Numerous choreographers have delved into Shakespeare to find dramatic material for their ballets, beginning with Jean-Georges Noverre, an ardent defender of the “action ballet” and Marius Petipa, who was the first to use Mendelssohn’s stage music. George Balanchine, who also loved the score, would prove no exception.
In 1962 he created his version of Shakespeare’s comedy for New York City Ballet. Faithful to the Bard’s vocabulary whilst adding a subtle touch of pantomime, he portrays a complex love story in two acts and six scenes.
Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, become caught up in a domestic quarrel between the king of the elves and the queen of the fairies which results in the intervention of the mischievous Puck and his magic potion along with a troupe of amateur actors. The denouement is celebrated in the form of a grand virtuoso entertainment.
One of George Balanchine’s rare narrative ballets, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is entering the Paris Opera Ballet’s repertoire. The sets and costumes for this production have been designed by another magician of the stage, Christian Lacroix.
The Étoiles, the Premiers Danseurs and the Paris Opera Corps de Ballet, with the participation of the Paris Opera Ballet School students
Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus
A co-production of Opéra national de Paris and Telmondis
With the participation of France Télévisions, NHK
With the support of the Orange Foundation, patron of the Paris Opera's audiovisual broadcasts
And with the support of the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée.
Director: Vincent Bataillon
© Opéra national de Paris - Telmondis - 2017
Picture: © Agathe Poupeney / OnP
- Titania: Queen of the Fairies
- Oberon: King of the Fairies
- Hermia: In love with Lysander
- Lysander: Beloved of Hermia
- Helena: In love with Demetrius
- Demetrius: Suitor to Hermia
- Hippolyta: Queen of the Amazons
- Theseus: Duke of Athens
- A weaver
- The first Butterfly
- Divertissement’s Principals