“Romeo and Juliet” is the third ballet title on the bill for the 2021-2022 season which will featured by the Ballet of the Teatro di San Carlo directed by Clotilde Vayer. The masterpiece by Serghei Prokofiev (also author of the libretto with Sergej Radlov and Adrian Pëtrovskij) from the tragedy of the same name by William Shakespeare, will be conducted by Vello Pähn, on the podium of the Neapolitan Massimo Orchestra. The production is by the “Birmingham Royal Ballet” with sets and costumes by Paul Andrews.
Luisa Ieluzzi and Alessandro Staiano alternate in the roles of the two unfortunate lovers of Verona (May 22nd at 7pm and May 26th at 6pm) Anna Chiara Amirante and Stanislao Capissi (May 24th at 8pm and May 27th at 8pm), Claudia D’Antonio and Danilo Notaro (May 25th at 6pm and May 28th at 7pm).
“Romeo and Juliet”, the most beautiful and sad love story ever, has become a ballet in repertoire in all major international dance companies
Kenneth MacMillan, one of the greatest masters of the British scene of the second half of the 20th century, revolutionized classical dance by enhancing that expressive language with the resources of contemporary theater. His version of “Romeo and Juliet”, made in 1965 in London for Rudolf Nureev and Margot Fonteyn who also performed it at the San Carlo in the same year, has since become a world classic. To resume the choreography of MacMillan at the Teatro di San Carlo is Julie Lincoln together with Robert Twesley.
The most beautiful and sad love story composed by William Shakespeare between 1594 and 1596, has become a ballet in repertoire in all major international dance companies and bodies. Loss, sensuality and pain are the ingredients of success that effectively sign the staging of this choreography. Despite being counted among the traditional ballets (its absolute debut dates back to the Mahen Théâtre in Czechoslovakia, on December 30, 1938) the action is confirmed to be very present and full of references to current events.
Shakespeare’s sovereign masterpiece, the most famous sentimental story ever written, embodies the poignant poetry of an impossible feeling, the love and dreams of youth, the desire to believe in a different world, despite impulsiveness, aggression, and the uncertainties of adolescence.
In Russia the first creation inspired by the Shakespearean tragedy took place in 1809 in St. Petersburg
The version of the refined choreographer Kenneth MacMillan encodes this timeless tragedy, presenting it in all its majesty punctuated by the lack of completeness towards a clipped love. The Scottish Master instills delicacy in situations of love, on the music of Serghei Prokofiev, expressing the feelings of despair and loneliness and at the same time giving life to an atmosphere saturated with loneliness and misfortune, perfect from the point of view of historical setting. A esthete choreographer who loves the grandiose, the detail, and the solemnities to formally underline the impeccable beauty and atmosphere of Renaissance Verona.
The dynamics are snappy and in need of maximum expressiveness, photographing the centrality of the work on female beauty, on the sphere of feelings underlined by the skilful work by means of light and delicate arms, hands and dreamy gazes despite being designated by long parts of pantomime, for where the action is most manifested by the interpretative skills of the protagonists.
Among the most distant dance versions we remember that of 1785 on choreography by Eusebio Luzzi with music by Luigi Marescalchi for the San Samuele Theater in Venice. This was followed in 1787 by the creation of Filippo Beretti to the music of Vincenzo Martin for the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and in 1811 that of Vincenzo Galeotti in Copenhagen with the music of Klaus Nielsen Schall for the Royal Danish Ballet starring Margrethe Schall and Antoine Bournonville.
In Russia the first creation inspired by the Shakespearean tragedy took place in 1809 in St. Petersburg, signed by Ivan Ivanovitch Valberkh to the music of Daniel Steibelt. In 1924 Jean Cocteau resumed a short adaptation of the tragedy directed by Léonide Massine on stage at the Théâtre de la Cigale in Paris. Bronislava Nijinska also created his “Romeo and Juliet” for Serge Lifar and Tamara Karsavina in 1926 with Sergej Diaghilev’s “Ballets Russes”.
