First performed in 1841, Giselle was an immediate hit. With music by Adolphe Adam and a libretto by Theophile Gautier and Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges, the ballet touches on the great romantic themes: local colour, a pastoral love affair doomed to end in tragedy, a plunge into fantasy and redemption through the power of love.
Learning that Albrecht, her beloved, is in fact a nobleman engaged to be married to a princess, the naive peasant girl Giselle dies. The Queen of the Wilis - the spirits of deceased young virgins - decides that Albrecht should follow Giselle to the grave, and condemns him to dance until he dies of exhaustion. But Giselle's spirit dances with him and saves him.
Composer Adolphe Adam owes his reputation to this archetypal, richly melodic romantic ballet. As Giselle Svetlana Lunkina is simply sensational. Her Albrecht is the iconically noble dancer Dmitri Gudanov. And the cast is perfectly rounded off by Maria Allash as the Queen of the Wilis.
The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra is conducted by Pavel Klinichev.
To reveal the talent of unknown young singers by sending them on a tour of the world's leading venues: this is the aim of "Le Jardin des Voix," the academy of Les Arts Florissants founded by William Christie. We share moments of grace, uncertainty and disappointment as the film follows the jury through the auditioning process. Then, a year later, we find the ten winners at the Theatre de Caen for three weeks of intensive rehearsal with some of the leading figures from today's Baroque music scene.
Lulu is a femme fatale, a maneater. She marries men and then kills them, one after another, or pushes them to commit suicide. This opera, which mixes forbidden love stories, crimes and decadence of the heroine, is one of the greatest operas of the 20th century. Alban Berg died before he had a chance to bring his third act to an end, and the opera was premiered at the Zurich Opera House in 1937, two years after the composer's death. The piece shocked the audience and was far from being acclaimed by the critics. In 1979, Friedrich Cerha achieved the orchestration of the third act.
Alban Berg used the themes from two of Frank Wedekind's plays, Pandora's Box and Earth Spirit, which both were forbidden in Germany. Lulu's philosophical and sociological significance seems to denounce the nonsense of a society in search for modernity, trying to deal with the confusion of the values and the search for the power.
The staging of this new production is by one of the greatest Russian stage directors of the moment, Dmitri Tcherniakov, who staged a beautiful Wozzeck at the Bolchoi a few years ago. The conductor, Kirill Petrenko, is the Bayerische Staatsoper's musical director, and Opera Magazine described him as "one of the most passionate [conductors] of his generation". The cast...
The rare biblical opera David and Jonathas is like Medee ', one of the major works of the French Baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier . The opera has been in the repertoire of Les Arts Florissants since 1988 and was first presented in a stage production by William Christie at the Aix-en-Provence Festival 2012.
This release is a special event for all Baroque music lovers.
Written a year after the death of Lully, this lyric tragedy allows Charpentier to develop beyond the religious dimension, a story of male friendship and forbidden love between David and Jonathas. An excellent cast gathered around William Christie and Les Arts Florissants brings young singers to the title roles: Pascal Charbonneau, a tenor and a former student of the European Academy of Music, sings David. The role of Jonathas is given to a woman: soprano Ana Quintans.
The staging by Andreas Homoki (Director of the Zurich Opera since summer 2012) focuses on the psychological aspect of this forbidden love story, giving a moving reading of the drama.
When Rain , created by the Rosas Company in 2001, entered the Paris Opera Ballet's repertoire ten years later, Director of Dance Brigitte Lefevre brought a whole dimension of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's world to the Paris Opera, giving dancers and audiences alike the possibility of undertaking a unique visual and auditory kinaesthetic experience. Since the 1980s, the choreographer has continually played a key role in the world of contemporary art, marking the emerging Flemish scene with the imprint of an original language initiated with the New York avant-garde and borne by a quest for composition in all its forms. Parallel to her intense theatrical work, she has also developed an art of minimalist purity through skillfully dynamic choreography seeking "to burst into life" in a kaleidoscope of perpetually changing forms.
