La traviata

By Giuseppe Verdi

ISBN: 9780714544090

84 pages

RRP: £8.00

In this guide, Julian Budden reviews the difficulties that faced the management that had commissioned La traviata and how, in some previously unpublished letters, Verdi fought their views on casting the leading lady. Denis Arnold contributes a musical commentary. April FitzLyon discusses the social background of the “lady of the camellias” in fact, fiction and on the stage, and Nicholas John compares the libretto with the play to show how skilfully it was adapted for the operatic stage.

Contents: Introduction, Nicholas John; Verdi and the Singers for ‘La Traviata’, Julian Budden; La Traviata: from Real Life to Opera, Denis Arnold; Alexandre Dumas the Younger and ‘La Dame aux camélias’, April FitzLyon; An Introduction to the Libretto, Nicholas John; La traviata: Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave; La traviata: English Translation by Edmund Tracey

For a full list of Calder Opera Guides in association with English National Opera click here



  • All these will provide the new opera-goer with food for thought.’

    Daily Telegraph

  • Brilliantly produced and superb value.

    The Sunday Times

  • Wholehearted recommendation of this valuable new series.


Giuseppe Verdi

Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) is one of Italy’s most celebrated opera composers. His best-known operas include Rigoletto, Il trovatore, La traviata and Aida.