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"La Traviata" (1853) - Tragic Opera by Giuseppe Verdi, Based on La Dame aux Camélias


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3 minutes ago, Mark Slater said:

It would have been helpful if the author actually described some of the singing. There are some very beautiful and difficult arias in this opera. Starting in the first few minutes. 

or the high, divided strings, which are a metaphor for sickness, and appear both in the overture and the opening of the final act.

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19 minutes ago, Mark Slater said:

Don, Traviata is the Waltz opera. All the great scenes are socred in 3 

All the *dance* scenes are scored in 3. The Preludio - which foreshadows the entire tragedy - is scored in 4.The wonderful drinking song, occurring immediately afterwards, is scored in 3.

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2 hours ago, Mark Slater said:

They should like it. Its exciting music right from the start.

Just remember the Preludio (the orchestral piece before the curtain rises) vs. the opening of the final act (the conductor takes the bow just before this) - they're the two-most dramatically important things in the opera. In the former, the high-divided strings signal Violetta's frailty before living; in the latter, they signal Violetta's frailty before, well ...

(This has always been my own personal theory, so I'm genuinely curious what you think.)

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7 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Just remember the Preludio (the orchestral piece before the curtain rises) vs. the opening of the final act (the conductor takes the bow just before this) - they're the two-most dramatically important things in the opera. In the former, the high-divided strings signal Violetta's frailty before living; in the latter, they signal Violetta's frailty before, well ...

(This has always been my own personal theory, so I'm genuinely curious what you think.)

Actually my favorite part of the opera, aside from the last act is the gambling scene in the 3rd act when the clarinets shift into ominous F minor. I love that part. I always have trouble deciding which is the greater masterpiece,  Traviata, Rigoletto or Trovatore. 

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6 minutes ago, Mark Slater said:

Actually my favorite part of the opera, aside from the last act is the gambling scene in the 3rd act when the clarinets shift into ominous F minor. I love that part. 

What do you think of the opening drinking song? (Right after the curtain rises in Act 1?) I think that's one of the most joyous moments of any opera I've seen.

It fits into your 3/4-waltz theory, too. I also believe it's one of the most 180-degree transitions in the entire genre, as it makes you completely forget the timid theme that occurred just before it.

These nuances aren't something that Eric's kids will take away, but I'll bet they remember that buoyant drinking song (before falling asleep about an hour later).

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We went to the last performance by the Washington National Opera.  We had seats in the very last row and luckily no one sat directly in front of us so the kids can see the stage (although I had to crane my neck to read the subtitles).  They enjoyed the opera while I snoozed thru the 2nd Act (what happens when I imbibe at brunch and then had more Moet & Chandon before the start).

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