La Traviata is a well-known opera throughout the world. Even people who have not seen it will recognise the song ‘Brindisi’ immediately. Verdi’s heart-breaking opera about ‘the fallen woman’, meaning La Traviata, tells the story of a woman finding love, without expecting it. Merely to be thrown into a turmoil of emotions, honour, betrayals and misunderstandings. This up and down of emotions is portrayed through astonishing music.

The beautiful courtesan Violetta has an exciting city life full of parties and several suiters, granting her a luxurious lifestyle. The young Alfredo Germont, from the countryside, has been in love for her since he has seen her for the first time and was checking up on her every day during her period of sickness without her noticing. Although Violetta does not want to fall in love and have an actual relationship with someone she cannot stop herself of falling for Alfredo after he devotes himself totally to her. Once they confess their love are happy and move away from their former party friends to a countryside estate. But money runs out and both try to handle it themselves without telling the other one. And while they try to sort out their life to stay together Alfredo’s father shows up demanding the biggest sacrifice from Violetta, to leave Alfredo forever. A lot of broken hearts, misunderstandings, revenge attempts and horrible twists of fate are the basis of this emotional story perfect for an opera.

The Scottish Opera selected a talented cast that managed to fill their challenging roles perfectly. Especially, Gulnara Shafigullina, playing Violetta Valery, and Stephen Gadd, as Giorgio Germont, mesmerized the audience with their performance. It is the perfect combination of acting and singing skills that define the high standard.

The performance itself was done very traditionally, including the stage decoration and the costumes. No effort was taken in giving it a modern or new twist. This is a shame as the well-known opera and story would profit from at least a few small updates. Obviously, first time viewers might appreciate the traditional setting, which has been done beautifully, but this cast could have managed to take a risk and be a bit more experimental and creative.

All in all, this performance of La Traviata promises a great night out with excellent music and cast. In addition to this it offers a short trip back in time to a dramatic, fictional love story in France.

Verdi’s gripping and heart-breaking opera La Traviata, full of twists and misunderstandings, will be performed at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh:

Wed 15, Sun 19, Tue 21, Thu 23 & Sat 25 November, Evenings 7.15pm (not Sun) Matinee Sun 3pm.

For more details please take a look at

It will be also performed in Glasgow at the Theatre Royal 28th November – 2nd December. Further information can be found here: