The beauty and anguish of impassioned love
Set to the moving music of Frédéric Chopin, Val Caniparoli’s take on this poignant tale of two hopeful lovers explores both the beauty and anguish of impassioned love. His reputably challenging, yet breathtaking choreography journeys through love and loss in 19th Century Paris where Marguerite, a famous courtesan, and Armand, a young countryman, become entangled in a forbidden affair. The classic story, based on Alexandre Dumas’ famous novel, has inspired many screen and stage adaptations including the film Camille featuring an Oscar nominated performance by Greta Garbo, Baz Luhrmann‘s Moulin Rouge and the popular opera La Traviata. Caniparoli may be familiar to Cincinnati audiences as the choreographer of Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker from 2001-2011, as well as Caprice and Vivace.
Frédéric Chopin, performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Carmon DeLeone featuring three very special guest soloists.
Piano Concerto No. 1, opus 11
Krakowiak, opus 14
Variations on “La ci darem la mano”
Grosse Fantaisie on Polish Themes, opus 13
Andante Spianato and Grand Polonaise, opus 22
Polish Song: “Melancholie”
Michael Chertock is a Telarc recording artist, piano soloist with orchestras world-wide, frequent guest performer with the Boston Pops Orchestra, and Rehearsal Pianist and Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Ballet
Baritone Vocal Soloist Thom Dreeze has appeared with opera companies throughout the USA, including his debut and many subsequent engagements with the Cincinnati Opera. He is a vocal faculty member at Xavier University and is a co-founder of Evans Mirageas Consulting which offers artistic planning for classical music organizations and musicians all around the world.
Soprano Vocal Soloist Lisa Ericksen has appeared several times with Cincinnati Ballet – in “Carmina Burana,” “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and most recently in the “Mozart Requiem.” She has appeared with orchestras and opera companies in eastern and western Europe and the United States. Lisa teaches voice at Northern Kentucky University and also serves as the Chair of the Musical Theater Intensive program for high school students at the UC College-Conservatory Preparatory Department.
Cincinnati Ballet Company Dancers
Set and Costume Design: Robert Glay De La Rose
Repetiteur: Charla Whitely
Lighting Design: Tony Tucci
Friday, October 23, 8:00 pm
Saturday, October 24, 2:00 pm
MARGUERITE, A Courtesan: Maizyalet Velazquez
ARMAND DUVAL, Marguerite’s Lover: James Gilmer
BARON DE VARVILLE, Armand’s Rival: Romel Frometa
NANINE, Marguerite’s Maid: Samantha Nagy-Chow
ST. GAUDINS, A Roué: Zach Grubbs
OLYMPE, St. Gaudins’ Mistress: Sarah Hairston
PRUDENCE, A Milliner & Member of the Demi-Monde: Veronique Frettloehr
GUSTAVE, A Young Lover: Cervilio Amador
NICHETTE, Gustave’s Fiancée: Janessa Touchet
DUVAL SR., Armand’s Father: Daniel Wagner
GASTON, A Playboy: Rodrigo Almarales
MARGUERITE’S SUITORS: James Cunningham, Jonathan Batista
DREAM MARGUERITE: Christina LaForgia
DREAM ARMAND: Khris Santos
Saturday, October 24, 8:00 pm
MARGUERITE, A Courtesan: Abigail Morwood
ARMAND DUVAL, Marguerite’s Lover: Patric Palkens
BARON DE VARVILLE, Armand’s Rival: Daniel Wagner
NANINE, Marguerite’s Maid: Katelyn Somers
ST. GAUDINS, A Roué: James Cunningham
OLYMPE, St. Gaudins’ Mistress: Ana Gallardo
PRUDENCE, A Milliner & Member of the Demi-Monde: Suzette Boyer Webb
GUSTAVE, A Young Lover: Jonathan Batista
NICHETTE, Gustave’s Fiancée: Jacqueline Damico
DUVAL SR., Armand’s Father: Romel Frometa
GASTON, A Playboy: Khris Santos
MARGUERITE’S SUITORS: Jake Casey, Christopher Lingner
DREAM MARGUERITE: Serena Sovdsnes
DREAM ARMAND: Zach Grubbs
Scene 1: Marguerite’s Drawing Room, Paris
Marguerite returns to her apartment with her guests after an evening at the theatre, accompanied by her escort, the Baron de Varville. There are flirtations and camaraderie, liberally sprinkled with bottles of champagne, and the guests dance their enjoyment. Suddenly, the smitten Armand enters escorted by Prudence, an opportunistic ex-courtesan and milliner.
