Ballett

Dornröschen / The Sleeping Beauty

Aaron S. Watkin

Ballett in one prologue and three acts after Marius Petipa. Adapted by Marcelo Gomes.

Premiere 28. June 2007

Music by Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky

Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Info

  • Guided tour through the Semperoper
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    • Guided tour through the Semperoper
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      • Guided tour through the Semperoper
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        • Guided tour through the Semperoper
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          • Guided tour through the Semperoper
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            • Guided tour through the Semperoper
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            • Guided tour through the Semperoper
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              • Guided tour through the Semperoper
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                • Guided tour through the Semperoper
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                • Guided tour through the Semperoper
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                  • Guided tour through the Semperoper
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                    • Guided tour through the Semperoper
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                    • Guided tour through the Semperoper

                      Piece-Info

                      Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky’s fairy-tale ballet »The Sleeping Beauty« premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg in 1890, and has been considered one of the most challenging action ballets up to now. In 2007, Aaron S. Watkin staged this famous story in the tradition of Marius Petipa’s legendary choreography. For its revival in the 2023/24 season, Marcelo Gomes stages an adaptation of this classic, by adding some nuances of his own individual aesthetic style, and drawing on the essence of the popular fairy-tale: Princess Aurora's development from a child to a young woman. This includes the royal baptism in the circle of the good fairies, interrupted by demoniac fairy Carabosse, the attenuated fulfilment of her curse in the form of a hundred-year slumber and Aurora’s final reawakening after a prince’s kiss.

                      Plot

                      Prologue: At the court
                      After waiting for a child for a long time, King Heinrich’s wife, Queen Katharina, has given birth to a baby, who is to be named Aurora. To celebrate her baptism, the royal couple has invited (almost) all the fairies of their kingdom to bestow the most precious gifts on the girl. However, their blessings are rudely interrupted by an unexpected guest – the fairy Carabosse. Enraged at having been excluded from the festivities, she casts a devastating curse on Aurora: »On her 16th birthday, the princess shall prick herself on a spindle and die!« Fortunately, the Lilac Fairy, who has not blessed Aurora yet, manages to mitigate this fatal curse by turning it into a long and deep period of sleep. This spell is to include the entire court and can only be broken by the sincere love for Aurora by a prince.

                      Act 1: In the courtyard garden–about 16 years later
                      The court is pompously celebrating Aurora’s 16th birthday in the palace garden, and numerous guests have come. Although King Henry has banned all spinning tools from his kingdom, the evil fairy gains access to the royal garden party in disguise – and manages to sneak a spindle among the crowd… Thus, the unavoidable happens: Aurora stabs herself on the spindle, followed by Carabosse revealing herself. Nevertheless, the Lilac Fairy’s promise is stronger: when the court party sets off in a great procession to lay Aurora out, the second part of the spell is also fulfilled as all the people gradually fall into a deep slumber. The castle grounds are soon overgrown by a dense rose hedge, whose sharp thorns are not to let anyone enter the castle in the coming decades...

                      Act 2: In the charmed forest–99 years later
                      By now, everyone knows the legend of the Sleeping Beauty in a forest, including Florimund, a prince from a neighbouring kingdom. One day, while out hunting, he comes unsuspectingly close to the enchanted castle. As Carabosse fears he might thwart her plans, she appears to him as a seductive huntress to distract and trap him. When he falls asleep at night, exhausted, the Lilac Fairy sends him into Aurora’s dreams where he finds her surrounded by nymphs. This vision encourages the prince and renews his hope of finding his beloved, so that he continues his search – secretly guided by Aurora’s godmother.

                      On his journey to find his destined princess, Florimund has to pass several trials and overcome malevolent obstacles until he reaches his goal – precisely 100 years after the fairies’ spells had come into effect. Spurred on by his love for Aurora, the prince weakens Carabosse’s magic powers and is able to step through the thorn hedge. In the end, Florimund fulfils the Lilac Fairy’s promise by awakening the Sleeping Beauty with a kiss, after which they mutually declare their eternal love for each other. This sincere affection finally causes the mitigated curse to be broken as the evil fairy loses her magic power. 

                      Act 3: At court
                      Princess Aurora and Prince Florimund have married and swear eternal allegiance to their now united kingdoms. Heinrich and Katharina bless the couple. The Lilac Fairy, and further special guests of honour, are invited to pay homage to the young lovers.

                      Rehearsal insights

                      2023/24 Rehearsal insights

                      Key example of classical ballet

                      »The Sleeping Beauty« – a key example of classical ballet

                      by Marcelo Gomes

                      The ballet fairy tale

                      … is about Princess Aurora and her fate, which we can experience in various stages from the prologue to the apotheosis finale. Her counterpart is Florimund, a youthful, romantic and intrepid character who accidentally meets his soulmate while searching for himself. When he has a rare encounter with the Lilac Fairy, a creature that is not visible to everyone, he realises that he has been chosen to wake up Sleeping Beauty. At the same time, however, he is realistic and brave enough to know that getting to her would not be easy. He shows us all that it's worth fighting for your dreams and goals when you're passionate about and committed to something from the bottom of your heart!

                      I feel inspired

                      … by Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky's pictorial compositional style. With this masterful score, he shaped the characters and their individual developments in a wide variety of musical motifs, keys and instrumental nuances. While listening to his music, you can literally close your eyes and see the plot of the fairy tale in your mind's eye.

                      My artistic vision

                      … is to stage a cross-generational and family-friendly narrative ballet that proves once again that the tradition of the incredibly virtuoso classical ballet is still worth preserving today. »The Sleeping Beauty« never loses its relevance thanks to its love story, musicality, pure aesthetics and acting qualities. My desire is to engage our audiences with a beautiful, romantic, magical and compelling story by telling this popular fairy-tale in an understandable way.

                      The choreography

                      … is based on the purity of the classical ballet vocabulary, its precision and virtuosity. The production is an homage to the aesthetics of Marius Petipa, whose musical libretto and stage characters are shaped in such a clear, detailed and multi-layered way that each performer can discover some facets of him- or herself in any of the fairy-tale characters. This helps a lot to bring this ballet to life – especially since we are such a diverse company.

                      The quintessence

                      There are things between heaven and earth that no human being can change. »The Sleeping Beauty« is about two people who are destined for each other  ̶  no matter how far apart they are in space, time or geography and no matter how they try to influence their destiny as mortals. So, it is inevitable that Aurora will fall into a deep sleep and that she and Prince Florimund are soulmates. This is why the Lilac Fairy is the personification of superhuman fate.

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