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Anna Karenina (Ballet by John Neumeier)

Anna Karenina (Ballet by John Neumeier)

Ballet in two acts
to music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky Alfred Shnitke, Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam
Choreographer, Set and Costume Designer, Lighting Concept Author: John Neumeier
Video and Graphic: Kiran West
Music Director: Anton Grishanin
The Hamburg Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and the Bolshoi Theatre coproduction
Will be premiered on 23 March 2018.

Don Carlos (Opera by Giuseppe Verdi)

Don Carlos (Opera by Giuseppe Verdi)

Opera in four acts
Music Director: Vassily Sinaisky
Stage Director: Adrian Noble
Set Designer: Tobias Hoheisel
Costume Designer: Moritz Junge
Lighting Designer: Jean Kalman
Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Permiered on December 17, 2013

In Honor of Giuseppe Verdi Bicentennial

SYNOPSIS

In 1556, the Emperor Charles V abdicated, celebrated his own funeral and retired to the monastery of San Jeronimo at Yuste. His son Philip II is now on the throne of Spain. To seal the peace between France and Spain after a long war, Philip marries Elisabeth of Valois, the daughter of Henry II, the French King, who has long been betrothed to his son Don Carlo.

ACT I

Scene 1
The cloister of the Yuste monastery

A Monk prays before the gates of the tomb of Charles V. Carlo starts at the sound of the voice - is this his grandfather, the Emperorn
Carlo s friend Rodrigo, the Marquis of Posa, joins him, and advises him to conquer his sorrow caused by losing his bride by a noble enterprise - that of freeing Flanders. The two vow to live and die together.

Scene 2
Outside the Yuste monastery gates

Outside the monastery, which no woman but the Queen may enter, her ladies while away the time with the song Princess Eboli sings.

The Queen enters, followed by Posa, who brings Elisabeth a letter from her mother and, under cover of the letter, a note from Carlo. While Eboli and Posa chat about the latest Paris fashions, Elisabeth reads the note, which tells her to trust Posa. In two broad strophes, Posa urges Elisabeth grant Carlo an interview, while Eboli (in asides) reveals her love for Carlo, and her hope that he loves her. Dismissing her ladies, Elisabeth consents to Posa s request. Carlo, at first controlled, asks Elisabeth to obtain the King s permission that he should leave for Flanders, but then his emotions overcome him and he falls to the ground in a swoon. On recovering, he clasps Elisabeth in his arms, defying the world. But she exclaims, "Then smite your father. Come stained with his murder, to lead your mother to the altar." Carlo runs off in despair.

Philip enters, angry to find the Queen unattended. Coldly he orders the lady-in-waiting who should have been with her to return to France. Elisabeth consoles her. The company leaves, but Philip orders Posa to remain: has he no favour to ask forn "Nothing for me," replies the Marquis, "but for others"; and, invited to speak freely, he describes the terror and destruction being wrought in Flanders. "At this bloody price," says Philip, "I have paid for the peace of the world." "The peace of a graveyard," Posa replies: one word from Philip could change the world and set people free. The King, struck by Posa s fearless honesty, confides to him his suspicions about his wife and his son, and appoints him his personal counsellor, but bids him beware the Grand Inquisitor.

ACT II

Scene 1
The Queen s gardens

Carlo enters, reading a note of midnight assignation which he believes has come from Elisabeth. When Eboli (who wrote the note) enters, masked, Carlo mistakes her for Elisabeth, and pours out his love. Too late, the mistake is revealed, and Eboli guesses his secret. Posa enters and tries to silence her, but in a tense trio she bids them beware the fury of a woman scorned. Posa asks Carlo to entrust to him any incriminating papers he may be carrying, and after a moment s hesitation - can he trust the King s new favouriten - Carlo does so.

Scene 2
A large square before the Basilica of Nuestra Senora de Atocha

The people gather to acclaim their King. Monks escort some Inquisition victims across the square; a splendid auto da fe, or public burning of heretics, is among the attractions of the day. Philip appears from the church and swears solemnly to serve God with fire and the sword. Suddenly a group of men cast themselves at his feet, and Carlo, who has led them there, announces that they are deputies from Flanders. The Flemings break into an eloquent plea for their country. Philip orders them to be taken away. All - except the monks - urge him to show mercy. At the close of the huge ensemble, Carlo asks his father to send him to Flanders as regent, and when Philip refuses, draws his sword on the King. No one dares to disarm him, until Posa steps forward. The King rewards Posa by making him a Duke, and the festive chorus is resumed.