At last Marguerite succumbs to his advances and invites him secretly to her boudoir after the soiree.
Summer, A Country Garden, Auteuil
Marguerite and Armand, in the summer of their love, are joined by guests for a picnic and relaxation away from the heat of Paris. The festivities are interrupted by the sudden and unexpected arrival by the Baron de Varville. He demands the return of Marguerite but is frustrated by her rejection and abruptly leaves as the party continues. The happy day has ended. Dusk is falling when Duval Sr., father of Armand, appears unannounced, asking that Marguerite renounce her love for Armand so that he and his family might continue their lives in social acceptability. The ill Marguerite reluctantly agrees, and sets forth a plan to delude Armand into believing she no longer loves him and wishes to return to her protector, Baron de Varville.
Scene 1: Autumn, Olympe’s Ballroom, Paris
Olympe is giving a grand party to open the Paris social season. There is a great swirl of dancing, with entertainment and frivolity. A weakened Marguerite and the Baron de Varville enter. Armand, the passion of his loss, publicly humiliates Marguerite. The Baron de Varville challenges Armand to a duel; the challenge is accepted.
In the echoes of her mind, Marguerite witnesses the duel of Armand and the Baron. Ill and alone, in her dementia, Marguerite imagines the worst, and envisions the realities and possibilities, the triumph of Olympe, and the realization of her inevitable loss. In her death, she relives the passion of her love and rediscovers her innocence.
Fun Fact: Lady of the Camellias was originally published as a novel by Alexandre Dumas in 1848.
Dumas’ novel not only inspired this ballet, but also the opera La Traviata and over 20 feature films including Moulin Rouge.
Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias premiered with Ballet Florida in 1994.
Cincinnati Ballet’s Behind the Ballet series takes you on stage to see impossible angles of Lady of the Camellias.
Fox 19 interviews James Gilmer and Abigail Morwood about their roles in Lady of the Camellias.
Cincinnati Ballet is pleased to offer Meet the Artists, a pre-performance discussion series where you will have the opportunity to meet select dancers, choreographers and members of the creative team who bring Lady of the Camellias to life.
Why is Alexandre Dumas a familiar name? How much has the ballet changed? Where do camellias grow? We’ve got the answers to all the questions you didn’t even know to ask about Lady of the Camellias in our latest video.
Visit the link below to read what Cincinnati Enquirer has to say.
Val Caniparoli wants you to feel, like any great artist. But that can prove difficult in ballet where words are never spoken, there are no close-ups or computer animated effects…
Val Caniparoli became choreographer for Lady of the Camellias in a way no one would prefer. We sat down to speak with him about his choreography and how the show has changed over the last two decades.
See inside rehearsal for Lady of the Camellias.
Attention music lovers: We put together a Spotify playlist to give you just a taste of what you’ll get to hear live at Lady of the Camellias! Stream it straight from our website.
Val Caniparoli’s versatility has made him one of the most sought after American choreographers in the United States and abroad. He has contributed to the repertories of more than forty dance companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ballet West (resident choreographer 1993-97), Washington Ballet, Israel […]
Lady of the Camellias takes the stage October 23 and 24 at the Aronoff Center with choreography by Val Caniparoli.
“[Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias] soothes the longing that most lovers of classical dance have for the grand story ballets.”
This is a very special ballet…it is a work of striking theatrical power…Desire, passion, bliss, sacrifice, betrayal…
…this is punishingly beautiful choreography, fast and precise and ever-evolving.
…one of the virtues of Caniparoli’s choreography is that it flatters the dancers…this ballet needs to be seen.
Lady of the Camellias Sponsors
William S. Rowe Foundation
Scenic Design Sponsor:
Richard Antoine & Dorothy O’Brien
Mary Ann & John Boorn
Loretta Motz Cook & David Cook
William D. Stenger