By Giuseppe Verdi
Composed in 1853
La Traviata was first performed in 1853. One of Verdi’s most famous operas, it tells the story of a doomed love affair between a young and beautiful girl of dubious reputation and a young man from the proper social circles. The Prelude to Act III opens with a high ethereal melody played by divided violins. Its foreboding tone and mood set the stage for the opera’s tragic conclusion.