La traviata

Welcome to the
La traviata Educational Resources page!

Meet Violetta.

Verdi’s tragic heroine takes center stage in one of the most frequently performed operas of all time – La traviata.

Violetta Valery, a courtesan who knows she will soon die, falls in love with the handsome Alfredo, but – as often happens in opera – their happiness cannot last. Soprano Marina Costa-Jackson, who took first place in 2015 in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions, takes the stage as Violetta. American tenor Scott Quinn will make his Austin Opera debut as Alfredo.  Michael Chioldi performs the pivotal role of Alfredo’s father, Giorgio.

Austin Opera’s production will be sung in Italian, with English supertitles.
Parent Info: The production includes some hugging and kissing and one death.

The ACCESS OPERA: La traviata dress rehearsal is scheduled for Thursday, April 26, 7:00 PM.  Registration for tickets to this event begins Monday, February 26, 2018.  Go to the K-12 Education page to register!

LA TRAVIATA: At a Glance

A great introduction to the opera, which includes some musical and video excerpts. – La traviata


La traviata

In conjunction with Austin Opera’s upcoming production of La traviata, students in Central Texas are invited to share their artistic talents and flare for couture by participating in our STUDENT COSTUME DESIGN PROJECT.  We want to see how YOU would dress up to attend VIOLETTA’S party in La traviata.

Student costume creations will be displayed at the Long Center during the ACCESS OPERA dress rehearsal for La traviata and on our Austin Opera website and social media pages.

3 EASY STEPS to creating and sharing your COSTUME DESIGN

  1. Go to the La traviata Educational Resources page and learn about wardrobe and costumes in opera.

    * Watch videos of Austin Opera wardrobe staff and artists sharing backstage insights into the world of costumes.

    * Look at pictures of costumes from all three of this year’s Austin Opera productions and use the ACTIVITY PAGE: A Closer Look – Costumes to better understand the various approaches to creating costumes and outfitting an opera production.

    AUSTIN, TX – NOVEMBER 9, 2017 – Carmen by Georges Bizet. Austin Opera
    AUSTIN, TX – JANUARY 26, 2018 – Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss. Austin Opera

    POWERPOINT of COSTUME PHOTOS for AUSTIN OPERA Season 2017-2018 (Coming soon!)

    ACTIVITY PAGE: A Closer Look – Costumes (Coming soon!)

  2. Create an original costume that could be worn by a character at Violetta’s Party in ACT 1 of La traviata. 

    You can select whatever artistic medium you choose to present your creation.  Here are a few options to consider:

    * drawing or painting
    Examples here by Eric Teague, costume designer for Austin Opera’s Ariadne auf Naxos.

    * smaller scaled costume modeled on a mannequin – Check out these party dresses made with tissue paper!

    * Photograph or short video of life-size costume
    IMPORTANT!  In order for us to share a photo or video of students under the age of 18, we would need a signed photo release (available below) for the student pictured, or we would have to crop the photo to eliminate the face.
    Photo Release Form

  3. Share your creation with Austin Opera

    * Bring your original costume creation (drawing, mannequin, etc.) to the Long Center the evening of ACCESS OPERA La traviata, Thursday, April 26th. Drop it off at the Concierge Table in the main lobby.

    * Wear your costume to the Long Center the evening of ACCESS OPERA La traviata, Thursday, April 26th.                  Stop by at the Concierge Table in the main lobby to have your photo taken!

    * Post a photo or video of your costume creation on social media and TAG Austin Opera Education!

TWITTER – @AustinOperaEd and @AustinOpera
INSTAGRAM – austinopera
FACEBOOK– austinopera
Hashtags: #AcessOpera #AustinOperaEDU #AustinOpera.

* Email a photo of your costume creation to

QUESTIONS?  Need more info about our COSTUME PROJECT? Email


Go to the GETTING TO KNOW OPERA page to learn basics about opera, opera history and voice types.


A great introduction to the opera, which includes some musical and video excerpts. – La traviata

GUISEPPE VERDI (1813-1901)

“I adore art… when I am alone with my notes, my heart pounds and the tears stream from my eyes, and my emotion and my joys are too much to bear.” – Verdi

Richard Strauss Biography – Opera 101

An extensive biography of Giuseppe Verdi with audio/visual excerpts

Giuseppe Verdi – from Wikipedia

Giuseppe Verdi – website

Giuseppe Verdi – Encyclopedia Britannica


Metropolitan Opera Study Guide

This study guide has a lot of great activities and information.  Some specific pages of interest:
Page 6                  Who’s Who Chart for characters in La traviata
Page 8 & 9          Historical timeline of significant events that occurred during Verdi’s lifetime
Page 10-13          Classroom Activity (High School) – Courtesans and City Life in the 19th Century
*This is an in depth lesson that addresses the subject of Violetta’s occupation and
compares historical and contemporary opportunities for women in society
** Page 25          What Would You Do? Activity Sheet for this lesson
** Page 26-30    Historical Readings to go with lesson and Response Questions

Page 19               Ten Essential Musical Terms – a great list of musical terms and definitions associated with

Canadian Opera Study Guide

Boston Lyric Opera Study Guide

Lyric Opera of Kansas City Study Guide
This study guide provides a good explanation of the institution of the courtesan.  Here is an excerpt:

“Before we continue, an explanation of the institution of the courtesan is in order. Courtesans were not simply prostitutes or even high-class call girls. While they did provide sexual favors for those men who were wealthy enough to afford their services, they were well-educated women who were valued as much for their sophistication and intellectual gifts as they were for their beauty and physical companionship. And unlike the women who have figured so prominently in recent sex scandals in the United States, they enjoyed open relationships with their male companions. In an era where upper-class women were denied higher education, they served an important function. In fact, some even charged for conversation alone.”

Other useful information in this study guide includes:

Pages 7-16 Provide a very detailed plot outline, with references to important arias and musical events.
Pages 18-22 A nice biography of Giuseppe Verdi
Pages 23-24 Background information on Dumas (novel writer) and Piave (librettist)


Austin Opera Patron Services
512-610-7684; Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm

Long Center Box Office Hours
Monday-Friday:10 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm
Sunday: open during scheduled performances

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