Swan Lake Ballet in four acts by music by P.I. Tchaikovsky

Ballet in four acts by music by P.I Tchaikovsky

Libretto by Vladimir Begichev, Vasily Gelzer and Modest Tchaikovsky

With the participation of the soloists and the ballet ensemble of the State Opera - Burgas and with the special participation of graduates of ballet classes at the National Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov ”- Burgas

Choreography, production and directing - Prof. HIKMET MECHMEDOV (after MARIUS PETIPA and LEV IVANOV)
Set design - IVAN ТOKADZHIEV
Costume Designer - TSVETANKA PETKOVA-STOINOVA
Ballet Assistant - VESA TONOVA
Assistant Director - DARINA GLAVANAKOVA-BAKARDZHIEVA

 

Actors:

Clothes

Prince Siegfried

The Princess, Siegfried's mother

Wolfgang, Siegfried's alumnus

Rothbart, an evil sorcerer

Odilia, daughter of Rothbart, Odette's twin

Ceremonial master

Joke

Courters, pagans, ball guests, Siegfried's friends, girls, servants, swans.

 

History of creation

            In the spring of 1875, the Bolshoi Theater staged Tchaikovsky's Oprichnik. Her success motivated the theater directorate to commission the composer to write the Swan Lake ballet. Tchaikovsky readily accepted the challenge - for a long time, his desire to "test his powers in this musical form", in his own words, and precisely the plot of Swan Lake had long tempted him to write a ballet. In fact, in the summer of 1871 Tchaikovsky composed in Kamenka the one-act ballet "Swan Lake" for the children of his sister Alexandra Davidova, who also perform the roles in it. From this opus, Pyotr Ilyich will take the main topic of the Swans. According to the memories of two of the participants in such a makeshift home performance - the nephews of the composer Yuri Davidov and Anna Mekh-Davidova, Tchaikovsky wrote the music on the plot of the Russian folk tale "Swan-bird - shy maiden".

            Most likely the idea for the creation of Swan Lake was by Tchaikovsky himself. The first version of the libretto was born under the pen of Vladimir Begichev (who, being a close friend of the composer, probably knew about children's ballet) and of the much more experienced amateur musician Begichev, an experienced dancer and ballet teacher Vasily Geltser (one of the co-authors and the second version). At the heart of the libretto lies one of the stories in the collection "Magic tales" of the German writer Johann Museus - "Der geraubte Schleier" ("The stolen veil") - which has undergone significant changes. Tchaikovsky has been working with great inspiration on music. In less than a year, he wrote all four ballet acts - with one painting in each, and in April 1876 the score of Swan Lake was completed. At that time rehearsals at the Bolshoi Theater began. However, for the evil part, only a heap of disappointments brought to Tchaikovsky the production of Swan Lake. Held in the Russian capital on March 4 (February 20, old style) in 1877 at the Imperial Bolshoi Theater under the conductor baton of Sergei Ryabov. The Moscow premiere of the work has had no success. The reason for the failure of many reviews is the poor choreography of Julius Reisinger, the unsuccessful set design of the different artists (each of them worked independently on a separate action: Karl Waltz - on the II and IV, Ivan Shangin - on I.- Karl Gropius (Act III, respectively) and, above all, the unsatisfactory performance of the soloists. Actress Anna Sobeschanskaya was replaced at the last moment under the pressure of the producer Milioti with the rather mediocre ballerina (and the wife of Milioti himself) Polina Karpakova. The talented Sobeshtanskaya played Odeta's main party - Odilia only in the fourth performance. After that unfortunate start, Swan Lake Ballet sank into oblivion for a long time. Two attempts to bring him back to life - in 1880 and in 1882 - made the new ballet master, Belgian Josef Hansen, but in vain.

            Interest in "Swan Lake" resumed only after the great and noisy successes of Tchaikovsky's other two ballets - "The Sleeping Beauty" and "The Nutcracker." Busy at this time with his Sixth Symphony - Pathetic, the composer refused to return to this ballet; however, I am deciding to make a new version, authorizing his brother Modest for the libretto, and for the music - the renowned conductor and composer Ricardo Drigo. Their editorial features are already far better development of the action and dramatic construction. The scenography created by Ivan Andreev, Mikhail Bocharov and Henry Levot, as well as the costumes of the artist Evgeniy Ponomarev, is much more successful. The greatest credit for the resurrection of the Swan Lake ballet from the depths of undeserved and unjustified oblivion has not only the undeniably delightful music created by the inimitable Tchaikovsky but also the remarkable choreography, which in the second version is the work of the talented ballet dancers Iestarist as well as the brilliant reincarnation of the Italian ballerina Pierina Leniani in the role of Odetta - Odilia. The emblematic St. Petersburg premiere of Swan Lake is January 15, 1895, in the Mariinsky Theatre.

