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241th Season

Mariinsky II (New Theatre)

9 September
2017 | Saturday
Evening of one-act ballets. Carmen Suite. Le Carnaval
Ballet in 2 acts
Artists Credits
Ballet company
Music by Georges Bizet
Boris Messerer, Artistic Director
Tatiana Noginova, Costume Designer

Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Carmen is a passionate, free-spirited woman in contrast to the temperamental and fickle Don Jose. Fate, a ballerina dressed in black and a representation of Carmen’s alter ego, shows Carmen the cards. After a fight with tobacco dealers, Carmen seduces Don Jose and convinces him to release her from jail. Carmen is subsequently caught in a love triangle between Don Jose and the popular bullfighter Escamillo.

Le Carnaval ballet became world-famous due to its production by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (Theater des Westens, Berlin, 20 May 1910), with new sets and costumes by Leo Bakst, with Lydia Lopokova as Columbine and Vaslav Nijinsky as Harlequin.
It is based on the music of Robert Schumann's piano suite Carnaval, Op. 9, as orchestrated by Alexander Glazunov, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Anatoly Lyadov and Alexander Tcherepnin. It was choreographed by Michel Fokine to his own libretto

one act ballet

Carmen is a passionate, free-spirited woman in contrast to the temperamental and fickle Don Josй. Fate, a ballerina dressed in black and a representation of Carmen’s alter ego, shows Carmen the cards. After a fight with tobacco dealers, Carmen seduces Don Josй and convinces him to release her from jail. Carmen is subsequently caught in a love triangle between Don Josй and the popular bullfighter Escamillo.

Music by Georges Bizet – Rodion Shchedrin
Choreography by Alberto Alonso
Production Choreographer: Viktor Barykin
Production Designer: Boris Messerer
Lighting Designer: Vladimir Lukasevich

World premiere: 20 April 1967, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 19 April 2010

Running time: 45 minutes


Preambule. Carnival festivities.
Pierrot. Pierrot is sad.
Arlequin. The colourfully dressed Arlequin swoops down on Pierrot. Arlequin is in good spirits; Pierrot’s wretched looks make him laugh all the more. He sneers and gibe the poor fellow and vanishes as quickly as he appeared.
Eusebius. Eusebius enters slowly. He is perturbed by the glitter and merriment of the carnival. He is looking for refuge. At the feast there was no girl he was interested in enjoying the amusements together. Suddenly he meets a stranger such as can only be dreamed of. It is Chiarina. She is dancing on the stage and drawing Eusebius after her.
Florestan. The passionate Florestan runs in, looking for Estrella. Voila! Estrella feigns disdain. Florestan throws himself at her, wishing to declare his love. Continuing to act hurt, Estrella turns away, but the insistent Florestan succeeds in getting her to dance with him.
Coquette. Chiarina appears again with flowers in her arms. She dances coquettishly, giving her arm to Eusebius, she kisses a flower, throws it to Eusebius and hides.
Papillon. Pierrot is lonely. Papillon flutters past and flits about the stage lighheartedly. Pierrot lies in wait for her. Papilon flaps her wings, trying to fly away. Pierrot, intent on catching her with his hat, takes aim and throws it. Pierrot thinks he has caught Papillon, and retrieves his hat. What a disappointment! Papillon is not there — she has flown away.
Chiarina. Agitated by the events, Chiarina and two friends run in. Chiarina, apparently, has already told them about her adventure with Eusebius.
Reconaissance. The carnival characters arrive. Colombine slips as the moves across the floor; the merry Arlequin grabs hold of her. The happy couple look for the chance to withdraw and share their emotions. Their first wish, when they see no-one is looking, is to kiss.
Pantalon et Colombine. Pantalon, an old man trying to act young, enters in a terrible rush. Colombine had appointed a rendezvous. The clock shows that the time has come, and this is the place appointed in the letter... But his lady is not there. Pantalon decides to wait. In impatience he reads the letter again. Someone’s tender hands cover his eyes and someone else’s grab the letter — Arlequin and Colombine decided to amuse themselves with the comical old devotee.
Promenade. The lovers appear, couple after couple. They plan on being alone, but they meet others also looking for a quiet spot. Papillon flies in, followed by Pierrot. Pantalon is among the strolling lovers, still trying to find the unknown writer of the letter. She leads him to a Arlequin and Colombine who are wrapped in a daydream. Pantalon’s behaviour enfuriates Arlequin. At the top of his voice he declares «Columbine and I are to marry». Pantalon protests. Pierrot calms everyone down. «No quarrels or arguments. Pantalon and Arlequin — make peace.» Arlequin holds out his hand, and Pantalon reluctantly accepts it.
The burst of merriment siezes everyone. In the carnival merriment only two are ill at ease — Pierrot and Pantalon. Columbine calls on Pantalon. He moves towards her. However, Arlequin throws him into the embraces of the gaping Pierrot and ataches Pierrot’s long arms to Pantalon’s back. The last bars of the carnival music can be heard and the curtain falls. Pierrot and Pantalon, cut off from the merriments behind the curtain, knock and bang, in vain begging to be let into the carnival. 

Music by Robert Schumann (Le Carnaval, Op. 9, orchestrated by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Anatoly Lyadov, Alexander Glazunov, Nikolai Cherepnin, Anton Arensky)
Choreography by Michel Fokine
Set and Costume design by Lйon Bakst

The revival team:
Choreography staged by Sergei Vikharev
Sets reproduced by Mikhail Shishliannikov
Costumes reproduced by Tatiana Noginova
Lighting by Alexander Naumov and Mikhail Shishliannikov

Running time: 30 minutes

Mariinsky Theatre:
1 Theatre Square
St. Petersburg
Mariinsky-2 (New Theatre):
34 Dekabristov Street
St. Petersburg
Mariinsky Concert Hall:
20 Pisareva street
St. Petersburg

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