Maytime: Brief Synopsis

Famous Opera Diva, Marcia Mornay, recalls her youth~when she was torn between her love for a poor, doomed tenor and her dreams of a career~ to prove that love is more important than fame.

Maytime: Full Synopsis

It is a beautiful May Day in New England, but, for elderly Miss Morrison, it recalls sorrowful memories from years before. Strains of lost love songs run through her mind, as she sits alone in her garden, but her thoughts are interrupted by a young neighbor, Barbara. Barbara is a promising young singer, just offered a contract, but she is torn between her love for her sweetheart and dreams of a career.

Barbara has just left her fiancee and childhood sweetheart, who wants her to be his wife and stay-at-home mother to their children, not a public personality. Barbara, however, wants to be like Marcia Mornay, the world-famous opera diva of fifty years ago, who sang for Emperor Louis Napoleon in Paris, had an opera written just for her by Trentini, and was managed by the rich and famous Nicolai Nazaroff. In her anguish, Barbara is astounded when "Miss Morrison" reveals herself to be none other than Miss Mornay, who proceeds to tell her story in a long flashback sequence . . .

When Marcia had already reached the height of her fame, her manager, Nicolai Nazaroff, proposes marriage to her. Marcia accepts. Not out of love, but because she feels indebted to him for her career.

The very night of their engagement, she sneaks out of her hotel room to take a ride into town. Passing a cafe, she hears a group of students singing and stops to listen to the beautiful tones of their handsome American leader, Paul Allison.

Marcia enters the cafe, and Paul finds himself embarrassed, having just good-naturedly ridiculed opera divas. When Paul learns that Marcia is also American, he persuades her to have Lunch with him the next day, when they reminisce about their homes in America. Paul invites Marcia to go to the May Day fair with him, even if just for one hour, so they part.

At the fair, Marcia and Paul enjoy a beautiful, flower-filled afternoon, their voices joined in the melody of Will You Remember? as they sit under the trees (with flower petals falling about them). They fall madly in love, and Paul proposes; but Marcia refuses, because she knows that it would be the end of her career. The two lovers part in sorrow.

Years pass, and Marcia, now wed to Nazaroff, has a shining career and is world-famous. They travel to New York for Marcia's American debut, where, unknown to her, Paul is waiting to sing the baritone lead. All through rehearsals, Paul and Marcia try to hide their feelings for each other. During the final love scene in the first performance, however, Nazaroff realizes that Marcia is lost to him. In a jealous rage, Nazaroff follows Paul to his apartment and shoots him. Marcia arrives as Paul falls to the ground. He dies in her arms, telling her that the best day in his life was that May Day years before . . .

Elderly Miss Mornay finishes her story with tears in her eyes, telling Barbara that love is far more important than a career. As Barbara goes to her sweetheart, Miss Mornay passes away. As her last breath fades, Paul appears, just as he was on that first May Day so many years ago. They walk down the lane singing Will You Remember?, as flowers fall all around them.