ABT: AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE AMERICA'S NATIONAL BALLET COMPANY®

Julie Kent and Marcelo Gomes in Onegin.
Photo:Fabrizio Ferri.



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Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
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NEW PRODUCTION OF JOHN CRANKO'S ONEGIN
AND NEW YORK PREMIERE OF FIREBIRD
BY ALEXEI RATMANSKY
TO HIGHLIGHT ABT'S 2012 SPRING SEASON
AT THE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE,
MAY 14-JULY 7, 2012

 
Ethan Stiefel to Give Final Performance on July 7

Box Office Opens Sunday, April 1

 
3/26/2012 - American Ballet Theatre’s 2012 season at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 14-July 7, will be highlighted by a new production of John Cranko’s Onegin, with scenery and costumes by Santo Loquasto, and the New York Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Firebird. Tickets for ABT’s Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House go on sale at the box office on Sunday, April 1 at Noon.

Principal Dancers for the 2012 Metropolitan Opera House season include Maxim Beloserkovsky, Roberto Bolle, Angel Corella, Herman Cornejo, Irina Dvorovenko, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Gillian Murphy, Natalia Osipova, Veronika Part, Xiomara Reyes, Cory Stearns, Ethan Stiefel and Diana Vishneva.

American Airlines is the Official Airline of American Ballet Theatre. Northern Trust is the Leading Sponsor of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. MasterCard is the official credit card of American Ballet Theatre. ABT is supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2012 Spring season opens with a Gala Performance featuring ABT’s Principal Dancers on Monday, May 14 at 6:30 P.M. For information on ABT’s Spring Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3311. The 2012 Spring Gala is sponsored by Graff and Valentino.


Guest Artists

Guest Artists for the 2012 Spring season include Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg, principal dancers with The Royal Ballet; Denis Matvienko, former principal dancer with Mariinsky Ballet and current artistic director of Kiev Ballet; Vadim Muntagirov, principal dancer with English National Ballet; Polina Semionova, principal dancer with Berlin State Ballet; and Ivan Vasiliev, principal dancer with Mikhailovsky Ballet.

For American Ballet Theatre, Cojocaru will perform the title role in Giselle opposite Angel Corella as Albrecht, on Thursday, May 17; Nikiya in La Bayadère opposite Ivan Vasiliev as Solor, on Thursday, May 24; and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet opposite Johan Kobborg as Romeo, on Wednesday evening, June 20. Kobborg will also appear as the Ballet Dancer in The Bright Stream on Thursday, May 31 and the matinee on Saturday, June 2, and as Conrad in Le Corsaire opposite Natalia Osipova as Medora, on Thursday, July 5. Matvienko will perform the role of Solor in La Bayadère opposite Gillian Murphy as Nikiya, at the matinee on Saturday, May 26. Muntagirov will dance Solor opposite Hee Seo as Nikiya, on Wednesday evening, May 23, as well as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake opposite Irina Dvorovenko as Odette/Odile, at the matinee on Saturday, June 30. Semionova will perform Myrta in Giselle on Saturday evening, May 19; Nikiya in La Bayadère opposite David Hallberg as Solor, on Saturday evening, May 26; and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried, on Tuesday, June 26 and Friday, June 29. In addition to La Bayadère, Vasiliev will appear as Pyotr in The Bright Stream on Thursday, May 31 and the matinee on Saturday, June 2, and as Ali, the Slave, in Le Corsaire on Thursday, July 5 and the matinee on Saturday, July 7.


All-New Production of John Cranko’s Onegin

American Ballet Theatre will premiere a new production of John Cranko’s Onegin, with sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by James F. Ingalls, on Monday, June 4, 2012 with Diana Vishneva as Tatiana, Marcelo Gomes as Eugene Onegin, Natalia Osipova as Olga, Jared Matthews as Lensky and Gennadi Saveliev as Prince Gremin.

Set to music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, arranged and orchestrated by Kurt-Heinz Stolze, Onegin is based on the poem of the same name by Alexander Pushkin. John Cranko’s Onegin received its World Premiere on April 13, 1965 by the Stuttgart Ballet in Stuttgart, Germany. The ballet received its Company Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on June 1, 2001 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. The new production was premiered by the National Ballet of Canada on June 19, 2010 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, Canada. Staged for ABT by Reid Anderson and Jane Bourne, Onegin will be given eight performances June 4 through 9. Onegin was last performed by ABT in 2002.


New York Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Firebird

The New York Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Firebird will take place on Monday evening, June 11 with Natalia Osipova dancing the title role. This all-new production of the Igor Stravinsky classic Firebird , with original choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, will receive its World Premiere on March 29, 2012 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. Firebird will be given eight performances at the Metropolitan Opera House, June 11 through 13 and June 21 through 23.

Based on the Russian fairy tale, the one-act ballet will feature scenery by Simon Pastukh, costumes by Galina Solovyeva, lighting by Brad Fields and projections by Wendall K. Harrington. Ratmansky’s choreography for Firebird will utilize the entire original 1910 Stravinsky score.

