Sunday, October 3, 2010

happy birthday Giuseppe Verdi

This week being Verdi's birthday I thought we'd celebrate by chosing an opera, but since we are celebrating Halloween too it, needed to be tragic.

When I was 16 years old, I went to see my first opera, La Traviata by Guiseppe Verdi. I was horribly under-dressed. I sat in the very back, in the cheap seats, but in a middle row chair and got to see the wide stage view of the performance.

The story line is based on famed French writer Alexander Dumas' play La dame aux Camélias. It is the story of a fallen woman, a courtesan Violetta, the object of affection of a young nobleman and a Baron. She falls in love with the young nobleman, Alfredo, and abandons her professional life for the peace in the country with her lover.

Of, course the tranquility doesn't last long. Alfredo's father comes to Violetta and begs her to end the relationship with his son in order to save the engagement of his chaste and noble daughter. Violetta agrees and writes Alfredo to end their affair. Later they have a very public and very nasty encounter, with neither revealing the whole truth. The scene ends with Violetta fainting on the floor, Alfredo having a bit of a tantrum, and an eventual duel between Alfredo and the Baron.

Violetta had been ill earlier, with her tuberculosis now worsening after the breakup,leaving her bed-ridden. Alfredo's father writes to let her know that the Baron was only slightly injured and at this point also tells Alfredo of Violetta's sacrifice for his sister. Alfredo goes to visit Violetta but she is deathly ill. The lovers are shortly reunited, Alfredo's father comes to express his sorrow at his interference, but it is too late, and Violetta dies in
Alfredo's arms.

It is a terribly tragic opera, and completely beautiful; a very noble excuse for a good cry.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Follie! Follie!" - composed by Giuseppe Verdi, performed by Anna Netrebko & Rolando Villazón (playing on PLAYLIST)

No comments:

Post a Comment