ACT III

Scene 1
The King s study

Philip is alone in his study and reflects gloomily on his loveless, careworn life. The Grand Inquisitor is announced. Philip doubts whether he will be forgiven if he condemns his son to death; the Inquisitor demands that Posa should be handed over to the Inquisition. Philip refuses. The Inquisitor declares that Philip himself is in danger of being summoned before the Inquisition and leaves.

Elisabeth rushes in, distressed that her jewel casket has been stolen. Philip, who has it, opens it and draws out a portrait of Carlo. Elisabeth reminds him that she was once betrothed to the Prince, but he calls her an adulterous wife. She swoons. Eboli and Posa enter, and in a quartet Philip curses his unworthy suspicions, Eboli expresses her regret (for it was she who stole the casket), Posa decides that the time has come for him to take action, and Elisabeth, reviving, laments her unhappy life in this friendless country.

The two women are left alone. Eboli confesses that, drive by jealousy, she denounced Elisabeth to the King. At Eboli s further confession, that she has been Philip s mistress, Elisabeth tells her to choose, the following day, between exile and the veil, and leaves. Eboli curses the gift of fatal beauty that has caused her ruin. Her thoughts turn to Carlo, and she resolves to save him during the one day this is left to her.

Scene 2
Don Carlo s prison

Posa comes to bid Carlo farewell; he is marked for death, since Carlo s incriminating papers have been found on him - but Carlo can go free, to save Flanders. A shot is fired, and Posa falls. Quickly he explains that Elisabeth awaits Carlo at the Yuste cloister; he dies content, since by his death he secures the happy future of Spain. Philip enters, to return to Carlo his sword. A warning bell rings out; a crowd storms the prison, demanding the Prince. The tumult is quelled by the Grand Inquisitor, who orders the sacrilegious mob to fall on its knees before the King.

ACT IV

The Cloister at Yuste

Elisabeth invokes the spirit of the Emperor Charles: may he carry her prayers to the Eternal Throne. Carlo enters and declares that he is done with dreaming; now he will save Flanders. The two take a solemn farewell, hoping to meet in a better world: "And for ever! Farewell!" Philip and the Inquisitor have overheard them; the King delivers his son to the Inquisition. The gates of the Emperor s tomb open, and the Monk steps forth. He enfolds Carlo in his mantle and leads him into the cloister, recognized as Charles V by everyone present on stage.

Giselle (Ballet by Adolphe Adam. Production by Yuri Grigorovich)

Giselle (Ballet by Adolphe Adam. Production by Yuri Grigorovich)

Ballet in two acts Production by Yuri Grigorovich
Libretto by Theophile Gautier and Jean-Henry Saint-Georges
Choreography: Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, Mauris Petipa
Choreographic version:Yuri Grigorovich
Designer: Simon Virsaladze
Music Director: Alexander Kopylov

SYNOPSIS

Act I
A small, peaceful village, bathed in sunlight. It is inhabited by simple, artless people. Giselle, a young peasant girl, is re joicing in the sun, the blue sky, the singing of the birds and, most of all, in the happiness of pure, trusting love which has lit up her life. She is in love and is confident that she is loved. The gamekeeper, who is in love with Giselle, tries in vain to per suade her that Albrecht, her loved one, is not a peasant at all but a nobleman in disguise and that he is deceiving her.
The gamekeeper manages to steal into the cottage which Albrecht is renting in the village and here he finds a silver sword with a coat of arms on it. Now the gamekeeper knows for sure that Albrecht is concealing his noble origins.
A party of distinguished noblemen, attended by a sumptuous suite, seek rest and refreshment in the village after the hunt. The peasants give their guests a cordial welcome.
Albrecht is embarrassed by this unexpected meeting: he tries to hide the fact he knows them for, in their company, is his betrothed, Bathilde. Meanwhile the gamekeeper shows everyone Albrecht s sword and, unmasking him, tells them of the latter s deceit. Giselle is shocked to the core by the perfidy of her loved one. The pure, crystal-clear world of her faith, hopes and dreams has been destroyed. She goes mad and dies.

