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Venice, at the Teatro La Fenice 'La dame aux camélias' by the great choreographer John Neumeier, on stage the Hamburg Ballet
John Neumeier will receive the 2023 "A Life in Music" award, the award will be presented to him on the occasion of the premiere of the ballet
Organized by: La Fenice Theater Foundation

La Fenice Theater Foundation Presents

“ Season 2022 -23 ”
It is a masterpiece of contemporary choreography, La Dame aux Camélias of John Neumeier, the ballet that will be staged at Phoenix of Venice from 18 to 22 January 2023: an unmissable appointment with great dance, presented by Hamburg Ballet, the company directed since its inception by the famous American choreographer, which this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of its foundation.

The show, of which John Neumeier signature choreography and direction, makes use of the sets and costumes curated by Jürgen Rose and the light design of Francois Menou. Live music will be performed byLa Fenice Theater Orchestra, under the musical direction of Markus Lehtinen, and with Michael Bialk piano soloist. Five performances scheduled at the Teatro La Fenice on 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 January 2023.

Created in 1978 for the Stuttgart Ballet, La Dame aux Camélias (The lady of the camellias) develops in three acts on the music of Frederic Chopin, and testifies to the poetic sensitivity of Neumeier, a reference choreographer and extraordinary innovator of the genre of dramatic ballet. The plot is inspired by the famous novel by Alexandre Dumas fils, published in 1848, whose story was a literary source of Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi. Neumeier is loosely based on the tragic story of the protagonist Marguerite Gautier and her lover Armand Duval, mirroring it in turn in the love story of another couple, belonging to the previous century, that of Manon Lescaut and the Cavalier Des Grieux.

"I knew The lady of the camellias as an opera, a theater piece and a film with Greta Garbo – reads the hall notes signed by the choreographer John Neumeier -. For me, opera and play are too compressed. I find almost more important what happens between one act and another. And the strongest scenes are found only in the novel, Armand's relationship with Olympia, from which we see how a man can be so hurt that his love can turn into the exact opposite. How, in loving another woman, he only wants to hurt himself. Then I think of the incredible scene in which Marguerite goes once again to Armand, after he has humiliated her with her new mistress. He comes and says, “Please don't do this,” and they are once again in a crazy act of love. After that she leaves him. I find it completely inconceivable that Verdi did not set this touching situation to music».


In the same days, a John Neumeier will be assigned Life in Music Award 2023: the award ceremony of the thirty-fifth edition of the prestigious award will take place on the occasion of the première of the ballet, on Wednesday 18 January.
Venice, at the Teatro La Fenice 'La dame aux camélias' by the great choreographer John Neumeier, on stage the Hamburg Ballet

Other information of interest

John Neumeier, born in 1939 in Milwaukee (Wisconsin), trained in Copenhagen and at the Royal Ballet School in London. In the 1963 John Cranko invites him to join the Stuttgart Ballet, where he becomes a soloist and continues his choreographic experience. Appointed Director of Frankfurt Ballet in 1969, immediately makes a sensation with his innovative interpretations of famous ballets such as The Nutcracker is Romeo and Juliet.

In 1973 John Neumeier is brought in to direct the Hamburg Ballet, which under his guidance quickly rises to a reference company, first for the German scene, and then internationally, thanks also to the numerous tours. The Hamburg Ballet is today considered one of the most important ballet companies in the world, and is also one of Germany's leading cultural ambassadors.

Master in combining the tradition of classical ballet with contemporary forms in a unique and very personal choreographic language, John Neumeier he was awarded the highest honors: the German Federal Cross of Merit, the title of knight of the French Legion of Honor and the Japanese Kyoto Prize for his achievements in the fields of art and philosophy.

  (John Neumeier, photocredit Kiran West)


choreography and direction John Neumeier

sets and costumes Jürgen Rose
light design François Menou

Hamburg Ballet
Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice
director Markus Lehtinen
piano Michael Bialk


La Dame aux Camélias
choreography John Neumeier

from the novel of the same name by Alexandre Dumas fils
music by Frédéric Chopin


18 January 2023 at 7 pm "before"
performances on 19 (19), 20 (19), 21 (15.30), 22 (15.30) January

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