La Traviata - Libretto Traviata Libretto in ¢  La Traviata - Libretto Plot Summary Act I

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  • La Traviata - Libretto Plot Summary Act I Violetta, a consumptive courtesan, falls in love with Alfredo. Act II Scene 1: Alfredo's father convinces Violetta that she must leave him for the honor of the family. Scene 2: Alfredo publicly insults Violetta at a party. The guests are shocked. Act III Violetta dies. Dramatis Personæ Violetta Valéry, a demi-mondaine (Prima donna soprano) Flora Bervoix, her friend and fellow hostess (Mezzo-soprano comprimario) Annina, Violetta's maid (Seconda donna) Alfredo Germont, (Primo tenore) Giorgio Germont, his father (Primo baritono) Gastone, Vicomte de Letorières, friend of Alfred (Tenore comprimario) Barone Douphol, Violetta's protector (Baritono comprimario) Marchese d'Obigny, friend of Flora (Secondo basso) Dottore Grenvil (Basso profundo) Giuseppe, Violetta's servant (Secondo tenore) Un domestico di Flora (Corifeo basso) Un commissario (Corifeo basso) Amici ed amice di Violetta e Flora; piccadori, zingare, servi di Violetta e Flora; maschere [Friends of Violetta and Flora; picadors and gypsies; servants of Violetta and Flora; maskers] Setting: Paris and environs, around 1700 La Traviata Giuseppe Verdi opera in 3 acts, 4 scenes libretto: Francesco Maria Piave after Alexander Dumas Jr. A1-Preludio Prelude A room in Violetta’s house. Violetta is seated on a sofa talking to the Doctor and some other friends, who come and go. Some of the guests turn to meet a group of new arrivals, amongst whom are the baron and Flora, on the arm of the Marquis.

  • ACT 1 A2 - Coro - Dell’invito trascorsa CHORUS It’s long past the time you were invited, You’re late. We’ve been playing cards at Flora’s, Time flies when one is playing. VIOLETTA (going to meet them) Flora, my dear friends, the evening Will be gayer now you’re here, Let’s raise our glasses and enjoy ourselves. FLORA AND THE MARQUIS Can you be so gay? VIOLETTA I must be; I put my faith in pleasure As a cure for all my ills. ALL Yes, pleasure adds zest to life. (Gaston, Vicomte de Letorieres, entering with Alfredo. The servants prepare the table.) GASTON Alfredo Germont, dear lady, Is a great admirer of yours And one of my many valued friends. VIOLETA (giving her hand to Alfredo, who kisses it) Thank you, Viconte, for sharing such a gift. MARQUIS My dear Alfredo! ALFREDO How are you, Marquis? GASTON (to Alfredo) Didn’t I tell you that friendship In this house joins hands with pleasure? (The servants, meanwhile, have laid the supper table.)

  • VIOLETTA (to the servants) Is it ready, now? (The servant nods assent.) Sit down, my dear friends And let’s open our hearts to each other… ALL You say well, for wine is a friend That puts secret sorrow in flight! (they sit down with Violetta between Alfredo and Gaston.) Let’s open our hearts to each other. GASTON (softly, to Violetta) Alfredo thinks of nobody but you VIOLETTA You’re joking GASTON When you were ill He came every day, Enquiring anxiously about you. VIOLETTA Be quiet! I’m nothing to him. GASTON I’m telling you the truth. VIOLETTA (to Alfredo) Is it true? But why should you? I don’t understand. ALFREDO (with a sigh) Yes, it is true. ALFREDO (gallantly) May you be As immortal as she.

  • ALL Let’s drink! GASTON Now, Baron, Can’t find you a verse, a toast To mark this happy moment? (The Baron shakes his head.) (turning to Alfredo) What about you? ALL Yes, yes, a drinking song! ALFREDO The Muse doesn’t smile on me. GASTON Command her, Master! ALFREDO (to Violetta) Would it please you? VIOLETTA Yes. ALFREDO (rising) Yes? You put heart into me. MARQUIS Listen, now… ALL Yes, let’s hear the singer. A3 - Alfredo – Libiamo, ne’ lieti calici ALFREDO Let’s drink from the joyous chalice Where beauty flowers… Let the fleeting hour To pleasure’s intoxication yield. Let’s drink To love’s sweet tremors – To those eyes That pierce the heart.