Set to Music for Eighteen Musicians, Steve Reich's major score composed in 1976, Rain embodies the culmination of a dance form drawing its own spatial polyphony from the mathematical principles of musical composition, a polyphony which also materialises on the floor, where the infinite trajectories of the dancers criss-cross like brightly coloured pick-up sticks. Music and dance become one until, breathless and exhausted, they discover the motifs of...
When Debussy completes the score, based on the eponymous symbolist play by Maurice Maeterlinck, of Pelleas et Melisande in 1902, the world of opera still abides by Richard Wagner and the upheaval he caused with Tristan und Isolde. But Debussy decides to stand on the exact opposite side, and uses his new opus to preach a new aesthetic creed. In depicting the forbidden love story between the timid Pelleas and the beautiful Melisande, kept apart by an unfortunate marriage, the French composer brings us back to the immortal legend of Tristan and Isolde, but this time showing the world that the future of music could very well lie far away from Wagner's overwhelming lyricism and outsized rhetoric.
This new production, created by one of the rising stars of French stage direction Benjamin Lazar for the Malmo Opera (headed by Ingmar Bergman from 1952 to 1958), encapsulates all the different aspects of this mysterious work, from the oniric poetry invented by Maeterlinck and Debussy to the realism, poignant because openly simple and even mundane, of these profoundly human beings lost in a forest full of sound and symbols that will never let them escape.
The young French conductor Maxime Pascal, the Orchestra of the Malmo Opera, and an almost all-French cast (among which the...
In the last and most dramatic aria in Roberto Devereux , one of the four Tudor period operas composed by Gaetano Donizetti in 1837 along with Anna Bolena , Maria Stuarda and Il Castello di Kenilworth , the protagonist, Queen Elizabeth I of England, exclaims: "I do not reign, I do not live". This statement encapsulates great operatic themes, and it is the culmination of an opera that reveals the passions of characters who live among palace intrigues.
Written in the mature period of the leader of Italian romanticism, the opera displays a great vocal virtuosity, and is an example of Donizetti prizing the voice above all in the genre. The staging, by South African director Alessandro Talevi, who has been very successful in great opera houses as well as with more experimental theatre, places the play in an undetermined period, focusing on the chiaroscuro.
A modern opera inspired by Victor Hugo's Claude Gueux , on a libretto by Robert Badinter and music by Thierry Escaich . The synopsis of Claude is based on a true story. Robert Badinter has read again and again the original file from the judicial archives of Troyes. Claude is a silk worker from la Croix-Rousse. He tries to lives a happy life with his wife and daughter. For them and for him he refuses the misery imposed by their condition. When his boss lays off workers to replace them by new English machines. Claude grabs his rifle and run to the barricades.
Claude is sentenced to 7 years of hard-Labor at Clairvaux's prison workshop. His love for the quality of his work and his hate of injustice makes him a charismatic figure for the others prisoners. To weaken him, the prison warden separates Claude from his most precious friend, Albin. From this, follows a chain of injustice and violence in witch Claude finish to kill the director. He will himself be "guillotined" (decapitated).
Claude is a plea against prison and for human dignity worn by magnificent performers: Jean-Sebastien Bou, in the title role, Jean-Philippe Lafont and Rodrigo Ferreira. The Orchestre de l'Opera de Lyon is conducted by Jeremie Rhorer. This thrilling opera is staged by Olivier Py.
After the sensational success of A Swan Lake , performed by the Norwegian National Ballet in 2014 at the Oslo Opera, the choreographical prodige Alexander Ekman created his Midsummer Night's Dream in April 2015 for the Royal Swedish Ballet at the Stockholm Opera. A powerful contemporary piece that explores the energy and the mysteries conjured up by the summer solstice in the scandinavian tradition!
It is the height of summer, the longest day of the year, and everyone gets together to celebrate the most loved of all traditions - Midsummer. Expectations are high, seven kinds of flower must be picked, schnapps must be drunk, and everyone dances giddily around the maypole - perhaps there will even be new love in the air? It is a night filled of love and eroticism as nature gushes with vitality. The border between the world of mortals and the kingdom of the supernatural becomes thinner and thinner as the bottle becomes emptier and emptier. Traditions play jokes on us, the world changes and suddenly we are no longer sure - is it all a dream? a midsummer night's dream.
