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How did Paris and its musical landscape influence Verdi's La traviata? In this book, Emilio Sala re-examines La traviata in the cultural context of the French capital in the mid-nineteenth century. Verdi arrived in Paris in 1847 and stayed for almost two years: there, he began his relationship with Giuseppina Strepponi and assiduously attended performances at the popular theatres, whose plays made frequent use of incidental music to intensify emotion and render certain dramatic moments memorable to the audience. It is in one of these popular theatres that Verdi probably witnessed one of the first performances of Dumas fils' La Dame aux camelias, which became hugely successful in 1852. Making use of primary source material, including unpublished musical works, journal articles and rare documents and images, Sala's close examination of the incidental music of La Dame aux camelias - and its musical context - offers an invaluable interpretation of La traviata's modernity.