La Traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It takes as its basis the novel La dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils, published in 1848. It was first performed at the Teatro la Fenice in Venice, on March 6, 1853. The title 'La traviata' means literally The Woman Who Strayed, or perhaps more figuratively, The Fallen One.
Piave and Verdi wanted to follow Dumas in giving the opera a contemporary setting, but the authorities at La Fenice insisted that it be set in the past. It was some years before the composer's and librettist's original wishes were carried out.
However, the opera has become immensely popular and a staple of the standard operatic repertoire. It is third on Opera America's list of the 20 most-performed operas in North America, behind only Madama Butterfly and La bohème.
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (October 9 or 10, 1813 – January 27, 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of Italian opera in the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture - such as 'La donna è mobile' from Rigoletto, 'Va, pensiero' (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, and 'Libiamo ne' lieti calici' (The Drinking Song) from La Traviata. Although his work was sometimes criticized for using a generally diatonic rather than a chromatic musical idiom and having a tendency toward melodrama, Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition.
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