Volksbühne Berlin am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Die Kameliendame

adapted from Alexandre Dumas

It’s better to give away all of your heart than all of your money. Why should that be true? If you give away your heart, it is still yours. If you give away all of your money, it is gone. Love is not supposed to cost anything, at least not in our cultural contexts. Money would besmirch love’s purity, taint it forever, because it is a matter of the heart, isn’t it? At least from a sentimental (or was it bureaucratic?) point of view.
In the world of courtesan Marguerite Gautier, also known as the Lady of the Camellias, there is no such thing as cheap love worth the money, it is only given away at high costs, being pure luxury – or ruin. However, selling prospects alone do not guarantee commercial success. Something else is needed, something which defies economic calculation. Call it “luck in love”, and Marguerite, - played by actress Sophie Rois – is certainly blessed with it. It is not avarice or excessive business acumen that triggers her greed for money, but sheer cultic extravagance. She feels absolutely free to ruin her gallants and admirers, because lovers like to pay dearly: as you love, so you pay. Marguerite Gautier applies this principle to her own love life, too, and this is what makes her love so valuable, so different and precious. Her ‘I love you’-s are vouched for by hard cash, not by any emotions. The memoirs of the famous Parisian courtesan celebrate love as a luxurious, ecstatic and lustful business transaction. In today’s world, sincere love and love for money are strictly separated. But isn’t love a truly precious good and therefore ruinously expensive?


With: Hendrik Arnst, Jean Chaize, Zazie de Paris, Sophie Rois, Kai-Ingo Rudolph and Hans Schenker

Choir: Frank Backmeister, Frank Bauszus, Lothar Butszies, Berthold Kogut, Maxime Martinot, Manfred Meier, Reinhard Schmidt, Bernhard Schumann, Helge Witt
Orchestra: Michael Wilhelmi, Young-Eun Hur, Kirsten Harms, Emmanuelle Bernard, Chang-Yun Yoo, Augustin Maurs, Tilmann Dehnhard, Freyja Gunnlaugsdóttir

Director: Clemens Schönborn
Costumes: Nina Kroschinske
Music: Michael Wilhelmi
Light Design: Torsten König
Dramaturgy: Ralf Fiedler

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