Act II
Night-time. The ghostly forms of the Wilis, died brides, appear among the graves of the village church yard which is bathed in moonlight. "Dressed in bridal gowns and garlands of flow ers...The irresistibly beautiful Wilis danced to the light of the moon. And as they felt the time given them for dancing was running out and that they had again to return to their icy graves, their dancing became more and more impassioned and ra?pid..." (Heinrich Heine).
The Wilis catch sight of the gamekeeper who, suffering from pangs of con science, has come to visit Giselle s grave. At the command of Myrtha, the unrelenting Queen of the Wilis, the Wilis encircle the gamekeeper and make him dance until he drops lifeless, to the ground.
Albrecht too, is unable to forget Giselle. And, at dead of night, he co mes to her grave. The Wilis immedi ately encircle the youth. Albrecht is now threatened by the same horrify ing fate as the gamekeeper. But the shadow of Giselle now appears and her eternal and self-sacrificing love protects and saves Albrecht from the anger of the Wilis.
The ghostly, white forms of the Wilis vanish with the first rays of the rising sun. And Giselle s ethereal shadow va nishes too, but Giselle will always be alive in Albrecht s memory - the ever-present regret for a lost love, a love that is stronger than death.

Ivan the Terrible (Ballet by Sergei Prokofiev)

Ivan the Terrible (Ballet by Sergei Prokofiev)

Ballet in two acts to music by Sergei Prokofiev
Libretto by Yuri Grigorovich
Choreographer: Yuri Grigorovich
Sets and costumes: Simon Virsaladze
Music Director: Vassily Sinaisky
Lighting Designer: Mikhail Sokolov
Designers of scenery revival: Natalia Pavlova, Alyona Pikalova, Mikhail Sapozhnikov
Designer of costumes revival: Elena Merkurova
The world premiere took place on February 20, 1975at the Bolshoi Theatre.
Revival - November 8, 2012.

SYNOPSIS

Act I
The bell-ringers proclaim young Ivan IV s accession to the throne.
The boyars are disgruntled by the fact, each claiming to have the ancestry at least as noble as the tsar s.
At the bride show Ivan is to select one of the Boyar daughters as his wife and Tsarina in the future. Eventually, he chooses Anastasia.
Prince Kurbsky is in despair: he is in love with Anastasia, and now he s losing her for ever.
The alarm bell tolls. The bell-ringers signal a foreign invasion. Ivan leads Russian regiments into the battle side by side with Kurbsky.
Death mows down the soldiers, but the harbingers of victory portend defeat for the invaders. Russian regiments force the enemy back. The battle is won!
Anastasia is anxiously awaiting Ivan s return.
The Russian warriors return victorious and joyously meet their loved ones. Ivan and Anastasia are reunited again. Russian people rejoice in their country s triumph over the enemy.
However, grim news begin to spread all over the country: the tsar has suddenly fallen ill. Anastasia is appalled; the boyars are growing active, each of them aspiring to the throne. Yet furious is the Tsar, who has unexpectedly recovered from his sickness, and merciless will he be with the treacherous boyars.

Act II
Ivan and Anastasia are enjoying mutual happiness.
The boyars are planning a conspiracy and Kurbsky is engaged in it. A poisoned chalice is brought in, and Anastasia falls their first victim. Kurbsky beholds the agonizing Tsarina in horror. The terrified boyars scatter.
The bell-ringers knell Tsarina s death and the treachery of the boyars. The tumultuous nation stands on the verge of revolt.
Ivan mourns at Anastasia s coffin. His imagination conjures up an image of his beloved.
Kurbsky has nothing to do but flee the country, dreading the tsar s revenge. The boyars are expecting vengeance, too.
People dressed in monastic garb appear: these are the Oprichniki the tsar decided to surround himself with. He entrusts them with exterminating treason and crushing the power of the boyars. The boyars are seized and massacred by the Oprichniki. Ivan the Terrible personally takes reprisal against them.
Dark are Ivan s thoughts - the thoughts of a man who lost his love, of a tsar surrounded by enemies.
Haunted by phantoms, Ivan writhes at the thought that he has given up humanity in his struggle and has doomed himself to a life of loneliness.
Frantically does Ivan the Terrible seek a way out of the labyrinth of contradictions set up by history.