  • Let’s drink to love – to wine That warms our kisses. ALL Ah! Let’s drink to love – to wine That warms our kisses. VIOLETTA (rising) With you I would share My days of happiness; Everything is folly in this world That does not give us pleasure. Let us enjoy life, For the pleasures of love are swift and fleeting As a flower that lives and dies And can be enjoyed no more. Let’s take our pleasure! While its ardent, Brilliant summons lures us on. ALL Let’s take our pleasure Of wine and Singing and mirth Till the new day Dawns on us as in Paradise VIOLETTA (to Alfredo) Life is just pleasure) ALFREDO (to Violetta) But if one still waits for love… VIOLETTA (to Alfredo) I know nothing of that – don’t tell me … ALFREDO (to Violetta) But there lies my fate. ALL Let’s take our pleasure Of wine and Singing and mirth

  • Till the new day Dawns on this paradise of ours. (Music is heard from other room.) A4 - Tutti – Che e cio? ALL What’s that? VIOLETTA Would you like to dance now? ALL Oh, what a pleasant thought! We all accept. VIOLETTA Let’s go then! (The guests move towards the centre door, but Violetta turns suddenly pale.) Oh! ALL What’s the matter? VIOLETTA Nothing, nothing. (She takes a few steps) ALL Why do you linger? VIOLETTA Let’s go! (She is obliged to sit down.) Oh, heavens! ALL Again! ALFREDO Are you ill? ALL Heavens! What’s the matter? VIOLETTA I’m trembling. (She indicates the other room)

  • But go along. I’ll join you in a moment. ALL If you say so. (They all go into the other room except for Alfredo.) VIOLETTA (Getting up to look at herself in the glass) Oh, how pale I am! (She turns to Alfredo) You here! ALFREDO Do you feel upset? VIOLETTA I’m better now. ALFREDO The way you were going on You’ll kill yourself. You should take more care of your health. VIOLETTA How can I? ALFREDO Oh, if I only had the right, I’d be the most watchful guardian Of your dear life. VIOLETTA What a thing to say! Who cares what happens to me? ALFREDO (ardently) For no one in the world loves you.. VIOLETTA No one? ALFREDO … except me. VIOLETTA (laughing)

  • That’s true! I’d forgotten that grand passion. ALFREDO You laugh! But all the same, you have a heart. VIIOLETTA A heart? Yes, perhaps. Why do you ask? ALFREDO Yes if you had, You wouldn’t make fun of me. VIOLETTA Are you really serious? ALFREDO I wouldn’t deceive you. VIOLETTA Then how long have you loved me? A5 - Alfredo – Un di felice, eterea ALFREDO For more than a year. One happy day You flashed lightly into my life; And since then I lived In tremulous possession Of that unspoken love, The pulse of the whole world, Mysterious, unattainable, The torment and delight of my heart. VIOLETTA If that is true, then leave me. Friendship is all I can offer you. I don’t know how to love, I couldn’t feel so great an emotion. I’m being honest with you – sincere… You should look for someone else, Then you wouldn’t find it hard To forget me. GASTON (appearing at the centre doorway)

  • Well now! What he devil are you up to? VIOLETTA We are taking nonsense. GASTON Ha, ha! Splendid! Go on! VIOLETTA (to Alfredo)So no more about love. Is that a promise? ALFREDO I’ll do as you say, I’ll go. (He turns away.) VIOLETTA So its come to that already! (She takes a flower from her corsage.) Take this flower. ALFREDO Why? VIOLETTA So that you can bring it back to me. ALFREDO (turning back) When? VIOLETTA When it’s withered. ALFREDO You mean…. tomorrow? VIOLETTA Very well, tomorrow. ALFREDO (rapturously taking the flower) I’m happy.. Oh, so happy! VIOLETTA Do you still say you love me?

  • ALFREDO (about to go) How much, how much I love you! I’m happy.. oh, so happy VIOLETTA You’re going? ALFREDO (coming back to kiss her hand) I’ll go now. VIOLETTA Good-bye then. ALFREDO I ask for nothing more. Good-bye. (He goes out.) (All others come in from the ballroom flushed with dancing.) ALL The dawn is breaking in the sky And we must take our leave; Thank you, dear lady For such a splendid party. The town is still a-revelling; Pleasure rolls on its way. In slumber we’ll store up again The zest for further joys. (They got out, right.) A6 - Violetta – E strano! E stano!... Ah! Fors’e lui.. VIOLETTA (alone) How strange it is... how strange! Those words are carved upon my heart! Would true love bring me misfortune? What do you think, o my troubled spirit? No man before kindled a flame like this. Oh, joy… I never knew… To love and be loved! Can I disdain this For a life of sterile pleasure? Was this the man my heart,

  • Alone in a crowd, Delighted many times to paint In vague, mysterious colours? This man so watchful yet retiring, Who haunted my sick-bed And turned my fever Into a burning flame of love! That love, The pulse of the whole world, Mysterious, unattainable, The torment and delight of my heart. It’s madness. It’s empty delirium! A poor, lonely woman Abandoned in this teeming desert They call Paris! What can I hope? What should I do? Enjoy myself? Purge into the vortex Of pleasure and drown there! Enjoy myself! A7 - Violetta – Follie!... Sempre libera VIOLETTA Free and aimless I must flutter From pleasure to pleasure, Skimming the surface Of life’s primrose