La Traviata - Love Death and Divas on BBC Two, Saturday 20th June, 9.00pm
La Traviata is the world’s most popular opera. But its London premiere in 1856 was denounced for promoting ‘the poetry of the brothel’ and unleashing uncomfortable truths on Victorian society. Historian Amanda Vickery and Radio 3 presenter Tom Service reveal the story behind the La Traviata’s first night in London and its scandalous heroine, the courtesan Violetta Valéry whose dramatic life and tragic death were based on real-life events. Amanda and Tom examine how its premiere marked an historic moment in social history and defined the role of the opera diva forever. Scenes from Verdi’s masterpiece have been specially recreated for the film with Opera North alongside stunning location photography in Venice, Milan, Paris and London.