Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowsky
Märchen-Ballett von Reginaldo Oliveira nach Charles Perrault
“The Sleeping Beauty” is seen by many as the greatest masterpiece of the composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Reginaldo Oliveira, head of the ballet division, is interested not only in the arrestingly beautiful music of the ballet and its enchanting fairy-tale motifs, but also in the archaic questions of good and evil, rejection and revenge that its narrative explores.
Aurora’s parents had to wait for a long time until they finally had their first child, conceived with the help of fairies. This is why they are doing everything they can to keep their daughter from harm. And they succeed – almost. It is only one single fairy that they forget to invite to the christening, yet disaster seems inevitable. The angry fairy curses Aurora: She will die at 15. This curse cannot be revoked, but another fairy mitigates the death sentence to a 100 years’ sleep. And thus Aurora becomes the Sleeping Beauty, who must be redeemed by a courageous Prince after having slept for 100 years.
The ballet was inspired by “The Beauty Sleeping in the Forest”, a literary fairy tale written by the French author Charles Perrault, which includes some humorous elements, for instance when the Prince remarks that the Sleeping Beauty’s outfit from 100 years ago reminds him of the clothes his grandmother used to wear. Or when the Sleeping Beauty sees the Prince for the first time: “You certainly took your time!” she greets him. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) considered “The Sleeping Beauty” his best ballet.
At its 1890 world premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, an incredibly large cast of 155 performers shared the stage, including 59 solo dancers. The work was performed 50 times in St. Petersburg over the next two years and is still a classic in ballet repertories.
After the double billing of “Iolanta / The Nutcracker”, ballet director Oliveira once again stages one of Tchaikovsky’s great ballets. He is supported by stage designer Matthias Kronfuss and costume designer Judith Adam. Carlo Benedetto Cimento, who joins the Salzburg State Theatre as First Kapellmeister from the Mainfranken Theater Würzburg, acts as the ballet’s musical director.