The Sleeping Beauty
Fairy-tale ballet by Márcia Haydée
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The State OperaPremiere
The narrative ballet The Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Marius Petipa, was first performed in 1890 in St Petersburg. The music was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Now its adaptation as crafted by the legendary prima ballerina Márcia Haydée is set to become part of the Czech National Ballet’s repertoire, as a remarkable artefact of the classical ballet spiritual legacy.
Fairy-tale ballet by Márcia Haydée
The narrative ballet The Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Marius Petipa, based on Charles Perrault’s fairy tale, was first performed in 1890 in St Petersburg. The music was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Now its adaptation as crafted by the legendary prima ballerina Márcia Haydée is set to become part of the Czech National Ballet’s repertoire, as a remarkable artefact of the classical ballet spiritual legacy.
Since its premiere in 1987 designed by world famous Jürgen Rose, Márcia Haydée’s The Sleeping Beauty has been performed with different stage designs to great acclaim in Australia, Belgium, Chile, Germany, South Korea and Sweden. This original version of the sets and costumes for The Czech National Ballet was designed by Prague-born Pablo Núñez. The recently refurbished State Opera in Prague will host the balletic parable of bringing beauty back to life, and the eternal struggle between Good and Evil.
The universal struggle between Good and Evil
Before creating her own version of The Sleeping Beauty, Márcia Haydée had encountered Marius Petipa’s classical choreography on numerous occasions: it was the very first ballet she, as a little girl, saw, and, later on, as a dancer, she would appear in a number of its versions. When, in 1961, Marcia auditioned for John Cranko, she danced variations from The Sleeping Beauty, and she made her debut with the company performing Princess Florine Florine (a Bluebird pas de deux). Her profound knowledge of the work thus afforded Marcia a solid foundation on which she would later on build her own interpretation of The Sleeping Beauty, the very first ballet she choreographed.
Besides Princess Aurora and Prince Désiré, she primarily foregrounds the character of Carabosse, who is constantly present throughout the ballet. Haydée continues to focus on the wicked fairy until the very end, when Carabosse appears at the wedding feast so as to remind us that Evil is a constant part of the world and will not go away. Marcia Haydée described her vision as follows: “For me, The Sleeping Beauty is the story of Carabosse. … I think we all carry within aspects of both positive and negative energy. Their struggle is universal, one we can all relate to.”
After many years of childlessness, a daughter is born to the King and the Queen. The baptism celebrations are attended by six fairies, bringing good wishes. The master of ceremonies, Catalabutte, has forgotten to invite the fairy Carabosse. She appears and, offended and angry, curses the baby, predicting that on her sixteenth birthday Princess Aurora will prick her finger on a spindle and die. The consternation of all those present is ameliorated by the Lilac Fairy, who counters Carabosse’s malediction: after pricking her finger, Aurora will not die but fall into a hundred-year sleep, from which she will be awakened by a kiss of true love.
The curse comes true. Nevertheless, a century later, Prince Desiré has a vision. In a dream, the Lilac Fairy shows him Aurora and leads the young man to the sleeping Princess. Enchanted by her charm, Desiré awakens Aurora with a kiss. Love is the most powerful force against Carabosse’s malevolence.
The wedding of Aurora and Desiré is celebrated as a lavish masked party, with every member of the court disguised as a fairy-tale character. The Lilac Fairy blesses the union of the two young lovers. Yet Carabosse watches them from a distance … Good and Evil continue to be a part of life.
During the filming The State Opera Orchestra wasn´t able to play. The music was recorded by the Santiago de Chile Philharmonic Orchestra, to whom we extend our gratitude. We thank for the goodwill and cooperativeness they have shown at this fraught time.
The Czech National Ballet soloists and corps de ballet; Dance Conservatory of the Capital City of Prague students; Ballet Preparatory School of National Theatre pupils; extras
The State opera Orchestra
Our partner PRECIOSA adorns this production with jewellery.
Photo of cover: Alexandre Katsapov and Mario Bakus – The Queens
Photographers of production: Martin Divíšek, Serghei Gherciu
Photo and video gallery
Márcia Haydée & Filip Barankiewicz
Where to buy tickets
The National Theatre launched a pre-sale of tickets for June 2021.
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What to wear?
By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.
Parking at the State opera
While visiting the State Opera, you can take the slip road on Wilsonova street from the left lane close to the State Opera building to the Parking Centrum above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.