Author(s): Canan ÖZGÜR
The operas La Traviata by Verdi and La Boheme by Puccini both depict Parisian female protagonists’ love stories entwined by a deathly disease, tuberculosis. In this paper, these operas are compared in terms of the composers’ point of views about life, especially love and death, about how they handle these two issues with different characters and perspectives. It can be concluded that they both make their audiences feel the pain of the characters deeply, thus the operas resemble each other in case of the emotions depicted. However, their methods of presenting these emotions differ ideologically. In Puccini’s world, life is simple, unexpected and random; while it is more complicated and special for Verdi. Being more serious, La Traviata uses romanticism and drama, in contrast to La Boheme which addresses simplicity and realism via the elements of Verismo. In La Boheme, the Bohemian life style is praised and emphasized while materialistic world is depicted to be meaningless. La Traviata takes place in luxurious environments with elitist high class society instead of poor and dirty neighborhoods of ordinary and low class people. Nonetheless, showing different perspectives of life, both La Traviata and La Boheme give the audience artistic joy and musical satisfaction, emotionally dragged by the love stories combined with the inevitable reality of death.