The most lyrical Verdi’s work is La traviata based on the novel The Lady of the Camellias
The title La traviata means literally The Fallen Woman, or perhaps more figuratively, The Woman Who Goes Astray.
The title character of the play is Marguerite Gautier, who is based on Marie Duplessis, the real-life lover of author Dumas, fils. Duplessis was both a popular courtesan and the hostess of a salon, where politicians, writers, and artists gathered for socializing. Alexandre Dumas, père allegedly insisted on his son splitting up with Duplessis: and when he returned to Paris, she had already died of consumption.
Since its debut as a play, numerous editions have been performed at theatres around the world. Giuseppe Verdi attended the Paris première of the play and soon turned to composing the opera. When Dumas, fils heard La traviata, he said: “Nobody would have remembered my Lady of the Camellias in 50 years but for Verdi, who made it immortal”. The production of the Mikhailovsky Theatre is one of the most elegant treatments of the opera.
Running time — 2 hours 30 minutes
Tickets cost — 500 - 3500 roubles