The original version had a happy ending, but was never publicly edited, the best known today is a revised version that was first presented at the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad on 11 January 1940
In the same year Massine’s version for “Les soirées de Paris” appeared. Based on a synopsis created by playwright Adrian Piotrovsky and Sergey Radlov, the ballet was completed in its original form by Sergej Prokofiev in September 1935, commissioned by the Mariinsky Ballet. Also to be remembered, right at the Royal Theaters of Naples, one of the first choreographic actions with the pantomime dance by Gaspare Ronzi (made in 1799
Prokofiev wrote about his score “If people do not find melody and sentiment in this opera of mine, I will be truly desolate, but I am sure they will hear it”.
While Vincenzo Gibelli stated “The drama of the unhappy lovers of Verona, the vicissitudes of enmity between the families of the Capulets and the Montagues, the life and color of the beautiful Venetian city live in the paintings of the ballet. Parties, duels, murders and suicides provide Prokofiev with the material for pages, in which opposing tendencies, nostalgia for (new) music and a treat for (classical) music contrast “. They are concessions to the public, albeit in a high way, to Prokofiev, so to speak; he knew he had to move and moved.
The music is rich and intense, extremely effective, full of musical ideas, melodies, symphonic and instrumental surprises, a “plastic music that reveals the internal movement of the narrative, the dynamic structure, which was the essence and meaning of every event ”from the words of Sergej Michajlovič Ėjzenštejn.
The original version had a happy ending, but was never publicly edited, the best known today is a revised version that was first presented at the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad on 11 January 1940, with choreography by Leonid Lavrovsky. As already mentioned above, in 1965 there was Kenneth MacMillan’s version (now staged at the San Carlo) for the Royal Ballet which debuted at the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden). The Fonteyn-Nureye’v couple gave new life to the characters, with great success.
From 22 to 28 May 2022, Serghei Prokofiev
Ballet in three acts based on the tragedy of the same name by William Shakespeare written between 1935 and 1936.
Director | Fleece Pähn
Choreography | Kenneth MacMillan (revived by Julie Lincoln and Robert Tewsley)
Scenes and Costumes | Paul Andrews
Lights | John B Read
Weapons Master | Renzo Musumeci Greco
Costumes Assistant | Anna Green
debut at the Teatro di San Carlo
Juliet, Luisa Ieluzzi (22, 26) / Anna Chiara Amirante (24, 27) / Claudia D’Antonio (25, 28)
Romeo, Alessandro Staiano (22, 26) / Stanislao Capissi (24, 27) / Danilo Notaro (25, 28)
Tebaldo, Ertrugel Gjoni (22, 25, 26, 28) / Raffaele Vasto (24, 27)
Mercutio, Carlo De Martino (22, 25, 26, 28) / Salvatore Manzo (24, 27)
Lady Capulets, Annalina Nuzzo (22, 25, 26, 28) / Adriana Pappalardo (24, 27)
Lord Capulets, Giuseppe Ciccarelli (22, 25, 26, 28) / Gianluca Nunziata (24, 27)
Lady Montecchi, Fabiana Isoletta
Lord Montecchi, Massimo Sorrentino
Nurse, Ottavia Cocozza di Montanara
Friar Lorenzo, Marco Spizzica
Paris, Daniele Di Donato (22, 25, 26, 28) / Pietro Valente (24, 27)
Mandolin dance, Salvatore Manzo (22, 25, 28) / Carlo De Martino (24) / Danilo Notaro (26, 27)
Ballet Director | Clotilde Vayer
Birmingham Royal Ballet production
San Carlo Theater
Sunday 22 May 2022, 7:00 pm
Tuesday 24 May 2022, 8:00 pm
Wednesday 25 May 2022, 6:00 pm
Thursday 26 May 2022, 6:00 pm
Friday 27 May 2022, 8.00 pm
Saturday 28 May 2022, 7.00 pm
(Photo: L. Romano)