The Lady of the Camellias

opera in two acts

music by Giuseppe Verdi

1 hour 55 minutes
1 act
40 min
interval 30 min
2 act
45 min
for viewers over 12 years old
performed in Italian (with Russian surtitles)

In his first opera production, Vladimir Kekhman presents his own original interpretation of the famous The Lady of the Camellias. The action unfolds in the first half of the 20th century  an era of great upheavals and great art.

The Lady of the Camellias at the Mikhailovsky Theatre is the life story of a Russian ballerina who is forced to choose between the stage and her feelings. Marguerite has lived for ballet since she was a child, but the terrifying events of 1917 force her to leave Petersburg. However, when she leaves Russia the ballerina finds the luxurious villa in Capri is a golden cage, and that as the years go by her energy and talent go with them... What can a woman do when she is left without love, and most importantly without the stage?..

St Petersburg, the Imperial Theatre Academy. Young Marguerite hands in a letter of recommendation to the renowned philanthropist Baron Douphol. Impressed by the abilities of the girl, Baron starts patronising her.

From a promising student Marguerite turns into a talented ballerina. She has many admirers, but her only love is ballet. Nevertheless, Armand, who is in love with Marguerite, succeeds in getting her attention.

After the revolution, Baron Douphol persuades his protégé to leave Russia and move to Europe. Armand follows Marguerite, and they settle at the Barons villa on the island of Capri. With no chance to dance, Marguerite tries to find comfort in love, but still dreams of returning to the stage.

Armands family disapproves of his relationship with Marguerite. Georges Duval, Armands father, comes to Capri to persuade Marguerite to end the relationship for the sake of his familys reputation. Baron Douphol overhears this conversation and advises Marguerite to leave Armand.

Time passes. Baron Douphol puts on a gala in Monte Carlo in Marguerites honour. After the performance, Armand insults Marguerite in public, throwing money in her face. Baron cannot help interfering.

Baron Douphol and Marguerite return to Capri: she can forget about the stage, Armand is no longer around... Baron reads the letter that marked the beginning of the story. Marguerite takes the first independent decision in her life  to remain free forever...

Premiere of the production: 8 February 2024

Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave after the play La dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils

  • Stage version of the librettoVladimir Kekhman
  • Stage DirectorVladimir Kekhman
  • DirectorYulia Prokhorova
  • Stage and Costume DesignerVyacheslav Okunev
  • Musical Director of the productionAlexander Soloviev
  • Lighting DesignerValentin Bakoyan
  • ChoreographerAlexander Omar
  • Music revised byVladimir Kekhman and Alexander Soloviev
  • VideocontentVadim Dulenko
  • Principal Chorus MasterValentin Bogdanov
  • Principal PianistNatalia Dudik
  • PianistsMaria Kopyseva, Marc Vayner

The performance features music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Jean Sibelius

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