Ratmansky’s Firebird is American Ballet Theatre’s fourth production of the ballet. Originally choreographed by Michel Fokine to Stravinsky’s first score for ballet, The Firebird received its world premiere by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes at the Théâtre National de l’Opéra in Paris on June 25, 1910. It first entered the repertory of Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York on October 24, 1945 with choreography by Adolph Bolm and scenery and costumes by Marc Chagall. A second production, with choreography by Michel Fokine and staging by Christopher Newton, was premiered by ABT in 1977 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. ABT gave the Revival Premiere of The Firebird , with choreography by Michel Fokine, produced by Nicholas Beriozoff, on January 24, 1992 at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.


Repertory Programs

Sharing the program with Firebird will be Christopher Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions and George Balanchine’s Apollo beginning Monday evening, June 11. Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Dream will have four performances along with Firebird from Thursday evening, June 21 through Saturday evening, June 23. Christopher Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions is set to music by Benjamin Britten and features costumes by Bob Crowley and lighting by Brad Fields. The ballet, Wheeldon’s first work for American Ballet Theatre, was given its World Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House on May 24, 2011.

David Hallberg will lead the season’s first performance of George Balanchine’s Apollo on June 11. On Wednesday, June 13, Marcelo Gomes will make his debut as Apollo at the matinee and Maxim Beloserkovsky will dance the title role at the evening performance. Set to music by Igor Stravinsky, Apollo was given its world premiere by Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes at the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt, Paris on June 12, 1928 with Serge Lifar as Apollo. The ballet received its first American performance by American Ballet at The Metropolitan Opera House, New York on April 27, 1937. Apollo was first performed by American Ballet Theatre on April 25, 1943 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York with André Eglevsky as Apollo, Vera Zorina as Terpsichore, Nora Kaye as Polyhymnia, and Rosella Hightower as Calliope. Apollo was last performed by ABT in 2006.

A 20th Anniversary Salute to ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie will take place on Tuesday, June 12 at 7:30 P. M. The program will include Thirteen Diversions, Firebird and the pas de deux from James Kudelka’s Cruel World, set to music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky and danced by Julie Kent and Marcelo Gomes. The evening will also feature a special pièce d’occasion choreographed by Gomes and performed by Paloma Herrera, Veronika Part and Xiomara Reyes.

Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Dream will be given its first performance of the season on Thursday, June 21 led by Xiomara Reyes as Titania, Cory Stearns as Oberon and Herman Cornejo as Puck. A ballet in one act, The Dream is adapted from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and set to music by Felix Mendelssohn. The ballet features sets and costumes by David Walker and lighting by John B. Read. The Dream received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London on April 2, 1964 danced by Antoinette Sibley (Titania), Anthony Dowell (Oberon), Keith Martin (Puck), Alexander Grant (Bottom), Carole Needham (Helena), Vergie Derman (Hermia), David Drew (Demetrius) and Derek Rencher (Lysander).

The Dream received its United States premiere by The Royal Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on April 30, 1965, danced by the same cast. The ballet was given its American Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on May 24, 2002 danced by Alessandra Ferri (Titania), Ethan Stiefel (Oberon) and Herman Cornejo (Puck).


Full-length Ballets

American Ballet Theatre’s 2012 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House will feature an additional six full-length ballets during the eight-week engagement.

Following the season’s Opening Night, the Company will begin the first of eight performances of Giselle on Tuesday, May 15 at 7:30pm with Julie Kent in the title role dancing opposite Marcelo Gomes as Albrecht. Set to music by Adolphe Adam and orchestrated by John Lanchbery, Giselle is staged by Kevin McKenzie with choreography after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa. The two-act ballet features scenery by Gianni Quaranta and costumes by Anna Anni. This production, with scenery by Quaranta and costumes by Anni, was created for the film Dancers in 1987.

The first of eight performances of Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadère will take place on Tuesday evening, May 22. Set to the music of Ludwig Minkus and arranged by John Lanchbery, La Bayadère features scenery by PierLuigi Samaritani, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting by Toshiro Ogawa. Conceived and directed by Makarova after Marius Petipa, La Bayadère was given its World Premiere by ABT in 1980. The season’s first performance of La Bayadère will feature Veronika Part as Nikiya, Marcelo Gomes as Solor and Gillian Murphy as Gamzatti. Misty Copeland will debut as Gamzatti on Thursday, May 24.

Last season’s Company Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Bright Stream will be given seven performances beginning Tuesday, May 29 with Paloma Herrera, Marcelo Gomes, Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg in the leading roles. Set to Dmitri Shostakovich’s The Bright Stream, the ballet features sets by Ilya Utkin, costumes by Elena Markovskaya and lighting by Brad Fields. The libretto, by Adrian Piotrovsky and Fyodor Lopukhov, tells the story of the members of a Russian farm collective in the 1930’s and their humorous interactions with a group of visiting performers during the harvest festival. Ratmansky’s The Bright Stream received its World Premiere by the Bolshoi Ballet on April 18, 2003 with sets and costumes by Boris Messerer. The original production of The Bright Stream, with choreography by Lopukhov, was premiered on April 4, 1935 by the Maly Opera and Ballet Theater at the Maly Theatre in Leningrad. The Bright Stream received its Company Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on January 21, 2011 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Tatiana Ratmansky assisted Mr. Ratmansky in staging the ballet for ABT.

Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet will be given eight performances beginning Thursday evening, June 14 with Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo in the title roles. Set to the score by Sergei Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet features scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by Thomas Skelton. The ballet received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet in London on February 9, 1965 and was given its ABT Company Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House on April 22, 1985.

Eight performances of Swan Lake, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa, will be given beginning Monday, June 25 with Veronika Part and Cory Stearns leading the opening night cast. Swan Lake is set to the score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky and features scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler. Soloists Isabella Boylston and Daniil Simkin will debut in the leading roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried at the Wednesday, June 27 matinee performance. This production of Swan Lake premiered on March 24, 2000 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2012 season will conclude with seven performances of Le Corsaire beginning Tuesday evening, July 2. With choreography by Konstantin Sergeyev after Marius Petipa, and staging by Anna-Marie Holmes after Petipa and Sergeyev, Le Corsaire features music by Adolphe Adam, Cesare Pugni, Léo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo and Prince Oldenbourg. Based on the Lord Byron poem “The Corsair” (1814), the ballet has sets and costumes by Irina Tibilova with additional costume designs by Robert Perdziola. Gillian Murphy, Marcelo Gomes, Stella Abrera, Sascha Radetsky, Ethan Stiefel and Craig Salstein will lead the season’s first performance of Le Corsaire. Veronika Part will debut in the role of Medora and Joseph Phillips will dance Birbanto for the first time at the matinee on Wednesday, July 4. Arron Scott will debut as Birbanto on Thursday, July 5 and Herman Cornejo will dance the role of Conrad for the first time on Friday, July 6. On Saturday evening, July 7, Ethan Stiefel will give his final performance with American Ballet Theatre in the role of Ali, the Slave.


ABTKIDS

ABTKids, American Ballet Theatre’s annual one-hour introduction to ballet, is scheduled for Saturday morning, May 19 at 11:30 A.M. All tickets for ABTKids are $25.


ABTKids Workshop Series

ABTKids Workshop Series, one-hour activity-based programs led by ABT Teaching Artists, are available to ABTKids ticket holders on Saturday, May 19 (9:30 A.M.), and to matinee ticket holders Saturday, June 2 (11:00 A.M.) and Saturday, June 23 (11:00 A.M). Saturday workshops will be held in the rehearsal studios of the Metropolitan Opera House. Tickets to the workshops are $20 per person. For tickets and more information on ABTKids Workshop series, please call 212-419-4321.


Single tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s 2012 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, on sale beginning Sunday, April 1 at Noon, are available at the Met box office, by phone at 212-362-6000, or online. The Metropolitan Opera House is located on Broadway between 64th and 65th streets in New York City.


Onegin is generously supported through an endowed gift from Ruth and Harold Newman. Additional support has generously been provided by Lillian E. Kraemer.

The World Premiere of Firebird is co-commissioned by American Ballet Theatre and Dutch National Ballet. David H. Koch is the Lead Underwriter of Firebird. Firebird is generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund. Linda Allard is the Leading Sponsor of costumes for Firebird. Additional costume underwriting support has been provided by Caroline Hyman. ABT gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Leading Sponsors: The Susan and Leonard Feinstein Foundation and Charlotte and Macdonald Mathey. Additional support has generously been provided by Brian and Darlene Heidtke, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton E. James, Andrew J. Martin-Weber, James M. and Nora C. Orphanides, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Support for costume and set design has generously been provided by Dr. Coco Lazaroff. Firebird has been made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Thirteen Diversions is generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund. Additional support has been provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. This ballet is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.

Apollo is generously supported through an endowed gift from Monica, Stefano, Cosima, and Tassilo Corsi.

Kevin McKenzie’s 20th Anniversary Celebration is generously underwritten by the Joseph A. Wilson Challenge Grant.

The Dream is presented in loving memory of Clarence Y. Palitz, Jr. by his family. The Dream has been made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

American Ballet Theatre's performances of Giselle are generously supported through an endowed gift from Sharon Patrick. ABT gratefully acknowledges Linda Allard as the Leading Costume Sponsor of Giselle.

La Bayadère is generously sponsored by an endowed gift from Drs. Philip and Marjorie Gerdine. La Bayadère presented in loving memory of Mrs. Caroline Newhouse. A generous grant from the Rockefeller Foundation has made this production possible. Major funding for this production has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Bright Stream is generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund. This production has been made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support has generously been provided by Leila and Mickey Straus and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

American Ballet Theatre's performances of Romeo and Juliet are generously underwritten through an endowed gift from Ali and Monica Wambold.

Swan Lake has been generously underwritten by R. Chemers Neustein. Costumes for Swan Lake are generously sponsored by the Ellen Everett Kimiatek Costume Preservation Trust.

American Ballet Theatre's performances of Le Corsaire are generously underwritten through an endowed gift from Irene and Fred Shen.

The ABTKids performance is generously supported through an endowed gift from Thomas and Lydia West, in loving memory of Vivian B. West.