Saturday, 11 April 2015

Paris Opera 2015 and 2016 Season

The Palais Garnier, also known as the Opéra Garnier 
Photo Svein-Magne Tunli Source Wikipedia

The Ballet of the Paris Opera is the oldest ballet company in the world.  Although it has had its ups and downs since its foundation in 1689 it is still somehow special. Something that every choreographer, dancer, teacher and student around the world acknowledges tacitly by continuing to use French terminology rather than English or even Russian. Yesterday I received an email from Paris with details of the new season.

There are three works in particular that I should like to see:
As I have mentioned before La Bayadère is not performed very often in this country (see La Bayadère 31 March 2015. The first time audiences in the West saw the show was when the Kirov brought it to Europe in 1961 and it was on this visit that Nureyev defected to the West. With the score adapted by John Lanchberry, sets by Ezio Frigerio, costumes by Franca Squarciapino and lighting by Vinicio Cheli, the website describes this productions as
"une fête pour les yeux, avec ses morceaux de bravoure et ses grands mouvements d'ensemble."
The production runs at the Opéra Bastille from 17 Nov to 31 Dec 2015.

Romeo and Juliet is another work that Nureyev knew in Russia. He introduced it to the Paris Opera in 1984. The website promises
"Dans les somptueux décors et costumes d'Ezio Frigerio et Mauro Pagano inspirés de la Renaissance italienne, il parvient à rendre le raffinement et la sensualité du drame élisabéthain, mais aussi toute sa cruauté."
This production also runs at the Bastille from the 19 March to 16 April 2016.

Giselle was first performed by the Ballet of the Paris Opera in 1841 so Paris is its home and that is why I want to see it there. This version was adapted from the original choreography of Coralli and Perrot by Patrice Bart (who worked very closely with Nureyev) and Eugene Polyakov. It will be danced at the Palais Garnier (the historic stage of the Paris Opera) from 27 May to 14 June 2016.

Several foreign companies will visit Paris in the new season including the English National Ballet. They will bring their version of Le Corsaire which I saw in Manchester on my birthday last year (see English National Ballet's Le Corsaire - a Valentine's Day Treat 16 Feb 2014). This is the only British company with that ballet in its repertoire and it will be interesting to see how a French audience receives it. If anyone wants to join me in supporting them while they are playing away they will be at the Garnier from 21 to 25 June 2016.

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