Tag Archives: La Traviata

The finality in their voices: death, disease, and palliation in opera

Lea C. Dacy Eelco F. M. Wijdicks Rochester, Minnesota, United States   Figure 1: Violetta’s deathbed in La Traviata, from 2009 Glimmerglass Opera production directed by Sir Jonathan Miller. Photo by Richard Termine, used with his permission. I know she had tuberculosis! She was coughing her brains out . . . but still she kept […]

Ladies in red: medical and metaphorical reflections on La Traviata

Milad Matta Gregory Rutecki Lyndhurst, Ohio, United States   Illustration by Jason Malmberg. “. . . phthisic beauty[’s] . . . most famous operatic embodiment was Violetta Valery . . .This physical type became not only fashionable but sexy . . . When a society does not understand—and cannot control—a disease, ground seems to open […]

“Breath of life you’ll be to me” – the portrayal of tuberculosis in the opera La Traviata

Judith Wagner Munich, Germany   Maria Callas in La Traviata The white half-round of the stage is illuminated with an eerie blue light. The only prop is a large clock on the right-hand side. A dark figure is seated beside it. The door on the left opens and the heroine – clad all in red […]