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Scene 1: Party attrib. Gastone, a viscount , has brought with him a friend, Alfredo Germont, a young bourgeois from a provincial family who has long adored Violetta from afar. While walking to the salon, Gastone tells Violetta that Alfredo loves her, and that while she was ill, he came to her house every day.
From the next room, the sound of the orchestra is heard and the guests move there to dance. After a series of severe coughs and almost fainting, Violetta begins to feel dizzy and asks her guests to go ahead and to leave her to rest until she recovers. While the guests dance in the next room, Violetta looks at her pale face in her mirror. At first, she rejects him because his love means nothing to her, but there is something about Alfredo that touches her heart.
He is about to leave when she gives him a flower, telling him to return it when it has wilted, which will be the very next day. See media help. But she concludes that she needs freedom to live her life Violetta, Alfredo: Sempre libera — "Always free". Violetta has fallen in love with Alfredo and she has completely abandoned her former life. Annina, the maid, arrives from Paris, and, when questioned by Alfredo, tells him that she went there to sell the horses, carriages and everything owned by Violetta to support their country lifestyle.
Alfredo is shocked to learn this and leaves for Paris immediately to settle matters himself. Violetta returns home and receives an invitation from her friend, Flora, to a party in Paris that evening. She responds that she cannot end the relationship because she loves him so much, but Giorgio pleads with her for the sake of his family. In a gesture of gratitude for her kindness and sacrifice, Giorgio kisses her forehead before leaving her weeping alone.
Violetta gives a note to Annina to send to Flora accepting the party invitation and, as she is writing a farewell letter to Alfredo, he enters. Before rushing out and setting off for Paris, she hands the farewell letter to her servant to give to Alfredo. Alfredo suspects that the Baron is behind his separation with Violetta, and the party invitation, which he finds on the desk, strengthens his suspicions.
He decides to confront Violetta at the party. Giorgio tries to stop Alfredo, but he rushes out. She calls for the entertainers to perform for the guests Chorus: Noi siamo zingarelle venute da lontano — "We are gypsy girls who have come from afar"; Di Madride noi siam mattadori — "We are matadors from Madrid".
Violetta arrives with Baron Douphol. They see Alfredo at the gambling table. When he sees them, Alfredo loudly proclaims that he will take Violetta home with him. Feeling annoyed, the Baron goes to the gambling table and joins him in a game. As they bet, Alfredo wins some large sums until Flora announces that supper is ready. Alfredo leaves with handfuls of money. As everyone is leaving the room, Violetta has asked Alfredo to see her. Alfredo misunderstands her apprehension and demands that she admit that she loves the Baron.
In grief, she makes that admission and, furiously, Alfredo calls the guests to witness what he has to say Questa donna conoscete? He humiliates and denounces Violetta in front of the guests and then throws his winnings at her feet in payment for her services. She faints onto the floor.
The guests reprimand Alfredo: Di donne ignobile insultatore, di qua allontanati, ne desti orror! Grenvil tells Annina that Violetta will not live long since her tuberculosis has worsened.
He has informed Alfredo of the sacrifice she has made for him and his sister; and he is sending his son to see her as quickly as possible to ask for her forgiveness. But Violetta senses it is too late Violetta: Addio, del passato bei sogni ridenti — "Farewell, lovely, happy dreams of the past". The lovers are reunited and Alfredo suggests that they leave Paris Alfredo, Violetta: Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo — "We will leave Paris, O beloved". But it is too late: she knows her time is up Alfredo, Violetta: Gran Dio!
After singing a duet with Alfredo, Violetta suddenly revives, exclaiming that the pain and discomfort have left her.
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