Organ Music Concert

Manon Lescaut (Opera by Giacomo Puccini)

Manon Lescaut (Opera by Giacomo Puccini)

Giacomo Puccini
Opera in four acts
Libretto by Domenico Oliva, Marco Praga, Giuseppe Giacosa, Luigi Illica, Ruggero Leoncavallo, and Giulio Ricordi based on the novel L"histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prtevost
Music Director: Jader Bignamini
Director: Adolf Shapiro
Designer: Maria Tregubova
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Chief Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Choreographer: Tatiana Baganova
Premiered on October 16, 2016

SYNOPSIS

Act I
A public square in Amiens

Students enjoy the summer evening in the town square. One of them, Edmondo, sings a madrigal of youthful pleasure, hoping to attract the young women. They ask a brooding Des Grieux to join them, and to prove he is not cynical about love, he gallantly flirts with a group of girls with mock courtesy. As they all celebrate in the street, a carriage arrives at the inn carrying Geronte, Lescaut and his sister Manon. Des Grieux is struck by Manon"s beauty and shyly approaches her. She is called inside by her brother, but has been won over by Des Grieux"s words, and they make plans to meet later.
Geronte discusses Manon"s future with Lescaut. The family wants her to take the veil, but Lescaut has other ideas for her future, namely a match with the older Geronte (along with whatever benefits he may glean from the rich treasury official). The two men agree to meet for dinner, and Lescaut then joins a card game with the students. Edmondo overhears Geronte making plans to take Manon to Paris. He tells Des Grieux and agrees to help prevent this from happening.
Manon and Des Grieux meet as agreed and express their mutual attraction. He warns of Geronte"s plan to abduct her, so they run away together. Geronte is affronted, but Lescaut advises him to be patient, for he knows his sister"s expensive tastes will soon exhaust a student"s income.

Act II
An elegant room in Geronte"s house in Paris

As Lescaut predicted, Manon is now Geronte"s mistress and prepares for the day, aided by a hairdresser. When Lescaut arrives, she asks about Des Grieux, recalling their once-passionate affair. When speaking to Des Grieux, Lescaut has been vague about Manon"s whereabouts, but encouraged him to become a gambler so that he may acquire enough wealth to keep her in the style she requires.
Geronte has arranged a reception with musicians, who sing a madrigal in Manon"s honor. A dancing master teaches the minuet, but in spite of all the finery, Manon is bored with her new life. Realizing that she is unhappy, Lescaut privately decides to fetch Des Grieux. The guests depart for a stroll down the esplanade, and Manon promises to join them later.
Des Grieux appears at the door. He berates her lack of fidelity, but in begging forgiveness, she softens his resolve. Geronte returns and is thunderstruck to find them in each other"s arms. Manon counters his deriding remarks by holding a mirror to his face, reminding him of his advanced age. Threatening revenge, he leaves the couple alone.
Lescaut soon enters, breathless. Geronte has summoned the authorities, denouncing Manon"s lack of morality. Before fleeing with Des Grieux, she gathers her expensive jewelry, but that delay proves costly - the guards arrive and arrest her for thievery.

Act III
A square near the harbor in Le Havre

Manon is being held in the barracks, awaiting deportation to America with a group of prostitutes. Lescaut has bribed one of her jailors, and he and Lescaut wait for the changing of the guard to effect her escape. She is made aware of the plan while sharing a brief moment with Des Grieux. A shot betrays their scheme. Manon and the other prisoners are then led one-by-one to a ship while the onlooking townspeople make wicked comments as each one passes by. Des Grieux begs the captain to be hired as a deckhand, and he agrees to take the infatuated young man on the voyage to the New World.

