If the elder generation could offer but one piece of advice to the younger set, it would be this: No one ever found happiness in shacking up with a whore. Well, not lasting happiness, anyway. Violetta is what the grandparents called a courtesan, and she's very good at her profession. Alfredo is a young nobleman besotted with Violetta's beauty and charm, and in short order he whisks her away from Paris and the life of kept women for a more honest existence in the country. But Giorgio, Alfredo's father, comes calling one day to plead with Violetta to leave his son; Giorgio's daughter is getting married soon, and the marriage is imperiled by Violetta's past. What's a woman in love to do — and why has her nagging cough returned at such an inopportune time? Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata is a tale of spectacularly romantic love blended with tragedy. Winter Opera Saint Louis presents La Traviata at 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday (February 18 and 20) at the Saint Louis Woman's Club (4600 Lindell Boulevard; 314-865-0038 or www.winteroperastl.org). Tickets are $35 to $150.
Fri., Feb. 18; Sun., Feb. 20, 2011