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14 March 2018 (Wed), 19:00 World famous Mariinsky Ballet and Opera - established 1783 - Classical Ballet Adolphe Adam "Giselle" (Fantasy ballet in two acts)

Running time: 3 hours 50 minutes (till 22:50)

The performance has 2 intermissions

Schedule for Adolphe Adam "Giselle" (Fantasy ballet in two acts) 2022

Baritone: Vladimir Moroz
Conductor: Pavel Smelkov
Bass: Mikhail Kit
Mezzo soprano: Irina Shishkova
Soprano: Yekaterina Goncharova

Composer: Adolphe Adam
Set Designer: Vyacheslav Okunev
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Choreography: Jules Perrot
Choreography: Jean Coralli
Costume Designer: Vyacheslav Okunev
Ballet company: The Saint-Petersburg State Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre
Libretto: Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges
Libretto: Theophile Gautier
Libretto: Jean Coralli

Orchestra: Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra
Opera company: Mariinsky (Kirov) Opera

lyric opera in 3 acts

Performed in Russian, with synchronised English supertitles

World premiere: 28 June 1841, Theatre de l`Academie Royal de Musique, Paris
Premiere in Russia: 18 December 1842 Bolshoi Theatre

The romantic ballet Giselle premiered in 1841 at the Paris Opera Theatre. It is based on the legend of the ‘villi’ – young girls who were betrayed by their lovers and did not live till their wedding, dying of a broken heart and later turning into vindictive and merciless female spirits; this grizzly tale was given a poetic flair by Heinrich Heine. The librettists Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Theophile Gautier helped turn the legend into a ballet, with music by Adolphe Adam and choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot.

The opening night was a triumph. The ballet became hugely popular among the top theatres across Europe. And ever since then, Giselle has been a constant in the ballet world.

But what is the secret of this unwavering interest? How has this romantic ballet managed to survive for over two hundred years and to pass on into the twenty-first century without ever losing its popularity?

Maybe the answer lies in the depth and ardour of affection that Jules Perrot, the ballet’s choreographer and the main mastermind behind its creation, bore towards his beloved wife and star pupil, Carlotta Grisi, who was the one he staged the ballet for? Maybe that is why Giselle, the fruit of Perrot’s passionate talent and inspiration, conceals a certain magical power that does not fade way with time?

In Saint-Petersburg, the ballet Giselle still retains the choreography of Marius Petipa, who was the first ballet master of the Royal Mariinsky Theatre in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Yacobson Ballet Theatre also follows the same tradition.




Synopsis

 

Act 1

Scene 1: The garden of the Larin country estate
Madame Larina (mezzo-soprano) and the nurse (mezzo-soprano) are sitting outside: her two daughters, Tatyana (soprano) and younger sister Olga (contralto), can be heard from inside the house. A group of peasants sing a comic song about the serenading of a miller’s daughter. Tatyana is reading a romantic novel but her mother tells her that real life is different. Visitors arrive: Olga’s fiancйe Lensky (tenor), a young poet, and his friend Eugene Onegin (baritone), a world-weary St Petersburg ’drawing-room automaton’ (Nabokov). Lensky introduces Onegin to the Larin family. Onegin is initially surprised that Lensky has chosen the extrovert Olga rather than her romantic elder sister. Tatyana for her part is immediately and strongly attracted to Onegin.

Scene 2: Tatyana’s room
Tatyana confesses to her nurse that she is in love. Left alone she writes a letter to Onegin driven by the realization that she is fatally and irreversibly drawn to him (the celebrated ’Letter Scene’). When the old woman returns Tatyana asks her to arrange for the letter to be sent to Onegin.

Scene 3: Another part of the estate
Onegin arrives to see Tatyana and give her his answer to her letter. He explains, not unkindly, that he is not a man who loves easily and is unsuited to marriage. Tatyana is crushed and unable to reply.

Act 2

Scene 1: The ballroom of the Larin house
Tatyana’s name-day party. Onegin is irritated with the country people who gossip about him and Tatyana, and with Lensky for persuading him to come. He decides to revenge himself by dancing and flirting with Olga. Lensky becomes extremely jealous. Olga is insensitive to her fiancй and apparently attracted to Onegin. There is a diversion, while a French neighbour called Monsieur Triquet (tenor) sings some couplets in honour of Tatyana, after which the quarrel becomes more intense. Lensky renounces his friendship with Onegin in front of all the guests, and challenges Onegin to a duel, which the latter is forced, with many misgivings, to accept.

Scene 2: On the banks of a wooded stream, early morning
Lensky is waiting for Onegin, and sings of his uncertain fate and his love for Olga. Onegin arrives. They are both reluctant to go ahead with the duel but lack the power to stop it. Onegin shoots Lensky dead.

Act 3

Scene 1: At a ball in the house of a rich nobleman in St Petersburg
Some years have passed. Onegin reflects on the emptiness of his life and his remorse over the death of Lensky. Prince Gremin (bass) enters with his wife, Tatyana now transformed into a grand, aristocratic beauty. Gremin sings of his great happiness with Tatyana, and introduces Onegin to her. Onegin is deeply impressed by Tatyana, and is fired by a desperate longing to regain her love.

Scene 2: Reception room in Prince Gremin’s house
Tatyana has received a letter from Onegin. Onegin enters and begs for her love and her pity. Tatyana wonders why he is now attracted to her. Is it because of her social position? Onegin is adamant that his passion is real and absolute. Tatyana, moved to tears, reflects how near they once were to happiness but nevertheless asks him to leave. She admits she still loves him, but will remain faithful to her husband. Onegin implores her, but she finally leaves him alone in his despair.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky "Eugene Onegin" (opera in three acts) 
Characters

Larina, a landowner mezzo-soprano

Tatyana, her daughter soprano

Olga, also her daughter contralto

Filipyevna, Tatiana's nurse mezzo-soprano

Lensky, Olga's fiance tenor

Yevgeny Onyegin, his friend baritone

Prince Gremin, a retired general bass

A Company Commander bass

Zaretsky bass

Triquet, a Frenchman tenor

Guillot, valet de chambre silent

Peasants, ballroom guests, landowners, officers






Schedule for Adolphe Adam "Giselle" (Fantasy ballet in two acts) 2022


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