Act IV
A wilderness on the edges of the Louisiana Territory

After troubles with the colonial governor, the two lovers are forced to make an escape. Manon is destitute and very weak. She sends Des Grieux ahead to look for water and shelter. When he returns it is too late. She dies believing that time will cleanse her of any sin, and he is left with nothing but memories of their too brief time together.

Manon Lescaut (Opera by Giacomo Puccini). Anna Netrebko

Manon Lescaut (Opera by Giacomo Puccini). Anna Netrebko

Giacomo Puccini
Opera in four acts
Libretto by Domenico Oliva, Marco Praga, Giuseppe Giacosa, Luigi Illica, Ruggero Leoncavallo, and Giulio Ricordi based on the novel L"histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevost
Music Director: Jader Bignamini
Director: Adolf Shapiro
Designer: Maria Tregubova
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Chief Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Choreographer: Tatiana Baganova
Premiered on October 16, 2016

SYNOPSIS

Act I
A public square in Amiens

Students enjoy the summer evening in the town square. One of them, Edmondo, sings a madrigal of youthful pleasure, hoping to attract the young women. They ask a brooding Des Grieux to join them, and to prove he is not cynical about love, he gallantly flirts with a group of girls with mock courtesy. As they all celebrate in the street, a carriage arrives at the inn carrying Geronte, Lescaut and his sister Manon. Des Grieux is struck by Manon"s beauty and shyly approaches her. She is called inside by her brother, but has been won over by Des Grieux"s words, and they make plans to meet later.
Geronte discusses Manon"s future with Lescaut. The family wants her to take the veil, but Lescaut has other ideas for her future, namely a match with the older Geronte (along with whatever benefits he may glean from the rich treasury official). The two men agree to meet for dinner, and Lescaut then joins a card game with the students. Edmondo overhears Geronte making plans to take Manon to Paris. He tells Des Grieux and agrees to help prevent this from happening.
Manon and Des Grieux meet as agreed and express their mutual attraction. He warns of Geronte"s plan to abduct her, so they run away together. Geronte is affronted, but Lescaut advises him to be patient, for he knows his sister"s expensive tastes will soon exhaust a student"s income.

Act II
An elegant room in Geronte"s house in Paris

As Lescaut predicted, Manon is now Geronte"s mistress and prepares for the day, aided by a hairdresser. When Lescaut arrives, she asks about Des Grieux, recalling their once-passionate affair. When speaking to Des Grieux, Lescaut has been vague about Manon"s whereabouts, but encouraged him to become a gambler so that he may acquire enough wealth to keep her in the style she requires.
Geronte has arranged a reception with musicians, who sing a madrigal in Manon"s honor. A dancing master teaches the minuet, but in spite of all the finery, Manon is bored with her new life. Realizing that she is unhappy, Lescaut privately decides to fetch Des Grieux. The guests depart for a stroll down the esplanade, and Manon promises to join them later.
Des Grieux appears at the door. He berates her lack of fidelity, but in begging forgiveness, she softens his resolve. Geronte returns and is thunderstruck to find them in each other"s arms. Manon counters his deriding remarks by holding a mirror to his face, reminding him of his advanced age. Threatening revenge, he leaves the couple alone.
Lescaut soon enters, breathless. Geronte has summoned the authorities, denouncing Manon"s lack of morality. Before fleeing with Des Grieux, she gathers her expensive jewelry, but that delay proves costly - the guards arrive and arrest her for thievery.

Act III
A square near the harbor in Le Havre

Manon is being held in the barracks, awaiting deportation to America with a group of prostitutes. Lescaut has bribed one of her jailors, and he and Lescaut wait for the changing of the guard to effect her escape. She is made aware of the plan while sharing a brief moment with Des Grieux. A shot betrays their scheme. Manon and the other prisoners are then led one-by-one to a ship while the onlooking townspeople make wicked comments as each one passes by. Des Grieux begs the captain to be hired as a deckhand, and he agrees to take the infatuated young man on the voyage to the New World.

Act IV
A wilderness on the edges of the Louisiana Territory

After troubles with the colonial governor, the two lovers are forced to make an escape. Manon is destitute and very weak. She sends Des Grieux ahead to look for water and shelter. When he returns it is too late. She dies believing that time will cleanse her of any sin, and he is left with nothing but memories of their too brief time together.