A new Don Giovanni in Aix by russian stage director Dmitri Tcherniakov and conductor Louis Langree.
More than two centuries after its creation, the emotional pull of this supreme opera remains absolutely intact. Dmitri Therniakov duly revisits the myth and makes the seducer of Seville a 'man without qualities', a cipher whose words have a hypnotic power over women. His words will disrupt the proprieties ruling the Commandatore's family. His words are also what makes Don Juan such a subversive figure and the embodiment of one of the most powerful modern European myths.
Leading the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra (Freiburger Barockorchester) one of the best Mozart current conductors, Louis Langree takes from this formation magnificent tones. Bo Skovhus portrays a dispirited Don Giovanni, old playboy and anti-hero. Kyle Ketelsen is his servant Leporello, currently the most talented baritone for this role. The female trio is composed of Marlis Petersen (Donna Anna), Kristine Opolais (Elvira) and Kerstin Avemo (Zerlina).
In Dreams of Babel, a documentary about the dance prodigy Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui released on DVD by Bel Air Classiques in 2010, the choreographer explained how shifting identities, multiculturalism, and his own plural heritage as the son of an immigrant, had shaped his dramaturgy and artistic inspiration. Thus, to take on the stage direction for Les Indes Galantes , whose multiple plots take place in a fantasized exotic elsewhere, supposed to mirror the European society, meant for Cherkaoui bringing the tension between identity and alterity to a whole new level. And the choreographer pushes his reflection much farther than mere baroque specular aesthetics: his Indes Galantes raise the sensible issues of population movements, fragmented and ever-changing territories and borders, but also the refugee crisis that has shaken Europe to its very core.
For this new production at the Prinzregenten Theater, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui brought his own dance ensemble, the Eastman company, as well as a brilliant vocal cast, among which Anna Prohaska, Francois Lis or Lisette Oropesa. Ivor Bolton conducts a Munchner Festspielorchester at the top of its game.
A rare and refined ballet, which ran the risk of falling into oblivion twice, is danced by the new generation of the Bolshoi Ballet, among which are Nina Kaptsova and Mikhail Lobukhin.
A modern and visionary work, this ballet, set to a music by Dmitri Shostakovich , was created in 1930. Its central theme was the highly moralized battle and triumph of the proletariat against the decadent bourgeoisie, set in Europe during the Roaring Twenties. Surprisingly, the score by Dmitri Shostakovich raised political controversies, probably because it borrowed much to european dance forms (and was openly inspired by jazz music) and consequently, the ballet vanished from the theaters until 1982, when Yuri Grigorovich restaged it with sets by Simon Virsaladze and a completely new libretto mainly revolving around the love story between Rita, a cabaret dancer, and Boris, an young idealist. The conflict in the original production was also recast as a clash between fishermen - the morally superior workers - and society's criminal elements.
To bring back on stage The Golden Age in autumn 2016, a few months prior to Yuri Grigorovich's 90th birthday, was a highly symbolic choice for the Bolshoi Ballet: this work, the last Grigorovich would ever choreograph for his company, hadn't been staged for...
Masterpiece of classical dance this Nutcracker is a magical version of the score by Tchaikovsky filmed at the Bolshoi Theatre.
Till its premiere in Saint-Petersbourg in 1892, The Nutcracker is one of the most successful classical ballet and Tchaikovsky's score has become one of his most famous compositions.
Yuri Grigorovich deals with Hoffmann's fantastic imagery and takes ideas from the Marius Petipa' scenario: battle of the mice, snowflakes flurry, characters dances executed by little doll that came to life.
The most talented soloists of the Bolshoi Ballet appear in this production as Nina Kaptsova (Marie) and Artem Ovcharenko (the Nutcracker Prince) or Denis Savin (Drosselmeyer).
The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra is conducted by Pavel Klinichev.
When she is finally released from an evil spell by the kiss of a young prince, the Sleeping Beauty awakes and is - despite of a hundred years of sleep - as beautiful as a young woman. The love of the prince is simply stronger than the curse that rests on the haunted princess.
