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on December 23, 2022
This is the page for the performance on December 23, 2022.
Choreography Martin Schläpfer, Marius Petipa

Cast 23.12.2022

Conductor Patrick Lange
Music Piotr I. Tschaikowski Giacinto Scelsi
Choreography Martin Schläpfer Marius Petipa
Stage Design Florian Etti
Costume Design Catherine Voeffray
Licht & Video Thomas Diek
Dramaturge Anne do Paço
Die Königin Ketevan Papava
Der König Eno Peci
Prinzessin Aurora Elena Bottaro
Prinz Désiré Marcos Menha
Catalabutte François-Eloi Lavignac
La Fée des Lilas Ioanna Avraam
Carabosse Gala Jovanovic
Der Blaue Vogel Arne Vandervelde
Prinzessin Florine Natalya Butchko
Faun Daniel Vizcayo
Die Waldfrau Yuko Kato


There are countless variations on the fairy tale of Princess Aurora who is cursed by Carabosse and protected by the Lilac Fairy and falls into a hundred-year sleep until Prince Désiré finally manages to find his way into her castle overgrown with roses. The story of a woman who remains dormant until she is reawakened by the kiss of a brave hero is a trope of numerous sagas and myths. Sleeping Beauty is one of the gentlest and most beautiful of these, while other versions are more violent and cruel. Its openness to interpretation persists to this day: in telling a story about the battle of light against darkness, time against evil and bitterness, and also a story where fairies and other crea- tures are a natural part of people’s everyday life.

The folk tale, which already existed in a number of variations, was first written down in 1636 by the Italian Giambattista Basile. The best-known versions are by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. The story found its way on to the ballet stage as early as 1829, where it was performed at the Paris Opera, choreographed by Jean-Pierre Aumer to music by Louis Joseph Ferdinand Hérold and with a libretto by Eugène Scribe – established theatre makers who did not, however, score a hit on this occasion. Brought together at the behest of the theatre director Ivan Alexandrovich Vsevolozhsky, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – with his magnificent score Spyashchaya krasavitsa – and the choreographer Marius Petipa – with a structure of perfect proportions – managed to create perhaps the most complete work of the Russian ballet repertoire, which was first performed on 15 January 1890 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.

To this day, staging this work with such a rich array of characters, dances and themes remains a sublime and challenging task. Martin Schläpfer has now created his own version with the Vienna State Ballet, using dance of beauty and virtuosity to probe the inner life of its characters. Martin Schläpfer’s Sleeping Beauty aims at the very heart of the fairy tale, exposing it to the questions of our own time.

Program booklet 2,50 €


The King and Queen have wished for a child for many years.
Nine months later, the Queen has given birth to a baby girl. She is to be called Aurora.
Her parents give a magnificent party to celebrate her Christening. Amongst the many guests are six fairies, their partners and children. They bring generous gifts for the child. Then the Master of Ceremonies Catalabutte bursts in, agitated. He has made a mis- take and failed to invite one fairy: Carabosse. Outraged at being slighted, she enters the room with her entourage. All attempts to calm her down are in vain. Carabosse places a curse on the Princess: once Aurora has grown to be a young woman, she will prick her finger on a spindle and die. But the Lilac Fairy stands up to Carabosse. She manages to mitigate the curse of death to a long sleep. The King and Queen lament Aurora’s fate – and their own. Catalabutte is devastated.


Aurora has grown up at the royal court, where she is protected from every danger. Today is her 16th birthday. Pages have the job of ensuring that all the security measures are fol- lowed, but discover that one of them cannot stop spinning – which is forbidden at court.
The party is already in full swing when Aurora enters the ballroom. Everyone is en- chanted by the young Princess – including the four Princes who have all come to ask for her hand in marriage. Suddenly a stranger appears among the guests and hands Aurora a spindle. Fascinated by this unfamiliar object, she starts to dance with it and – before anyone can stop her – she pricks herself. The stranger reveals herself to be Carabosse. However, the Lilac Fairy keeps her promise and prevents Aurora’s death. The Lilac Fairy and Carabosse face off against each other.


For a hundred years, people have spoken about an enchanted castle where a Princess and her entire court must sleep until a Prince breaks the spell. Désiré has heard this story too. He has already travelled through countless forests in a vain search for the sleeping beauty. But today feels different. Nature is talking to him – a Woman from the Woods, a Faun, the Lilac Fairy.
He finds the path to Aurora and breaks the spell with a kiss. They both fall in love at first sight. The court, too, awakens from its enchanted sleep. Aurora is able to hug Catalabutte and her parents and introduce them to Prince Désiré. Carabosse is forced to acknowledge that she has been defeated. Désiré forgives her.


Aurora and Désiré celebrate their wedding. Numerous guests offer their congratulations, including the fairies, the Bluebird, his Princess and two cats. Suddenly the room falls silent – the Woman from the Woods and the Faun have appeared.
Prince Désiré brings Carabosse back to join the others. There is a final confrontation with the Lilac Fairy. Aurora and Désiré dance the wedding waltz.
The King and Queen know that their time is now over. They pass on their crowns and the responsibilities that go with them to Aurora and Désiré and withdraw – along with the fairies, animals and woodland creatures.