Introducing... La traviata: Behind the Curtain

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The second production in our Behind the Curtain series, La traviata: Behind the Curtain takes an expansive look at the historical, social, and even medical context of Verdi’s masterwork.



Things to look out for

While the first Behind the Curtain installment used Mozart’s Don Giovanni as a springboard to explore the inner workings of the operatic form, this time we focus on the world in which La traviata was created.

Why did the theme of the fallen woman resonate so profoundly with audiences of the 1840s? And what has kept it in the top rankings of the world’s most performed and beloved operas for the 170 years since its premiere?

Our search for answers to these and other questions will take us on a surprising journey: one that leads us from the enthralling rhythms of Spanish dance via the neurological effects of watching Verdi to the surprising origins of the paper hanky.


Photo: Clive Barda


Audience reaction – Don Giovanni: Behind the Curtain (2016)

‘Wouldn’t change anything – one of the best things we’ve ever attended at Glyndebourne. Would thoroughly recommend – exceptional value and incredibly well put together. Bravo.’

‘Brilliantly innovative and exciting! Must See!’

‘Opera curious? Opera geek? No matter, Don Giovanni was educational and entertaining. Get a ticket if you can.’



Photo: Clive Barda

Frequently asked questions

Is it a pre-performance talk?

No, absolutely not. La traviata: Behind the Curtain is a theatrical event exploring the magic of opera live on stage. Audiences old and new will have the chance to experience La traviata from an entirely different perspective.

Is it a performance?

Yes. We’ll have soloists, chorus, and an orchestra as well as key production elements of Glyndebourne’s La traviata. Imagine being able to pause a live opera and ask a question or explore how a singer interacts with the orchestra.

Will it make sense if we haven’t seen La traviata before?

Even if La traviata is brand new to you, over the course of the evening we’ll tell you everything you need to know to enjoy the performance. The event is not a reduced or simplified version of Verdi’s opera however – it is a complete theatrical event in itself.

Will there be an orchestra?

Behind the Curtain will feature a small orchestra who will help to illustrate how La traviata’s lush soundscape is created.


​Dates for your diary

La traviata: Behind the Curtain is on stage at Glyndebourne on 1 November.

Booking for Glyndebourne performances opens to Tour Members on Monday 23 April. Find out more about becoming a Tour Member.

Public booking opens on Monday 4 June.

Booking for performances at these venues is now open:

Canterbury – 8 November
Norwich – 15 November
Woking – 21 November
Milton Keynes – 29 November