Music and Vision homepage Jenna Orkin: Writer Wannabe Seeks Brush With Death - From the heights of greatness (the Juilliard School; musicians Rosalyn Tureck and Nadia Boulanger) via way-ward paths to the depths of wickedness these reminiscences will entertain and enlighten.

 

<<  -- 3 --  Robert Anderson    AN EXCITING PERFORMANCE

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Sub-Parisian society is again at the dance, this time in the salon of Flora Bervoix, who has invited both Violetta and Alfredo, in apparent ignorance that they have split up [watch and listen -- 'Avrem lieta' (Act 2 Scene 2), chapter 26, 74:36-75:43]. Alfredo has become a reckless gambler, and almost comes to blows with Baron Douphol, on whose arm Violetta makes her entrance. When alone for a moment, he pleads with her, but she keeps faith with his father and rejects him in favour of the Baron. She is indeed a prostitute then, and he hurls at her feet the evening's winnings as payment for pleasures past. Violetta is stricken, and consternation could not be more general [watch and listen -- 'Alfredo, Alfredo, di questo core' (Act 2 Scene 2), chapter 32, 91:02-92:52].

Eva Mei as Violetta, stricken, with the cast of 'La Traviata'. DVD screenshot © 2005 Zurich Opera House
Eva Mei as Violetta, stricken, with the cast of 'La Traviata'. DVD screenshot © 2005 Zurich Opera House

Alfredo has fled France after a duel with the Baron, and Violetta's vitality is gradually ebbing away, as she lies confined to her bed. Giorgio Germont has come to realise the worth and devotion of the woman who might after all have been a possible daughter-in-law. Alfredo returns to learn from his father the genuinely altruistic nature of Violetta's behaviour. Both men hasten to her deathbed, from which she attempts vainly to rise. It is too late for all of them [watch and listen -- 'Prendi quest' è l'immagine' (Act 3), chapter 45, 123:12-124:35].

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Copyright © 31 May 2006 Robert Anderson, London UK

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'Elgar and Chivalry' by Robert Anderson - available now from Elgar.org