The Queen of Spades (Opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky)

The Queen of Spades (Opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Opera in three acts
Libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky after the novel of the same name by Alexander Pushkin
Music Director: Tugan Sokhiev
Stage Director: Rimas Tuminas
Set Designer: Adomas Jacovskis
Costume Designer: Maria Danilova
Director, Choreographer: Anzelica Cholina
Lightning Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Chief Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Will be premiered on February 15, 2018.

The Snow Maiden (Opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)

The Snow Maiden (Opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Opera in four acts
Libretto by the composer based on the play of the same name by Alexander Ostrovsky
Music Director: Tugan Sokhiev
Stage Director: Alexander Titel
Designer: Vladimir Arefiev
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Will be premiered on June 15, 2017.

The Sleeping Beauty (Ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky)

The Sleeping Beauty (Ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky)

Ballet in two acts
Libretto by Ivan Vsevolozhsky and Marius Petipa
Choreography: Marius Petipa
New choreographic version: Yuri Grigorovich (2011)
Scenery: ezio Frigerio
Music Director: Vassily Sinaisky
Costume Designer - Franca Squarciapino
Lighting Designer - Vinicio Cheli
The new choreographic version will be premiered on November 18, 2011.

Prologue
In the palace of King Florestan XIV the wedding of his daughter, Princess Aurora, is being celebrated. Master of Ceremonies Catalabutte is checking the invitation list. The Lilac Fairy and Good Fairies appear among the courtiers and the guests coming to congratulate the Princess. They bring the newborn infant gifts, endowing her with the finest human attributes. Suddenly, a great noise is heard. The evil and powerful Carabosse Fairy drives into the ballroom with her repulsive suite. They forgot to invite her to the wedding. An irate Carabosse predicts that Aurora will die young from pricking her finger with a knitting spindle. But the Lilac Fairy intervenes: she predicts that the forces of good will neutralize the sinister spell. With a peremptory gesture, she forces Carabosse to leave the palace.

Act I
It is Princess Aurora s sixteenth birthday. Four foreign princes have come to ask for her hand. At the height of the festivities, an old woman with a knitting spindle appears at the Princess s side. Trustful Aurora takes it and continues to dance. Suddenly, she stops dancing and looks with horror at her finger which she has accidentally pricked with the spindle. Overcome by deadly cold, Aurora falls to the ground. The unknown old woman throws off her hood - it is the Carabosse Fairy! Her curse has come to pass. Whirling around maliciously, she disappears with a cackle. But the Lilac Fairy appears on the scene - she has the power to mitigate the evil spell. Aurora is not dead - she has fallen asleep. She will be brought back to life by the passionate kiss of a handsome Prince. The Lilac Fairy plunges the whole kingdom into a deep sleep.

Act II
Scene 1
Surrounded by grandees, Prince Desire is whiling away the time in the royal park. He is overcome by melancholy. And, as if in answer to his call, the Lilac Fairy appears before him. She summons up a vision of Aurora, surrounded by divine beings - the Nereids. The enchanted Prince hurries after the beautiful image but, at the wave of the Lilac Fairy s wand, it vanishes. Desire implores the Lilac Fairy to search for the beautiful maiden. And the Lilac Fairy invites the Prince to sail in her magic craft to the bewitched castle.

Scene 2
Gloom and desolation reign in the sleeping kingdom. It is guarded by the evil Carabosse Fairy. The Lilac Fairy and Prince Desire rapidly approach the castle. The wicked old woman and her suite try to conceal Aurora but, in vain - the Prince catches sight of the sleeping beauty. Completely won over by her charm, the Prince tenderly kisses the Princess - and the evil spell is broken! Carabosse and her suite vanish. Aurora wakes up and the royal kingdom comes to life too. As soon as the Princess sets eyes on her deliverer, love is born in her heart. Desire asks the King and Queen for their daughter s hand in marriage.

epilogue
Fairy-tale characters have come to Aurora and Desire s wedding: Princess Florine and Blue Bird, The White Cat and Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood and The Gray Wolf, Cinderella and Prince Fortune. The Prince and Princess dance in a harmonious and solemn duet. The Lilac Fairy and her suite bless the happy couple.