Ballet is greeted with utter enthusiasm by both the audience and the critics. Unfortunately, his departure from this world only a few months earlier, in the spring of 1894, Tchaikovsky failed to enjoy the grand triumph of his ballet… From now on, Swan Lake will become a creative challenge for all talented choreographers and one of the most staged ballet performances in all the world stages, and the role of Odetta - Odilia will become the favorite of the biggest ballerinas - Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina, Galina Ulanova, Margo Fontaine, Alicia Alonso, Ivet Shovire, Maya Plisetskaya…

 

Content (by author)

            On the shore of the lake. The young princess Odetta flowers wildly near the ruins of an old castle without even suspecting that the evil magician Rothbart was hiding among the stones like a snake. The girl's attention is captivated by the beautiful flower, which stands alone on a cliff. The moment he tears it off, a terrible storm breaks out. Rothbart emerges from the ruins - the evil sorcerer has summoned the dark forces of nature to unravel. He grabs Odet and magically turns her into a swan.

            The garden in front of Princess Castle. Prince Siegfried, the princess's son, celebrates adulthood with friends. His mother arrives and tells the prince that at Siegfried's tomorrow's ball, she will have to choose her fiancé. The mother's will saddens the young man. He doesn't have a favorite yet: Of all the girls he knows, none have been able to make his heart beat faster. And he is not yet ready to say goodbye to his free life and his friends. The guests gradually move away. Siegfried goes into dreams. He is struck by the appearance of a flock of swans in the distance. The prince summons his comrades and they all head to the lake.

            On the shore of the lake near the ruined castle. Siegfried admired the magnificent floating birds. Swan-moored swans are slowly coming ashore. Suddenly one of them turns into a beautiful girl. Her striking beauty catches the breath of the young prince and he falls in love instantly. Odette senses that she can trust Siegfried, and reveals to him his ill fate: the magician Rothbart has turned her into a swan. From his hateful power, she and her sisters can only be released if Odet is loved by a man who has sworn an oath of eternal faithfulness to her. At the same time, however, Rothbart will surely do his best to prevent the doomed man from falling in love. Without a moment's hesitation, Siegfried swears to be faithful to Odet's grave. Rothbart, hiding in the darkness, hears everything. Torn with malice and anger, the wizard devises a hell of a plan for the separation of the lovers.

            Ball in the Castle of the Princess. It's time for Prince Siegfried to choose his fiancée. Girls dance in front of his eyes, more beautiful than one another, but he is completely obsessed with the raging feelings in his heart for Odet. His indifference to the guests is a concern for his mother, the Princess. A stranger knight enters the hall, accompanied by a lovely girl. This is the Rothbart magician with his daughter Odilia, who magically gave Odet the image. Captivated Siegfried truly takes her as his beloved and enthusiastically announces her choice - she, she and no other will be my fiancee! Rothbart celebrates: Siegfried swore his oath of allegiance. At that moment, the priest sees the sad image of Odet and realizes his delusion. Siegfried rushes to the lake like mad.

            On the shore of the lake. Odetta tells her sisters about Siegfried's betrayal. With the swearing-in of the oath, the only hope of invalidating the magic of Rothbart is lost. He also touches on Siegfried, and with a passionate impulse, confesses to Odet: he did so because he saw only his beloved in Odile's face. The girl in love forgives him. The hated Rothbart, who never stopped hiding and watching them, decides to kill the prince. The magician calls for the help of the evil forces and the dark elements of nature. A terrible storm was over. Wildly swirling waters of the lake flood the shore. Odet is thrown into Siegfried's arms - she is ready to sacrifice herself and die with him. The strong and pure love of the two young men deprives Rothbart of his magical power and he falls dead. The storm subsides. Swans turn into girls. The sun illuminates with its rays the happiness of Odetta and Siegfried…