'The overall impression is of deep, contained sadness rather than histrionic tragedy, and the evening is all the more effective for it'

The Guardian
  • Details

    Violetta gives up every hope of happiness in this heart-wrenching love story. With its world-famous arias, La traviata is the perfect opera to introduce friends and family to Glyndebourne.

    Best availability in August.

    La traviata will receive two runs this Festival featuring different singers in the main roles, and different conductors.

    A story of sacrifice, love and surrender

    Alfredo, a young man from the provinces, falls in love with Violetta, the stylish toast of Paris. But she’s not the marrying kind – at least not until now.

    However, their dreams of domestic bliss are threatened by both a merciless society that condemns Violetta’s racy past and an equally merciless disease.

    Verdi’s most beloved opera

    The age-old ‘tart with a heart’ is a familiar dramatic trope. In versions ranging from an ancient Sanskrit drama through to Greta Garbo’s Camille to the film Moulin Rouge, it has always been a gauge of a society’s ideas about morality.

    Verdi’s version is based on the true story of Marie Duplessis, a Parisian courtesan immortalised by her lover, the author Alexandre Dumas fils. Verdi was powerfully drawn to her story during a time in his career when he focused increasingly on vivid and complex outsiders who push the boundaries of society.

    There’s rarely a dry eye in the house when this poignant tale unfolds through Verdi’s robust, tuneful, full-hearted and full-throated score, laced throughout with melodies as familiar as the story.

    The visual beauty of Tom Cairns’s opulent production aptly echoes the irresistible allure of this beloved opera.

    Sung in Italian with English supertitles.

    Enhance your experience

    Insider talk
    The allure of La traviata – Monday 7 August

    La traviata is generously supported by a Syndicate of Individuals

  • Cast and creative team

    Creative team

    Conductor Stefan Soltesz
    Director Tom Cairns
    Set & costume designer Hildegard Bechtler
    Choreographer Aletta Collins
    Revival choreographer Emily Piercy
    Lighting designer Peter Mumford
    Revival lighting designer Keith Benson
    Video & projection designer Nina Dunn

    London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Leader Pieter Schoeman

    The Glyndebourne Chorus
    Chorus Master Jeremy Bines


    Violetta Valéry Joyce El-Khoury
    Flora Bervoix Rihab Chaieb
    Marchese D’Obigny Daniel Shelvey
    Baron Douphol William Dazeley
    Doctor Grenvil Henry Waddington
    Gastone Gabriele Mangione
    Alfredo Germont Atalla Ayan
    Annina Eliza Safjan
    Giuseppe Anthony Osborne*
    Giorgio Germont Dimitri Platanias
    Messenger James Newby*+
    Flora’s Servant Dominic Sedgwick*
    Actor Mandy Dassa
    Dancers Megan Frances, Soledad de la Hoz, Laura Lorenzi, Gemma Payne, Aurélie Poles

    *Soloist from The Glyndebourne Chorus
    + Jerwood Young Artist 2017

  • Dates and times

    Run One


    Date Start Long interval Finish Price band
    Sun 21 May 4.30pm 5.55pm 8.25pm 1
    Thu 25 May 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 1
    Sun 28 May 4.30pm 5.55pm 8.25pm 1
    Wed 31 May 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 1


    Date Start Long interval Finish Price band
    Sat 3 June 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 1
    Wed 7 June 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 2
    Sat 10 June 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 1
    Mon 12 June 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 2
    Fri 16 June 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 1
    Mon 19 June 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 2

    Run Two


    Date Start Long interval Finish Price band
    Tue 1 August 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 2
    Fri 4 August 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 1
    Mon 7 August 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 2
    Thu 10 August 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 2
    Sat 12 August 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 1
    Tue 15 August 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 2
    Fri 18 August 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 1
    Tue 22 August 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 2
    Fri 25 August 4.45pm 6.10pm 8.40pm 2
    Sun 27 August 4.30pm 5.55pm 8.25pm 2

  • Synopsis

    Act I

    At a party she is hosting, the courtesan Violetta Valéry is introduced to young Alfredo Germont. Violetta suddenly feels ill but assures her guests that she is fine. Alfredo, left alone with Violetta, confesses that he has loved her from afar for a year. She initially dismisses him, but is touched by his sincerity. After Alfredo and the other party guests leave, Violetta reflects on her feelings for him and on what life would be like if she accepted his love. But she cuts short her fantasy and rededicates herself to the pursuit of pleasure.

    Act II / Scene 1

    For three months, Violetta and Alfredo have been living together in the country. Alfredo learns that Violetta has been selling her possessions in order to pay their expenses, so he leaves for Paris to make other financial arrangements. Germont, Alfredo’s father, unexpectedly visits, demanding that Violetta leave Alfredo so that his sister’s impending marriage will not be threatened by scandal. Violetta first objects but finally, in spite of her love for Alfredo, promises to renounce him forever. She writes Alfredo a letter ending their relationship, but before she can depart, Alfredo returns and is confused by her agitated state. After Violetta leaves, he reads her letter. Germont returns and tries to comfort his son, but Alfredo decides to confront Violetta.

    Act II / Scene 2

    At a soirée given by Violetta’s friend Flora Bervoix, the guests are surprised by Alfredo’s arrival. Violetta soon appears with Baron Douphol, her new lover. Alfredo gambles with the gentlemen, pretending not to notice Violetta, who is alarmed by his belligerent behaviour. Fearing for his safety, Violetta begs Alfredo to leave, but he demands that she leave with him. When Violetta refuses, Alfredo summons the other guests and publicly humiliates Violetta. Germont arrives and denounces his son’s behaviour. The Baron challenges Alfredo to a duel.

    Act III

    Violetta is now gravely ill, and Dr Grenvil confides to Annina, her servant, that Violetta will not live much longer. Violetta rereads a letter from Germont informing her that Alfredo fled after wounding the Baron in the duel, but that he now knows of her sacrifice and is hurrying to her side. Alfredo arrives, begging Violetta’s forgiveness. The lovers dream of resuming their life together, but fate intervenes.