The Nutcracker (Ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky)

The Nutcracker (Ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky)

Ballet in two acts
Libretto by Yuri Grigorovich after the fairy-tale of the same name by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, ideas from the scenario by Marius Petipa used
Choreographer: Yuri Grigorovich
Designer: Simon Virsaladze
Music Director: Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

SYNOPSIS

Act I
Guests are gathering for a Christmas party at the Stahlbaum home. Among them are Drosselmeyer, godfather to Marie and Fritz, the Stahlbaums' children. He has brought them a wonderful present: a funny Nutcracker.
The children wait with impatience for when at long last they will be shown the Christmas tree and the presents. The long awaited moment comes: the handsomely adorned Christmas tree is presented to the assembled company.
Drosselmeyer suddenly appears disguised as a magician: he is not recognized by the children. Their unknown guest's ability to make their toys come alive delights the children but, as everything that is clad in mystery, it involuntarily arouses their fear. In order to calm them down, Drosselmeyer takes off his mask and the chil dren now recognize their beloved godfather. Marie wants to play with the wonderful dolls which have come alive, but they have already been tidied away. To comfort Marie, Drosselmeyer gives her the Nutcracker-Doll. Marie takes a great liking to this awkward, funny creature.
Marie's brother Fritz, who is a great tease and very naughty, acci dentally breaks the doll. With great tenderness, Marie comforts her injured Nutcracker and rocks it backwards and forwards. Fritz and his friends now put on mouse masks and tease poor Marie.
The guests appear from an adjoining room. After the final, ceremonial Grossvater dance, they all leave.
At night the room where the Christmas tree stands is bathed in moonlight. It looks mysterious and full of magical secrets. Overcoming her fears, Marie has come to the room to visit her ‘sick' Nutcracker-Doll. She kisses the doll and rocks it.
Drosselmeyer now appears. But instead of her kind godfather, he has turned into a wizard. At a wave of his hand everything around them is transformed: the walls of the room slide back, the Christmas tree starts to grow. And all the toys come alive and grow together with the tree.
Suddenly, mice creep out from under the floor boards, led by the Mouse King. The dolls are panic-stricken and thrown into confusion. The Nutcracker's quick wits and bravery save the day: lining up the lead soldiers, he boldly leads them out to do battle with the mice forces.
However, the forces are unequal, the advantage is on the side of the evil mice. The Nutcracker is left alone to face the Mouse King and his suite. Marie is out of her mind with worry over the danger that threatens her doll. At this very moment, Drosselmeyer hands her a lighted candle and she throws it at the mice who scurry away helter-skelter.
The battle field empties. The only person left here is the Nutcracker who lies without moving on the floor. Marie, together with the dolls, hurries to his rescue. And now a miracle occurs...Before Marie stands a handsome youth, the Nutcracker-Prince. He walks forward to meet her.
The walls of the house disappear. Marie and her friends are standing under a star-studded sky, by a fairy-tale Christmas tree. Snowflakes go round in a magical dance. Marie and her Nutcracker-Prince, beckon, as if to a beautiful dream, to the twinkling star at the top of the Christmas tree. They climb into a magic boat and set off for the top of the tree. The dolls follow behind them.

Act II
Marie and Nutcracker-Prince are sailing in their magic boat through the Christmas tree kingdom. There are their friends, the dolls with them. The shining star is getting closer and closer. They are just about to reach the top of the tree when they are suddenly attacked by the mice and the Mouse King who have crept up behind them. Once again, the Nutcracker-Prince goes boldly into battle. Horribly frightened, Marie and the dolls watch the fight. The Nutcracker-Prince vanquishes the enemy. Joyous victory celebrations are underway. The dolls dance, the candles burn even brighter, the Christmas tree comes alive. The evil mice have been defeated. Marie and the Nutcracker-Prince are radiant with happiness - they have reached the kingdom of their dreams! But it appears all this was just a dream. Christmas Eve is over and with it all wonderful reveries. Marie, still in the thrall of the fabulous dream, is sitting at home by the Christmas tree, with the Nutcracker-Doll on her lap.

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