The legendary production of the St. Petersburg Opera brings the time of Verdi’s masterpiece to the modern world.
The novel of Alexandre Dumas fils La Dame aux Camélias and the work of the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi are well known to the public. The St. Petersburg Opera once again offers a version of an opera work, rethinking it, placing its own accents. As before, I am concerned with the topic of human relationships. In the play, I touched upon the problem that has swept through modern society – love for sale. There are many stage versions where the plot of La traviata is lost in balls, candles, crinolines. My attitude to all this is more prosaic, because behind all the external beauty lies loneliness, the pain of an abandoned woman who sells her body. I bare the situation to the limit, without hiding it behind the glitter of crystal and gilding. After all, you can sell yourself at social gatherings, or you can sell yourself on the panel, which in most cases happens. My play is a story about a simple girl and an attempt to escape from hopeless everyday life, a terrible life. Violetta’s dream collides with a reality that in reality turns out to be more cruel and cynical than her real life. An outwardly prosperous world, so alluring and unattainable, is mired in the prostitution of human relations. An attempt to touch this world turns into a nightmare-phantasmagoria ...
We will never know if it was only a fantasy of the girl Violetta, inspired by the reading of A. Dumas, or her personal life coincided with the life story of the character of Dumas. The main thing is that both these characters in the production and the novel, like all women at all times, dream of love, the only love that leads through life, gives strength, faith and hope.
Violetta Valéry lives in a whirlwind of light entertainment and fleeting connections. Thanks to her rich admirer, Barone Douphol, she gets to a secular party. Violetta meets a young, attractive, talented Alfredo Germont, whose favor many ladies seek. Violetta’s immediacy attracts Alfredo. He declares his love for her, but Violetta does not believe in serious feelings. Nevertheless, mutual sympathy arises. Violetta’s constant companions and loyal friends – Annina and her strange friend bring her back to everyday life here, at the traffic light, waiting for clients. Love already sounds in Violetta’s soul, Alfredo’s voice sounds.
It has been three months since Violetta broke free from the terrible embrace of her former life and happily lives with Alfredo far from Paris.
In the absence of Alfredo, his father, Giorgio Germont, arrives. Germont the father persuades Violetta to break up with Alfredo. In vain she refers to her sincere love, but Giorgio’s arguments are stronger. He fears for the future of his children, daughter and son. Violetta is forced to agree and make the greatest sacrifice that a loving heart can make. She makes a promise to break up with Alfredo. Both Violetta and Alfredo understand that they have nothing to answer their father to his weighty arguments. Violetta leaves, sending Alfredo a farewell letter with Annina’s friend. Attempts by Germont the father to return his son to the bosom of the family are unsuccessful. Alfredo unexpectedly finds, in Violetta’s thrown robe, an invitation to Flora’s ball. He decides to take revenge on Violetta.
Paris at night has gone mad in a whirlwind of masquerade. Alfred appears at Flora’s ball. Barone Douphol brings Violetta here. Alfredo is lucky at the gambling table. Barone Douphol comes into play, and the duel between the two men continues over the cards. Having won Violetta in life, Douphol loses at cards to Alfredo. Inviting guests to dinner interrupts Alfredo and Douphol’s play.
Violetta, seizing the moment, runs away from the baron, begs Alfredo to leave the ball and leave immediately. She is alarmed and does not say something. One thing is clear – Alfredo is in danger. Alfredo sets a condition: he and Violetta will leave together. Alfredo does not know that Violetta is bound by the promise given to his father. She refuses. In a rage at a party, he throws money in Violetta’s face: “I am crying to this woman!”
At this moment, Germont the father appears at the ball. He reproaches his son for an ignoble and tough act, but does not reveal Violetta’s painful secret, her self-sacrifice. Violetta loses consciousness.
Everything in Violetta’s mind was confused. Was it a fantasy or did it really happen? Life and carnival are mixed. Where are the people, where are the masks, it is no longer clear. Dottore Grenvil appeared from the masquerade... Annina rushed off to the carnival... A man in the guise of a bull flashed... Alfredo appears, now he knows the whole truth from his father. Violetta and Alfredo are happy again. But Violetta suddenly loses strength. The glamor intensifies – the ghosts of a former dissolute life haunt her. The cycle of brides who have come down from the windows of the wedding salon is slowly cutting off the world around Violetta. Everything disappears in a strange way. Violetta is alone again...
The leading soloists of the St. Petersburg Opera present a concert of opera arias performed to the accompaniment of harp and fantasies on themes from famous operas.
The famous opera by Puccini is interpreted as a story about the tragic contradiction between the dream and the prose of existence.