Newspaper 24 chasa – “La Dame aux camélias” – again on the stage of the Sofia Opera and Ballet, on 17 February
The last production of the spectacle in Bulgaria was 10 years ago.
The ballet “La Dame aux camélias” is to music by G. Verdi – S. Onsoff, Choreographer and Stage Director – Irene Schneider (Germany), Assistant choreographer – Dmitry Peregudov (Russia), Costume Designer – Stephan Stanisic (Poland), Set Designer – Eberhardt Matthias (Germany).
The spectacle will take place on 17 February, Saturday, at 19:00 h.
At the basis of the plot of the ballet “La Dame aux camélias” is the novel of the same name by Alexandre Dumas (son). It is also at the basis of the libretto of the opera “La traviata” (1853) by Francesco Maria Piave.
In the novel and in the libretto of the opera prototype of the courtesan, who died from tuberculosis, is Marie Duplessis. Verdi knew the beautiful woman, who was among the most highly paid ladies for entertainment in Paris. Among Duplessis’ admirers was also Alexandre Dumas (son). The reason for his rupture with the young lady was Alexandre Dumas (father).
Marie was born in 1824 in the deep French province, in the family of impoverished farmers. Her true name was Alphonsine Plessis. Still a child, she went to Paris and changed her name. She added to it the particle “du” because it showed an aristocratic origin. For a short time, she worked as a dress-maker. At the age of 16, she accepted to be a courtesan. Her popularity was so big that she could easily decide to spend 100 000 francs for one night.
The contemporaries of Duplessis – prominent rich men who had the resources to spend several nights with her, depicted her as an extraordinarily attractive young woman. Tall, with infectious smile and long black hair, with black shining eyes, she attracted also Alexandre Dumas (son). They were introduced to each other in 1844 and in 1845 their relationship ended at the request of the novelist. After that he justified himself that for everything was guilty his father.
Verdi was close to both Dumas. In Paris he got to know Marie because he was attracted by her personality. He didn’t know how to react to the reality that the young lady had tuberculosis. The maestro came back in Italy and asked the librettist Francesco Maria Piave to write him a story about the tragic destiny of the French woman.
Short time before her death in 1847, Duplessis became lover of the composer Ferenc Liszt.
Only Guiseppe Verdi suffered deeply for the gone to waste life of the Parisian woman whom he remembered with an invariable bouquet of white camellias. In himself he accused Dumas for her tragedy and deeply moved he wrote the music for his famous opera “La Traviata”. Every aria in it could be called a hit. The glory of the productions of the opera in Europe went parallel with the success of the novel “La dame aux camélias” which was issued in 1848. During that time, while the belletrist and the composer gained a well-deserved glory, Marie Duplessis died.
The famous courtesan was buried by nuns who laid her body in the graveyard of Montmartre.
The ballet “La Dame aux camélias” is a special stage challenge because of the complexity by the transformation of the characters from an operatic to a ballet stylistic. The ballet has a greater closeness to Duma’s novel. The element of waltz, this amazing dance for two, conquers entirely the spectators in “La Dame aux camélias”. The artistic suggestion is reached also through the play of the ballet, and through the play of the light over huge painted transparent canvases. In the choreography there are quite a lot of supports – impressive for the audience, but very difficult to perform.
In “La Dame aux camélias” participate:
Marta Petkova, Nikola Hadjitanev, Kiril Ivanov, Trifon Mitev, Boryana Petrova, Nikola Arnaudov, Teodor Vodenicharov
Conductor BORIS SPASOV
The duration of the spectacle is 2 h and 10 min, with one interval.