Fallen Women

"The obsession of 19th century music, literature and the visual arts with she who has strayed from the path – (the literal translation of La traviata) – may have embodied a degree of hypocrisy, but it also inspired some of the most heartfelt musical expression of human sympathy. The hypocrisy lies in permitting the audience the titillation of watching a woman behaving badly for three acts on the condition that she points up the moral by dying miserably in the fourth. The males in the audience in 19th century Paris were not above visiting such women themselves, but they still demanded that their wives and daughters were presented with an elevating moral lesson."

David Pountney

Read Germaine Greer's article on our Fallen Women season