Choreography by John Cranko
Music by Kurt-Heinz Stolze after Domenico Scarlatti
Produced and Staged by Reid Anderson and Jane Bourne
Scenery and Costumes by Susan Benson
Lighting by Robert Thomson
Act 1 - 57:00
Act 2 - 53:00
The Taming of the Shrew, with scenery and costumes by Elizabeth
Dalton, was given its World Premiere by the Stuttgart Ballet at the
Wuerttemberg Opera House, Stuttgart on March 16, 1969, danced by Marcia
Haydée (Katherina), Richard Cragun (Petruchio), Suzanne Hanke
(Bianca), Heinz Clauss (Lucentio), John Neumeier (Hortensio), and Egon
The Taming of the Shrew received its United States Premiere by
the Stuttgart Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, on June
12, 1969, danced by the same cast.
This production was given its premiere performance by The National Ballet
of Canada on February 13, 1992 at the OKeefe Centre in Toronto,
danced by Karen Kain (Katherina), Serge Lavoie (Petruchio), Margaret
Illmann (Bianca), Raymond Smith (Lucentio), Jeremy Ransom (Hortensio),
and Tomas Schramek (Gremio).
The Taming of the Shrew was given its American Ballet Theatre Company
Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on June 9, 2000,
danced by Alessandra Ferri (Katherina) and Julio Bocca (Petruchio).
Act I, Scene 1
- Outside Baptista’s House - Three suitors (the cockscomb Hortensio, the
silly student Lucentio, and the old roué Gremio) arrive to serenade
Baptista’s pretty, younger daughter Bianca. Her older sister
Katherina interrupts the idyllic scene. Baptista declares that Bianca
shall not marry until Kate is wed. The rumpus awakens a crowd of neighbors
whom Kate sends packing.
Scene 2 - A Tavern - The three thwarted suitors nurse their battle
scars from this affray. Petruchio, a gentleman of more generosity than
means, arrives tipsy and is stripped of his last penny by two ladies
of the streets. The others offer to introduce him to an heiress. To
their delight, he accepts.
Scene 3 - Baptista’s House - Petruchio arrives and asks for Kate’s
hand. After a stormy courtship she agrees. Meanwhile Bianca’s
suitors, in disguise, press their claims under the pretense of giving
music, singing, and dancing lessons. She favors Lucentio.
Scene 4 - A Street - Neighbors on their way to Kate’s wedding
find the matter a huge joke. Bianca’s suitors gleefully join
Scene 5 - Baptista’s House - Petruchio arrives late and behaves
outrageously at the wedding. After the ceremony he carries off the
bride without waiting for the feast.
Act II, Scene 1 - A Country Road - The newly-weds travel through a
storm towards Petruchio’s house.
Scene 2 - Petruchio’s Kitchen - Kate arrives hungry and soaked
through. Petruchio prevents her from eating under the pretext that
the food is not good enough. She refuses to go to bed with him and
spends a hard, cold night on the kitchen floor.
Scene 3 - Carnival - Lucentio, bribing the two ladies of the streets
to wear cloaks and masks like Bianca’s, tricks his two rivals
into marrying them.
Scene 4 - Petruchio’s House - Still cold and starving Kate is
further provoked by Petruchio’s mocking and trickery. Eventually
she capitulates and they admit that they love each other.
Scene 5 - A Country Road - Traveling to Bianca’s wedding, Petruchio
indulges in some more whims but Kate has learnt how to humor him.
Scene 6 - Bianca’s Wedding - Bianca, like the wives of Gremio
and Hortensio, treats her husband disdainfully, but Kate shows them
how a wife is expected to behave. Left alone, she and Petruchio revel
in their new-found love.