The fascinating subject of fallen women is the theme of Welsh National Opera’s spring season at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday (March 15).
Three operas – La Traviata, Manon Lescaut and Boulevard Solitude – follow the stories of three women whose different paths in life lead them astray.
And covering topics as diverse as human trafficking, exploitation and a world of glamour and capitalism, the works are as modern and relevant today as when they were written.
WNO’s new production of Puccini’s breakthrough hit and first great opera Manon Lescaut tells the tale of an impressionable young woman who wanted it all and charts her rapid descent from innocent to criminal with feverish intensity.
Boulevard Solitude by Hans Werner Henze is the composer’s 1950 update of the Manon story in a heady musical cocktail of jazz, 19th Century opera and 20th Century style, set in European society after the war.
Completing the trilogy is Verdi’s tearjerker La Traviata – which means ‘she who has strayed from the path.’
With its elegant sets and beautiful music, the opera displays an attack on hypcrisy while celebrating compassion, love and self sacrifice.
The audience is titillated by watching a woman behaving badly for three acts, then dying miserably in the fourth – a reflection on 19th Century Paris when men were not above visiting such women themselves, but demanded their wives and daughters were presented with an elevating moral lesson at the theatre.
More information is available at www.wno.org.uk/fallenwomen
> Call the Box Office on 0844 871 7652.