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An 18th-Century Opera, Supercharged for Our Time

PARIS — The play that became Verdi’s “La Traviata” was, its composer wrote in 1853, “un soggetto dell’epoca”: a story of our times. He bristled when censors insisted that the setting of the opera, with its inflammatory tale of a high-end prostitute’s death from tuberculosis, be shifted from the present …

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