dear ballet audience! A dawning day represents a new beginning, full of zest, confidence and joy of life. At the same time, I also associate this natural phenomenon with some very personal memories of my childhood at home in Brazil. There, the Portuguese word for a »day break« is »Alvorecer«. Watching a silver lining on the horizon transform into a brilliant sunrise is something I have always connected with a recharging feeling – and it is precisely this optimistic attitude that I want to fill the hearts of both the Semperoper Ballett and you during the 2023/24 season! For this reason, it is my sincere pleasure to inspire you in this season with a refreshing breeze of new choreographies and artists, while at the same time reviving numerous repertoire creations of particular radiance.
In addition to the revival of the contemporary ballet triple-bill »White Darkness«, I am happy to once again present the double-bill »A Midsummer Night's Dream« (2018) with Frederick Ashton's Shakespeare adaptation »The Dream« and Associate Choreographer David Dawson's »The Four Seasons« in autumn – a programme that promises visual and musical highlights! In December, you can experience two world premieres with the Semperoper Ballett: Swedish choreographer Johan Inger, who is already well known to Dresden audiences, will newly tell the classic »A Swan Lake« to Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky's music, by combining it with the fairy tale »The Stealing of the Veil« from the collection of the Thuringian author Johann Karl August Musäus, which is considered a source of this ballet. At our Semper 2 venue, we will ring in the Erich Kästner Year 2024 by transforming his children's book »The 35th of May or Conrad’s Ride to the South Seas« into a colourful, cross-disciplinary dance theatre work. Combined with a commissioned composition by Gordon Kampe, this choreography will be created by Raphaël Coumes-Marquet.
After the turn of the year, our programme makes reappear some popular narrative ballets: »The Sleeping Beauty« will repeatedly open the door to the world of fairy tales in an adaptation of mine. This shall be followed by probably the most famous love story in Western literature: »Romeo and Juliet« by David Dawson, which will close this season. Another highlight is our last premiere, the mixed bill »Plot Point«. This programme includes not one, but two internationally renowned choreographers introducing themselves with artistic debuts to Dresden audiences: Canadian Crystal Pite (»Plot Point«) and US-American Twyla Tharp (»In The Upper Room«). This triple series is rounded off by an essential pioneer of neoclassical ballet in the 20th century, George Balanchine (»Serenade«).
With this in mind, I cordially invite you to let yourself be surprised and carried away by the dynamic versatility of this season. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to our ballet performances at the Semperoper Dresden!
I wish you a lively start into the season.
Artistic Manager Semperoper Ballett
Since the end of August 2023, the Semperoper Ballet has been training and rehearsing for the upcoming revivals of »White Darkness« (September 11, 2023) and the double-bill »A Midsummer Night's Dream« (October 12, 2023) that embraces Frederick Ashton’s »The Dream« and David Dawson’s »The Four Seasons«. In addition to some colleagues who were newly engaged to the Semperoper Ballet, the company's Artistic Manager, Marcelo Gomes, also promoted some dancers within the ensemble:
For the 2023/24 season, we welcome the Cuban Jaime Roque de la Cruz as ballet master and Mexican Moisés Carrada Palmeros as Second Soloist. Furthermore, Australian-British Richard House and Francisco Sebastião from Portugal were hired as Coryphées. The Corps de Ballet was joined by Lorenzo Alberti (Italy), Pablo González Martínez (Spain), Lilliana Hagerman (USA), Arthur Henderson (Great Britain), Milda Luckute (Lithuania), Lamin Pereira (Brazil), Jieun Shim (South Korea), Olmo Verbeeck Martínez (Spain) and Dawon Yang (Trainee Dance Planner). Magdalen Wood, formerly a member of the apprenticeship programme in cooperation with the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden, has now joined the Corps de Ballet.
Denis Veginy, known as a Principal Dancer, is passing on his experience as a ballet master in addition to this in the 2023/24 season. Ayaha Tsunaki, Alejandro Azorín and Christian Bauch were promoted to the rank of Principals for this season too. Ilaria Ghironi and Skyler Maxey-Wert were promoted to First Soloists. Anthony Bachelier was appointed Second Soloist. Swanice Luong, Anicet Marandel and Rodrigo Pinto are now dancing as coryphées.
As members of the apprenticeship programme in cooperation with the Palucca University of Dance Dresden, Phoebe Anderssen, Javier Becerra Cubero, Stella Byers, Kanata Ijima, Caroline Hamilton and Vincent Philp will study some productions with the Semperoper Ballet this season and perform, for example, in »The 35th of May or Conrad’s Ride to the South Seas« or »Sleeping Beauty«. The former apprentice Vincenzo Mola is this season’s scholarship holder of Stiftung Semperoper Förderstiftung.
Furthermore, the internationally sought-after former soloist and guest ballet master Siner Gönenç Boquin will join the Semperoper Ballett as guest ballet mistress from 4 September 2023 for a good two weeks in order to pass on her knowledge and skills to the company.
The revival of Frederick Ashton’s one-act narrative ballet (1964) features top-class guests. On the occasion of the revival of the ballet programme »A Midsummer Night’s Dream« on 12 October 2023, the intensive rehearsal period for »The Dream« has now begun.
Due to its virtuosic movement language, its lively humour and its lovingly crafted sets, Frederick Ashton’s one-act creation »The Dream« is considered a milestone in the history of Shakespeare adaptations for ballet. On 10 March 2018, the Dresden premiere of Mr Ashton’s interpretation of the comedy »A Midsummer Night's Dream« took place as part of the double-bill programme of the same name presented by the Semperoper Ballet. At that time, the »danseur noble« Anthony Dowell – the first dancer of this Oberon –, the Guest Principal Ballet Master of the Royal Ballet in London, Christopher Carr, and the renowned choreologist Patricia Tierney were responsible for the staging and rehearsals. On the occasion of the revival of the ballet programme »A Midsummer Night’s Dream« on 12 October 2023, the intensive rehearsal period for »The Dream« has now begun.
This time, the Artistic Manager of the Semperoper Ballet, Marcelo Gomes, is also leading part of the rehearsals. As one of the most sought-after soloists of his generation, he himself interpreted the role of Oberon, in which he was seen as a guest dancer in Dresden in the 2018/19 season, too. In 2023/24, Patricia Tierney is also involved in rehearsals again. Based on her notes and knowledge, she enriches the company with her perspective on this traditional narrative ballet. At the end of September, the internationally renowned Italian ballerina Alessandra Ferri will also join part of the final rehearsals. As Titania, she danced in the 2002 premiere of »The Dream« at the American Ballet Theatre. Now, Ms Ferri will inspire Dresden Ballerinas with her many years of dance and acting experience.
This season’s cast of »The Dream« will also present a star of the ballet world: the Romanian dancer Alina Cojocaru. She joined the Royal Ballet in London in 1997, where she was appointed Principal Dancer in 2001. Here she danced the royal couple of the elves with Marcelo Gomes in a coaching by Anthony Dowell. At the Semperoper, she will embody Titania in the performances on 12 and 15 October. Václav Lamparter (Oberon), Alejandro Azorín (Puck) and Joseph Gray (Bottom) will dance alongside her.
The application deadline for the season 2023/24 audition has passed. We will publish future calls for application at this place and will be happy to receive your application.