The artistic director of the Staatsballett Berlin, Nacho Duato, has brought new life to this beloved classic, which itself is over a hundred years old and for which Tchaikovsky has composed the unforgettable music. This production demonstrates that Nacho Duato can also tackle classical ballets with dance en pointe with great success. Nothing in this production is old and dusty, rather the entire choreography looks fresh and is bursting with vitality and brings an air of spring to the stage.
Likewise, the costumes by Angelina Atlagic deserve admiration as they sparkle on stage like spring buds in morning dew. The stage design, also designed by Atlagic, offers as refined setting for the ballet fairy tale. The decor of this production is highly imaginative, colourful, elegant and stylish.
At the palace, the royal family and their guests are gathered for Prince Siegfried's birthday celebrations. In a majestic ceremony, Siegfried is made a knight; young girls try to attract his attention, as he must choose a wife during the ball. Overcome by the sudden awareness of his future responsibilities, he escapes into the night and meets a strange flock of swans by a magical lake. White swan by day, human by night, the beautiful Odette awaits an oath of true love to break the curse. The great legend of the enigmatic swan/woman is one of the most romantic classical ballets, appropriately set in the era of courtly romance and characterized by elegance, style and harmony.
With Tchaikovsky's famous, lyrical score, Swan Lake depicts the tragic love between Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried, and will no doubt be performed to perfection by the unparalleled virtuosity of Russia's great Bolshoi Ballet . This universal and enchanting masterpiece of love, deception and drama is a must.
With wonderful ballerina Svetlana Zakharova , one of the most beautiful Odette/Odile of the time, Denis Rodkin, Artemy Belyakov and Bolshoi Ballet.
Ten years after his death, the Paris Opera Ballet payed homage to the American choreographer who considered the Paris Opera as his second home after New York City Ballet. The three pieces performed here illustrate not only the diversity of the choreographer's repertoire and sources of inspiration, but also his love of music and his all-embracing attitude to the performing arts. Jerome Robbins brought new energy to classical dance, introducing 20th century urban rhythms, confirming its status as a modern entertainment form and instilling it with the interrogations of contemporary theatre.
In G Major (En Sol) , set to Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major , follows no particular narrative line or dramatic effect. Echoing the music's jazzy invitations and light-heartedly copying Broadway style, this is a light and joyous piece for two soloists and an ensemble. It provided Jerome Robbins with an opportunity to reveal the relaxed, fluid feel so emblematic of his style.
In the Night and The Concert are two tributes to Frederic Chopin, each in a different register. Seeking to free the composer from the commonplaces that have often belittled his music, Robbins transforms Les Nocturnes into In the Night, a long and poetic pas de deux built like a metaphor of love in all...
Parsifal is a strange and enigmatic work. At the end of his life, did Wagner wish to celebrate asceticism, which he himself had never practised? Did he fall upon his knees before the Cross, as claimed by Nietzsche? And what does the secret society of knights based on pure blood signify, desperately waiting for the saviour to regenerate it? What is the true nature of the opposition between the worlds of Klingsor and the Grail? What can Parsifal tell us today? In his artistic will and testament, Wagner condenses his moral idea of the world and returns to the roots of love and religion - to the very heart of art according to him.
With the participation of conductor Hartmut Haenchen who is passionately in love with the score, Italian stage director Romeo Castellucci proposes an original reading of this brilliant work and explores the essence of Wagnerian 'Kunstreligion' in a different light.
Richard Wagner's mystic masterpiece Parsifal at Staatsoper Berlin staged by Dmitri Tcherniakov and conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
Last Wagner's opera, Parsifal is a medieval epic story marked by Christian, Buddhist and esoteric references. It is about redemption and renewal, but this new production by Russian director Dmitri Tcherniakov adds a jarring note: revenge.
This Festival Play for the Consecration of the Stage is similar to a Medieval epic, a blend of metaphysical dreams and obscure battles with constant spiritual references. Besides Barenboim, this new production is also performed by an international cast of excellent singers: Andreas Schager, Anja Kampe, Wolfgang Koch, Rene Pape, Tomas Tomasson and Matthias Holle.