The Lady of the Camellias

Ballet by John Neumeier after Alexandre Dumas fils

The Lady of the Camellias

Ballet by John Neumeier after Alexandre Dumas fils
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Revival
The Lady of the Camellias
Wed 16. Jan
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Sun 20. Jan
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Thu 24. Jan
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Sat 26. Jan
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Sun 3. Feb / aft
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Sun 3. Feb / eve
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Tue 5. Feb
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Sat 13. Apr
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Fri 19. Apr
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Sun 21. Apr / aft
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Sun 21. Apr / eve
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Sat 27. Apr
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Thu 25. July
Opernhaus
https://www.stuttgarter-ballett.de/ Stuttgarter Ballett Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

The Lady of the Camellias
Fri 26. July
Opernhaus
Further dates
The Lady of the Camellias
Choreography and Production
John Neumeier
Music
Frédéric Chopin
Sets and Costumes
Jürgen Rose
World Premiere
4. November 1978, Stuttgarter Ballett
Conductor
James Tuggle
Staatsorchester Stuttgart
On January 16th, 2019, Stuttgart Ballet will revive John Neumeier's The Lady of the Camellias in celebration of the 40th anniversary of this beloved work.

Neumeier created the three act work for Marcia Haydée and the Stuttgart Ballet in the fall of 1978, based on Alexandre Dumas fils' famous 19th century novel. Since then it has entered the repertory of many other companies including the Bolshoi Ballet, the Ballet of the Paris Opera and American Ballet Theatre.

Marguerite Gautier – called the Lady of the Camellias – is one of the most famous female protagonists in world literature. Dumas based his character on the real life courtesan Marie Duplessis (1824 - 1847), whose charm, intelligence, discretion and beauty made her one of the most sought after courtesans of her time. Dumas’ novel traces her tragic story, focusing on her love affair with Armand Duval, a young man from a good family. After a visit from Armand's father, Marguerite sacrifices her one true love for the benefit of Armands's reputation and his future. Soon afterward she dies of tuberculosis at the age of 23, alone and impoverished.

John Neumeier's The Lady of the Camellias was a milestone in the history of the Stuttgart Ballet. Set to evocative and romantic music by Frederic Chopin - a contemporary of Duplessis who frequented the same salons she did and died of the same dreadful disease – the work also features sparse sets and, in contrast, lush costumes by Juergen Rose. With masterful dramaturgy, a clear plot and choreography which includes some of the most beautiful pas de deux in 20th century ballet, Neumeier's The Lady of the Camellias is and remains one of the jewels of the Stuttgart Ballet's repertory.

Synopsis

Prologue
The furnishings of a luxurious apartment are being examined by an auctioneer after the death of the owner. As he estimates their worth and prospective bidders inspect various items, Nanina, a loyal servant girl, bids the place farewell. Among those inspecting the items is Monsieur Duval, whose son Armand rushes in frantically. Armand appears on the verge of collapse as he looks around the familiar rooms and realizes what is happening. As Monsieur Duval comforts him, Armand tells his  father his story:
I. Act
Armand’s memories carry him back to the Théâtre de Variétés , to a performance of the ballet Manon Lescaut, the famous story of a courtesan torn between love and her desire for luxury. In the audience is Marguerite Gauthier, herself one of Paris’ most beautiful courtesans; Armand is introduced to Marguerite at the ballet. He has previously admired her from afar, but has never before had the opportunity to make her acquaintance. He follows the performance with heightened interest, detecting similarities between himself and des Grieux, Manon’s faithful lover, whose sorrowful fate Armand is briefly afraid of sharing. Marguerite also observes the performance closely; although she feels a bond with the heroine, she refuses to see Manon as a mirror image of herself,

After the performance, Marguerite invites Armand’s friend Gaston and the courtesan Prudence to her apartment, along with Marguerite’s escort Count N., whom she finds wearisome. Armand comes along as well, and Marguerite uses him to tease the young Count. Count N. leaves in a fit of jealousy. Marguerite, who is suffering from consumption, begins coughing, and retires to another room alone. Armand follows her and offers help; overwhelmed by her presence, he confesses his love. Marguerite is sceptical and at first resists, then is won over.

Nonetheless, Marguerite continues to lead her usual live, hastening from one ball to another, from one admirer to the next, from the old Duke to the young Count. Armand waits for her, even following her to the country, where the Duke has arranged an idyllic house for Marguerite to recover her health.
II. Act
Even in the country, Marguerite continues her extravagant life at the Duke’s expense. When the inevitable confrontation between Armand and the Duke occurs, Marguerite publicly acknowledges Armand as her lover, deciding against wealth and security. Outraged, the Duke departs the gathering, leaving Marguerite and Armand alone to begin their new life together.

The thought of this happiness, now forever lost, causes Armand to lose his composure again. His father is deeply shaken, and recalls his part in the story:

Upon learning of his son’s living arrangements, Monsieur Duval seeks out Marguerite in the country when Armand is away. He demands that Marguerite leave his son, for the good of  the family name and for the sake of Armand’s future. With great reluctance, Marguerite agrees to this sacrifice. She returns to Paris and plunges desperately back into her former lifestyle.

Upon Armand’s return to the country, he finds the house deserted. Nanina brings him a letter from Marguerite, in which she tells him she has left him and returned to her former life in Paris. Disbelieving, Armand hastens there. After walking throughout the night, he arrives at her Paris apartment to find her in the arms of another man.
III. Act
Some time later, Marguerite and Armand accidentally meet on the Champs Elysées. Marguerite is there with another beautiful courtesan, Olympia, to whom Armand immediately makes overtures. To have his revenge on the woman who has so deeply hurt him, Armand begins a very public an affair with Olympia.

The now deathly ill Marguerite seeks out Armand and begs him not to hurt her so needlessly. Despite their hurt, the two are briefly reunited. But the nightmarish vision of Manon plagues Marguerite in her sleep and she awakens with a renewed determination to keep her promise to Monsieur Duval. In despair, Marguerite again leaves Armand.

At a grand ball shortly thereafter, Armand publicly offends Marguerite by handing her money as payment for past services. Marguerite collapses.

Armand has reached the end of his story. His father, who has listened attentively, leaves, deeply moved. Nanina returns and gives Marguerite’s diary to Armand. He begins to read, learning of Marguerite’s painful end and her abiding love for him:

On Marguerite’s last visit to the Théâtre de Variétés, the performance is once again Manon Lescaut. Marguerite see the last act: impoverished and exiled to America, Manon is exhausted by her flight. She dies in the arms of her faithful lover des Grieux, who has followed her into exile. Marguerite leaves the theatre sick and in despair. The ballet characters force themselves into her feverish dreams and blend with her own hopes and memories. Deserted by her former friends and longing to see Armand once again, Marguerite confides her fears and longings to her diary, which she then passes on to Nanina for Armand.

Alone and impoverished, Marguerite dies.