she has only a few hours left to live.

Violetta receives a letter from Germont, in which he confesses to telling Alfredo the truth about her sacrifice. Both father and son are on their way to see Violetta, but she worries they might not make it in time.

Sounds of celebration are heard as Alfredo arrives. Violetta welcomes him back with open arms and the two dream of a bright and happy future together. But their euphoria is short-lived as Violetta once again feels the pain of her sickness. 

A remorseful Germont enters and embraces Violetta as his own daughter. Finally at peace and surrounded by the people she loves, Violetta dies.