Schwanensee

Choreography and Direction Rudolf Nurejew

19. May 2021
Wednesday
2 intermissions
Ordering tickets
20. May 2021
Thursday
2 intermissions
Ordering tickets

Cast 19.05.2021

Musical Direction Paul Connelly
Komponist Peter I. Tschaikowski
Choreography and Direction Rudolf Nurejew
Scenery and Costume Design Luisa Spinatelli
Lighting Design Marion Hewlett

Details

It is the most famous ballet of all time: the tragic story of Prince Siegfried, who finds himself deep in the forest in the middle of the night, falls in love with the Swan Princess Odette and swears to be faithful to her forever, but is deceived by the wicked powers of the Magician Rotbart and Odette’s adversary Odile.

The St. Petersburg choreography which Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov first created in response to Tchaikovsky’s ground-breaking score in 1895 – a version which in 1954, three years after his legendary defection to the West, was used by the exceptional Soviet-born dancer Rudolf Nureyev as the basis for his »Swan Lake« in Vienna – is still regarded as the quintessence of the romantic ballet story. 89 curtain calls at the world premiere took the production into the Guinness Book of Records. With over 240 performances and two film versions – one in 1966 with Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, and one in 2014 with Olga Esina and Vladimir Shishov – this version has reached an audience of millions.


ACT I

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.

ACT II

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.

ACT III

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!

ACT IV

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.