Highlights from La Traviata


This month, the Richmond Symphony has been spending a lot of time in the orchestra pit performing La Traviata with Virginia Opera. Beyond the obvious vocal acrobatics, Giuseppe Verdi’s score is full of musical drama and characterization. The introspective orchestral Prelude to Act 1 foreshadows the tragedy which follows. Soon after the curtain goes up, we hear one of opera’s most recognizable drinking songs, Libiam ne lieti calici.  

The plot of La Traviata centers around the emotionally lost Violetta, a courtesan who is recovering from illness. The young nobleman, Alfredo falls in love with Violetta, but his father Giorgio attempts to prevent the relationship. In the final scene, as Violetta is dying of tuberculosis, Giorgio realizes his error in judgement, but it’s too late.

Here is the final scene, sung by Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón, and Thomas Hampson in a 2005 performance at the Salzburg Festival. At 2:02:18 Violetta furiously laments the unfairness of her impending early death. At 2:05:47 we hear an ominous funeral march:

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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