An original Italian easy reader by Francesca Colombo
Giuseppe Verdi’s famous opera is here simplifed for learners of Italian (with quotes from the actual libretto!)
Beautiful Violetta enjoys a busy life of friends, parties and luxuries, thanks to the support of a rich, older man. She sees no need for true love, at least until she receives bad news from her doctor, and is introduced to Alfredo…
Why not begin with our ‘easy reader’ ebook before seeking out a recording of the opera on Youtube? It’ll help! Or just use this original Italian reading/listening practice material to add a little variety to your study program.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters (based on the act structure of the opera) to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at pre-intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook, where available, cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them. There’s a space to do that on the order form – where it says Additional information, Order notes (optional). If you forget, or if you have problems downloading the .pdf, don’t worry! Email us at the address on the website and we’ll help. Also, why not check out our FAQ?
Donna K. (verified owner) –
I have never attended an opera, though attending one was on my “bucket list.” . I always thought it would boring. When I tried to listen to the lyrics, I found the task too difficult. However, after reading this story, I have changed my mind. I plan on first watching the opera on YouTube and then seeing it performed. It was beautifully told. I felt like I was watching the story unfold. I always enjoy reading Francesca’s work. She does an exceptional job with historical works of literature, which I adore. This book was a level or two below my target level, so I was able to “devour” it. A pleasure to read
That’s great, Donna! I hope you enjoy whichever Youtube version you watch (there are bound to be several), then maybe you’ll be up to go see it live? So cross something off your bucket list!
David Gordon-Watkins (verified owner) –
La Traviata Review
I recently took delivery of La Traviata, the latest in the Italian Reader Opera series. The reader and authoress of the piece, Francesca Colombo, has an animated and beautifully modulated voice which I find a joy to listen to. She presents her text in a sensible way, starting with an introduction, some technical and contextual detail, and follows this with a brief synopsis of the plot and then lists the Opera’s principal characters. Thus prepared we are ready for curtain up as the story in three acts, subdivided into twenty six scenes, unfolds simultaneously to eye and ear.
With an octogenarian’s eye-view of language learning and having attempted to gain some fluency in a dozen foreign tongues over the intervening years, I find this method of further incentivising language learning most helpful. We are gathered up in the author’s narrative with handy vocabulary, and beneficial exercises to deepen understanding. The opportunity to pause proceedings, review, and repeat, may not be entirely new, even if undreamed of in the old days of chalk on blackboard and dipping ink pen on paper, but it wonderfully enhances our independence as students to choose our time and place of study, frequency and duration.
However, what I most value in this introduction to opera series is the way it will carry us into the very opera hall itself, should we so wish. This transformation from classroom to concert hall, I believe should not be underestimated since, whatever the immediate benefits to mental stimulation, the social interaction which so enhances enjoyment of a thing, is greater still. It came as no surprise to me that the series would be this good since I have nibbled in every corner of the Italian Club’s copious kitchen and expected nothing less. As an A2 grade student scrambling for a foothold on the ascending slope to B1 and perhaps even more significantly, speaking as a Scotsman, I believe this read/listen to be very good value even at full list price. I commend it most highly.
Many thanks for taking the time to leave a review, David, and bravo to you for having overcome the technical challenges involved!
patricia Lenz (verified owner) –
Opera Series: La Traviata plus. I think that each of the readers in the opera series is excellent in the same way; the synopsis captures the sense of each opera and clarifies some of the more complicated parts of the story while recognizing that the singing–the dialogue–is key. Even for seasoned opera goers/fans excerpted selections of dialogue are particularly useful for adding to understanding the whole.
The series presents a dynamic view of each opera its development as well as taking a look at its history. It is definitely worth spending time on, in my opinion.
Many thanks for the feedback, Patricia!
Cynthia Kuiper (verified owner) –
Have long been a Verdi fan so am really loving these opera books (okay, so I knew the stories already, but that’s not really cheating is it?). It’s great to discover I can comprehend something interesting, albeit at ‘my level’ – it feels like a progress reward for my language learning efforts to date. And so much more encouraging than just translating grammar exercises.
Good to hear an opera fan approves, Cynthia! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, too.