Special Features

Opera national de Paris: A Midsummer Night's Dream
June 8
Opera national de Paris: A Midsummer Night's Dream(2017)
Numerous choreographers have delved into Shakespeare to find dramatic material for their ballets, beginning with Jean-Georges Noverre, an ardent defender of the “action ballet” and Marius Petipa, who was the first to use Mendelssohn’s stage music. George Balanchine, who also loved the score, would prove no exception. In 1962 he created his version of Shakespeare’s comedy for New York City Ballet. Faithful to the Bard’s vocabulary whilst adding a subtle touch of pantomime, he portrays a complex love story in two acts and six scenes. Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, become caught up in a domestic quarrel between the king of the elves and the queen of the fairies which results in the intervention of the mischievous Puck and his magic potion along with a troupe of amateur actors. The denouement is celebrated in the form of a grand virtuoso entertainment. One of George Balanchine’s rare narrative ballets, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is entering the Paris Opera Ballet’s repertoire. The sets and costumes for this production have been designed by another magician of the stage, Christian Lacroix. Ballet in 2 Parts Opera de Paris (Opéra Bastille) Recorded March 2017 Presented by Aurélie Dupont, Directrice of Dance at the Opéra National de Paris Total Running Time: approximately 100 min CREATIVE TEAM Composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Choreographer George Balanchine Conductor Simon Hewett Chorus Master José Luís Basso Solists Pranvera Lehnert and Anne-Sophie Ducret Sets and costumes designs Christian Lacroix Lighting design Mark Stanley ARTISTIC TEAM Étoiles, Premiers Danseurs and Corps de Ballet With the participation of the Ballet School

Opera national de Paris: Così fan tutte
July 13
Opera national de Paris: Così fan tutte(2017)
Prompted by Don Alfonso, a cynical old philosopher, two young idealists decide to put their lovers’ fidelity to the test. But love will teach them a bitter lesson: those who believe themselves phoenixes and goddesses will discover the desires of the flesh. In 1790, one year after the French Revolution, in what would be their final collaboration, Mozart and Da Ponte conduct a scientific investigation of love. The music of Così fan tutte is truly extraordinary – complex in its symmetry, jovial and yet infused with an almost sacred melancholia. An extraordinary score where each note seems intended to make us accept a loss – lost paradise, lost youth, or a lost loved-one – and portray a world where all is in a constant state of flux. This laboratory of eroticism could but inspire choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, who excels in revealing a work’s innermost geometry on stage. With six singers doubled by six dancers, she depicts the desire which unites and separates human beings, like the interactions between atoms that, once broken, make new bonds possible. Opera in two acts Sung in Italian with English subtitles Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte From Opéra de Paris (Palais Garnier) Recorded February 16, 2017 Running Time: 3h 40min (including an intermission of 30 min) CREATIVE TEAM Conductor Philippe Jordan Staged by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker Choreography Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker Sets and lighting Jan Versweyveld Costumes designs Dries Van Noten Chorus Master Alessandro Di Stefano Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra de Paris ARTISTIC TEAM Singers Fiordiligi Jacquelyn Wagner Dorabella Michele Losier Ferrando Frédéric Antoun Guglielmo Philippe Sly Don Alfonso Paulo Szot Despina Ginger Costa-Jackson Dancers Fiordiligi Cynthia Loemij Dorabella Samantha van Wissen Guglielmo Michaël Pomero Ferrando Julien Monty Despina Marie Goudot Don Alfonso Boštjan Antončič