Entertainment Music English Translation of "Sempre Libera" from Verdi's "La Traviata" Violetta feels the pull of a simpler life Share PINTEREST Email Print Grafissimo/Getty Images Music Classical Music Lyrics Basics Operas Rock Music Pop Music Alternative Music Country Music Folk Music Rap & Hip Hop Rhythm & Blues World Music Punk Music Heavy Metal Jazz Latin Music Oldies Learn More By Aaron Green Music Expert B.A., Classical Music and Opera, Westminster Choir College of Rider University Aaron M. Green is an expert on classical music and music history, with more than 10 years of both solo and ensemble performance experience. our editorial process Aaron Green Updated January 17, 2019 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata," tells the story of courtesan Violetta Valery ("traviata" translates to "fallen woman), who finds love and gives up her free-wheeling lifestyle, only to have her past come back to haunt her. One of the world's most popular operas, "La Traviata" is based on the novel "La Dame aux Camelias" by Alexandre Dumas, fils. It premiered in Venice in 1853. Opens With a Scene in Violetta's Apartment We open with a scene in Violetta's apartment, as she prepares for a party to celebrate her recovery from a recent illness. The devoted Alfredo, who visited every day to check on her, finally confesses his love. Violetta is touched by his deep affection for her, but frets about giving up the lifestyle she to which she has grown accustomed. She Gives up Her Life as a Courtesan Eventually, Violetta gives up her life as a courtesan to move to the country with Alfredo, even though they have no money (and now, no source of income). His father Giorgio persuades her to leave Alfredo. Their relationship complicates the engagement of Alfredo's sister, as society frowns on her past as a courtesan. Realizes She Has Little Time Left After an ugly scene where he throws his casino winnings at her in front of a crowd of people, Violetta and Alfredo part ways. Her tuberculosis worsens, and she realizes she has little time left. Giorgio tells Alfredo of the sacrifice Violetta made for him and his family, and he writes to her to tell her he is returning to her side. When he arrives, Alfredo finds Violetta on her deathbed, and she dies in his arms. Violetta Sings 'Sempre Libera' The title of this famous aria translates as "always free," and describes how Violetta views her lifestyle. The aria is a showcase for a coloratura soprano (one who performs some vocal enhancements such as trills and runs to the original melody). But throughout her proclamation of freedom and high society, Violetta hears Alfredo singing outside and feels the pull of a simpler life with a man she loves, rather than the demands of her profession. Violetta begins "Sempre Libera" to close out Act I. The Italian Text Violetta:Sempre libera degg´iofolleggiare di gioia in gioia,vo´che scorra il viver miopei sentieri del piacer.Nasca il giorno, o il giorno muoia,sempre lieta ne´ ritrovi,a diletti sempre nuovidee volare il mio pensier Alfredo:Amor è palpito dell´universo intero,misterioso, altero,croce e delizia al cor. Violetta:Oh! Oh! Amore!Follie! Gioir! English Translation Violetta:Free and aimless I frolicFrom joy to joy,Flowing along the surfaceof life's path as I please.As the day is born,Or as the day dies,Happily I turn to the new delightsThat make my spirit soar. Alfredo:Love is a heartbeat throughout the universe,mysterious, altering,the torment and delight of my heart. Violetta:Oh! Oh! Love!Madness! Euphoria!