The Choir embodies various groups and moods.
The Zingarelle, joyful and misterious fortunetellers.
The Baccanale, with the bravest Carnival toreros.
But the drama is about to come back.
La Traviata 4/5 – Zingarelle & Matadores
The Choir represents sometimes one, sometimes more groups, each with own personality. In the time of a few scenes, the stage can be full of lights and brightness, only to suddenly change into a darker space of shame and disapproval. This is the drama of Opera made bigger and stronger by contrast of light and hard moments, sounds, lights.
The Zingarelle (literally, the gipsy ladies) are a blend of mistery, fortuntelling, unknown, and folk culture. In Traviata, they barely say anything valuable. For a wider idea of Verdi’s concept, see The Masked Ball.
|Noi siamo zingarelle venute da lontano; d’ognuno sulla mano leggiamo l’avvenir. Se consultiam le stelle null’avvi a noi d’oscuro, e i casi del futuro possiamo altrui predir.||We are gypsies come from afar; the fortunes of all we can read in their hands. When we call upon the stars, nothing is hidden from us, and we can tell you all what the future holds in store|
The Mattatori or toreros have always been a symbol of masculine value, strength, power. The tauromachia (corrida), seen as the power of human subjecting the wild animals and nature, represents the good death, honour, respect. This is a cultural and historical representation only, however.
|Di Madride noi siam mattadori, siamo i prodi del circo dei tori, testé giunti a godere del chiasso che a Parigi si fa pel Bue grasso; è una storia se udire vorrete, quali amanti noi siamo saprete.||We’re matadors, from Madrid, the champions of the bullring. We’ve just arrived to join in the fun of carnival time in Paris; if you’ll hear our story to the end, you’ll know what great lovers we are.|
Quite different is the situation at the end of Act II, where the Choir is made of all the guests at the party. After Alfredo throws his anger to Violetta, he’s judged and blamed by all as a coward.
|Oh, infamia orribile tu commettesti! Un cor sensibile così uccidesti! Di donne ignobile insultatore, di qui allontanati, ne desti orror! Va’, va’, ne desti orror! Di donne ignobile insultator.||Oh, what a terrible thing you have done!|
You have killed a sensitive heart! Ignoble man, to insult a woman so, leave this house at once, you fill us with orror! Go, go, you fill us with horror! Ignoble man, to insult a woman.