The tragic but doomed love of Marguerite and Armand, recounted so passionately in La Dame Aux Camellias, became one of the great love stories from its first publication in 1848. The title role of the consumptive heroine and her ultimate sacrifice inspired actresses from Sarah Bernhardt to Greta Garbo - and Giuseppe Verdi to write La Traviata. In this sound dramatization, the story of passion and conflict is fresh and compelling as when it was first written.
Setting the mood with music, the production unfolds with vignettes - mini-scenes with sound effects, including background and crowd noises, a horse and buggy on cobblestones, just enough to suggest, not too much to be intrusive. The cast is uniformly excellent as the story of the beautiful, dying courtesan and her passionate lover spirals to its inevitable conclusion. Cast members create a large group of convincing characters, and the narrators' descriptions of clothes and rooms and people are wonderfully elegant. Combined with the fine performances and the heartbreaking love story, this is a perfect vehicle for audio. Listeners will savor this film for the ears.
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The Lady of the Camellias
- Debra Shaffer