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KAY JAMIESON (LA TRAVIATA)

I was stage manager of main seasons, devisor/director of Showtime and coordinator of the community program for WA Opera from late 1985  (Die Fledermaus) till end of 1987 (La Traviata). As a third year WAAPA stage management student I did my secondment on Nabucco in early 1985.  It was October or November 1987 I think. La Traviata was to be my last with the company.  I was moving on to other adventures. Violetta was played by Jennifer McGregor, Alfredo by Glenn Winslade and directed by Tom Lingwood. One night during the season I called the standbys for Act II, Scene (i). We began.  Alfredo and Annina converse…

ALFREDO

Annina, where have you come from?

ANNINA

From Paris.

ALFREDO

Who sent you?

ANNINA

My mistress.

ALFREDO

Why?

ANNINA

To take the horses, the carriages,and whatever else is hers.

ALFREDO

What is this!

ANNINA

It is very expensive, living here all alone.

ALFREDO

What are you hiding from me?

ANNINA

I was sworn to silence.

ALFREDO

Sworn! Tell me, how much is needed?

ANNINA

A thousand louis

ALFREDO

Go now – I shall go to Paris. Madam must know nothing of our talk. I can still take care of everything.

(He leaves. Soon Violetta enters with various papers in her hand. She speaks with Annina.)

VIOLETTA

Alfredo?

ANNINA

He has just left for Paris.

VIOLETTA

When will he come back?

ANNINA

Before evening.

He asked me to tell you.

VIOLETTA

How strange!

At this point Giuseppe should enter, with a letter.  He didn’t. Jennifer as Violetta paced back and forth, fiddled with the papers on her desk, read them, discarded them. Read them again. Looked distracted. Meanwhile I was calling said Giuseppe URGENTLY to the stage over the tannoy. The assistant stage manager left side of stage to search for him.  Suddenly the stage left door flew open stage. The sound of running could be heard – even out in the auditorium. The footsteps thundered up stage right, across the back of the set upstage and back downstage right. And suddenly Giuseppe ran into Violetta’s drawing room, panting and holding out the letter.

VIOLETTA (snatching it from his hand)

Ah – a letter!  In a few minutes a man is coming on business. Show him in immediately.

Applause and laughter erupted from the auditorium! Brava Jennifer!

 

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