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La traviata, opera in three acts by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (libretto in Italian by Francesco Maria Piave), premiered in Venice at La Fenice opera house on March 6, 1853. Based upon the 1852 play by Alexandre Dumas fils (La Dame aux camélias), the opera marked a large step forward for Verdi in his quest to express dramatic ideas in music.
La traviata means “the fallen woman” or “the one who goes astray” and refers to the main character, Violetta Valéry, a courtesan. Ranking high on the list of opera favorites, Verdi’s work features some of the most challenging and revered music in the entire soprano repertoire.