cover of book

La traviata: Melodramma in Three Acts, Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
by Giuseppe Verdi
edited by Fabrizio Della Seta
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Cloth: 978-0-226-85316-1
Library of Congress Classification M3.V48 1983 ser. I, vol. 19

Now one of Verdi's most beloved works, La traviata was initially far from a success. Verdi declared its 1853 premiere a "fiasco," and later reworked parts of five pieces in the first two acts, retaining the original setting for the rest. The first performance of the new version in 1854 was a tremendous success, and the opera was quickly taken up by theaters around the world.

This critical edition presents the 1854 version as the main score, and also makes available for the first time in full score the original 1853 settings of the revised pieces. For this edition Fabrizio della Seta used not only the composer's autograph and many secondary sources, but also Verdi's previously unknown sketches. These sketches helped corroborate the original readings and illuminate the work's compositional stages. The editor's wide-ranging introduction traces the opera's genesis, sources, performance history and practices, and a detailed critical commentary discusses source problems and ambiguities.

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