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La Fille mal Gardee (Ballet by Peter Ludwig Hertel)

La Fille mal Gardee (Ballet by Peter Ludwig Hertel)

Ballet in two acts.
Musical version and orchestration by John Lanchbery (under arrangement with Oxford University Press)
Choreography: Frederick Ashton
Designer: Osbert Lancaster
Producer: Alexander Marshall Grant
Restager and Repetiteur: Emilio Martins
Music Director: Alexander Kopylov
Premiered on November 6, 2009.
Presented with one interval.
Running time: 2 hours 03 minutes.

SYNOPSIS

Act I
Scene 1

Early morning. Colas, a young peasant, turns up by the home of the rich farmer Marcelina. He is in love with Lise, Marcelina's niece, and wants to see her. But this is not so easy! Even when she hires peasants to help with the harvesting, Marcelina does not allow Lise to go off with them to the fields, but finds her a job to do in the yard. It is therefore not surprising that the first rendez-vous between the two lovers is at the oil-press. But again Marcelina appears on the scene and chases off the unwanted suitor. But here is an eligible bridegroom - Nikez. Though he is simpleminded, his father - Michaud is very well-off, and Marcelina persuades Lise to come and be introduced to her rich guests. The only hurdle in the way of the match is Colas.

Scene 2
Harvest-time. Though busy with the harvesting, Marcelina continues to dream of a match between Lise and Nikez, for all the latter's dumbwitted escapades. But the betrothal ceremony, in the form of a game with ribbons, again ends in favor of Lise and Colas.
...The dancing is brought to an end by a storm. All run off to take shelter from the rain.

Act II
Scene 3

The storm has blown over. Marcelina and Lise return home and sit down at their spinning-wheels. Peasants deliver the hay sheaves they have managed to save from the rain. Marcelina goes off with them, leaving Lise locked up indoors. Lise dreams of her beloved. Suddenly she notices Colas who, unbeknown to her, has hidden himself in the room. An indignant Lise tells him to leave. But, the door is locked and Colas is trapped inside. Lise soon gets over her anger and, as a sign of reconciliation, she and Colas exchange kerchiefs. Hearing a noise at the door, a panic-stricken Lise hides Colas in the larder. Marcelina comes in and, noticing the new kerchief round Lise's neck, locks her into the larder as punishment, never suspecting that Colas is in there too.
...Enter Michaud, already quite at home. He is followed by a notary for the signing of the wedding contract and even by a brass orchestra, hired for the occasion. Making no effort to conceal her joy, Marcelina hands Nikez the key to the larder. The door opens and... out come a bashful Lise and Colas. Michaud is mortally off ended. The wedding contract is torn up. The lovers fall at Marcelina's feet who has no option but to give them her blessing.

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