On 15 October 1964 the ballet world looked towards Vienna. Rudolf Nureyev, the foremost dancer of the second half of the 20th century and just 26 years old at the time, had just choreographed „Swan Lake“ for the Wiener Staatsopernballett. It was a performance that went down in the history of ballet. Just three years after Nureyev had abs­conded to the West, the young choreographer from the Soviet Union succeeded in giving a new and convincing interpretation to the Tchai­kovsky ballet. His central idea was to elevate the leading male role, putting it on a par with the role of the ballerina. Performed over 200 times at the Opera House on the Ring and in guest performances by the year 2009, Manuel Legris brought Nureyev’s Vienna „Swan Lake“ 2014 back to the stage. Luisa Spinatelli was responsible for the new stage designs and costumes.

12 June 2017
19:00 - 22:00
2 intermissions
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Cast | 12.06.2017

Conductor Alexander Ingram
Choreographie und Inszenierung Rudolf Nurejew
Choreography Marius Petipa
Lew Iwanow
Music Peter I. Tschaikowski
Set and costume design Luisa Spinatelli
Lighting Marion Hewlett
Einstudierung Manuel Legris
Prinz Siegfried Masayu Kimoto
Odette/Odile Maria Yakovleva
Zauberer Rotbart Alexandru Tcacenco



Celebration of Prince Siegfried’s coming of age at the castle. The prince accepts the congratulations of the guests courteously. As a sign of his man­hood his mother gives him a cross-bow; on the next day he is to select his bride from the beauties of the land. Left alone the prince's attention is attracted by a flight of swans. He is full of dark presentments, but decides to go hunting nevertheless.


Rothbart, the magician, lands on the shores of a forest lake in the guise of a bird-of-prey. As lord of his domain he rules over many girls transformed into white swans and over their queen, Odette, who has suffered the same fate. Only at night are they permitted to appear again in human form. Prince Siegfried discovers the forest lake hunting alone. He sees Odette and is stricken with love for her. Transformed by the weaving dances of her com­panions, who like their queen retain the nature and grace of white swans even in human guise, his love turns into a passionate attachment. Odette reveals her fate to him: she can only be released by a man, who loves none beside her. Siegfried vows he would be that man. Day dawns, the girls return to the lake, where their transformation takes place again. Rothbart prevents Siegfried from following them.


Festivities at the court of the queen, his mother, are in full swing. But Sieg­fried pays little attention to any of the six noble ladies introduced for his choice. A beautiful stranger in black appears, accompanied by a proud nob­leman. This is the guise of Rothbart, who introduces the beauty as his daugh­ter Odile. Siegfried is confused; this mysterious stranger, so like to a black swan, seems curiously to mimick Odette, his beloved white swan. After the presentation of national dances by guests from Spain, Naples, Poland and Hungary, Siegfried asks Odile to dance with him. Odile’s sinous dancing bewitches him completely. To the satisfaction of his mother he announces his intention to make her his bride. Rothbart and Odile disappear trium­phantly. Siegfried must recognize that he has been deceived; he rushes out to the Swan Lake to find his true love!


At the lake shore the white swans dance their melancholy round, in vain they try to comfort Odette. The prince rushes to the shore out of breath. Although Odette now knows that she will never be released from the evil spell, she forgives Siegfried. To complete his revenge Rothbart calls forth a flood. Translated into swans again, Odette and the girls must leave. The hapless prince is engulfed by the waves.