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April 17, 2023

New York Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Like Water for Chocolate to open American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, June 22 - July 22, 2023

Season to Include Full-Length Classics Giselle, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet

Opening Night Gala Featuring Like Water For Chocolate

General Public On Sale Begins Monday, April 24 at 12:00 P.M.

Cassandra Trenary and Herman Cornejo in Like Water for Chocolate,Cassandra Trenary and Herman Cornejo in Like Water for Chocolate. Photo: Marty Sohl.

NEW YORK, NY  – American Ballet Theatre returns to the Metropolitan Opera House with four stories of love for its 2023 Summer season, June 22–July 22. The season will feature the New York Premiere of two-time Tony Award®-winner Christopher Wheeldon’s Like Water for Chocolate, as well as full-length classics Giselle, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet.  General public on sale for ABT’s 2023 Summer season begins on Monday, April 24 at 12:00 P.M. at the Metropolitan Opera House box office.

Principal Dancers for the 2023 Summer season include Joo Won Ahn, Aran Bell, Isabella Boylston, Skylar Brandt, Daniel Camargo, Herman Cornejo, Thomas Forster, Catherine Hurlin, Gillian Murphy, Calvin Royal III, Hee Seo, Christine Shevchenko, Cory Stearns, Devon Teuscher, Cassandra Trenary, James Whiteside, and Roman Zhurbin.


New York Premiere

The New York Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Like Water for Chocolate is set for Thursday, June 22, 2023, with Cassandra Trenary and Herman Cornejo in the leading roles of Tita and Pedro, respectively. Based on Laura Esquivel’s bestselling novel of the same name, Like Water for Chocolate is Wheeldon’s latest full-length ballet and a co-production with The Royal Ballet. The three-act ballet follows Tita, a young Mexican woman who struggles with familial duty in the face of forbidden love, expressing herself the one way she knows how, through cooking. Like Water for Chocolate is set to an original score by Joby Talbot and features scenery and costumes by Bob Crowley, lighting by Natasha Katz, and video design by Luke Halls. American Ballet Theatre is excited to welcome Alondra de la Parra to conduct the first four performances of Like Water for Chocolate at the Metropolitan Opera House. A globally renowned conductor, de la Parra has worked with some of the most prestigious orchestras across the world and holds the distinction of being the first Mexican woman to conduct professionally in New York City. ABT additionally welcomes Tomás Barreiro, a decorated and internationally recognized Mexican composer, orchestrator, guitar player, and teacher, on Solo Guitar for all 12 performances, as well as Venezuelan-born singer Maria Brea, whose soaring soprano accompanies the final, climatic pas de deux.

Like Water for Chocolate received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet on June 2, 2022, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. It received its North American Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on March 29, 2023, at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. At the Metropolitan Opera House, the ballet will be given 12 performances through Saturday, July 1.


Opening Night Gala Celebrating Yolanda Santos

American Ballet Theatre will host its June Gala on Thursday, June 22, 2023, at 6:30 P.M. at the Metropolitan Opera House featuring the New York Premiere of Like Water for Chocolate. Following the performance, Gala guests are invited to join ABT for a black-tie dinner and dancing on the Promenade of the newly opened David Geffen Hall. The Gala evening will honor Yolanda Santos, Founding Member of ABT’s Global Council and Founder of Ballet de Monterrey, for her championship of classical ballet and contemporary visual arts, nationally and internationally. Laura Esquivel, author of Like Water for Chocolate, will serve as Honorary Chair of the event. For more information or to purchase tickets and tables, please contact Megan Stahlberg at


Full-Length Works

ABT will perform the full-length production of Giselle for a total of eight performances beginning on Monday, July 3, with Hee Seo in the title role and Cory Stearns as Albrecht. Staged by Kevin McKenzie with choreography after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, and Marius Petipa, Giselle is set to music by Adolphe Adam, orchestrated by John Lanchbery, with scenery by Gianni Quaranta, costumes by Anna Anni, and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. The World Premiere of Giselle, one of the oldest continually performed ballets, occurred at the Theatre de l’Academie Royale de Musique in Paris on June 28, 1841. The ballet was first presented by ABT (then Ballet Theatre) at the Center Theatre in New York City on January 12, 1940, with choreography by Anton Dolin and scenery and costumes by Lucinda Ballard. The leading roles were danced by Annabelle Lyon and Anton Dolin. ABT’s sixth production, featuring scenery by Gianni Quaranta and costumes by Anna Anni, was created for the film Dancers, produced in 1987 by Cannon Films. This production’s first public performance was given on March 20, 1987, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Marianna Tcherkassky as Giselle and Kevin McKenzie as Albrecht. The current staging is by McKenzie, using the Quaranta and Anni designs. The Saturday, July 8 performance of Giselle will be “In Tribute to Lupe Serrano” in honor of the late Lupe Serrano, former ABT Principal Dancer from 1953-1971, who, after retiring from the stage, taught classes for the ABT main Company, ABT Studio Company, ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, and Summer Intensives.

Eight performances of Swan Lake will begin Monday, July 10, with Isabella Boylston as Odette-Odile and Daniel Camargo as Prince Siegfried. Set to music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake is choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. The ballet features scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler. This production of Swan Lake premiered on March 24, 2000, at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with Julie Kent (Odette-Odile) and Angel Corella (Prince Siegfried). The Friday, July 21 performance of Swan Lake will be a “Special Evening for Susan Jaffe” to celebrate Jaffe’s first Met season as Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre, a homecoming for the former ABT Principal Dancer of 22 years.

Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet will be given seven performances beginning Tuesday, July 18, with Devon Teuscher and Aran Bell 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. Romeo and Juliet received its World Premiere from The Royal Ballet in London on February 9, 1965, and February 9, 1965, and was given its ABT Company Premiere at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 1985, with Leslie Browne and Robert La Fosse in the leading roles.



ABTKids, American Ballet Theatre’s annual one-hour introduction to ballet for families, will return to the Metropolitan Opera House stage on Saturday, June 24 at 11:00 A.M. The family-friendly showing of selections from the ABT main Company’s illustrious repertoire will be hosted by ABT Principal Dancer James Whiteside. All tickets for ABTKids are $25.


Single Tickets

Single tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s 2023 Summer season at the Metropolitan Opera House will be on sale beginning Monday, April 24 at 12:00 P.M. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 212-362-6000, in person at the Met Box Office, or online at ABT’s website. Tickets start at $30. The Metropolitan Opera House is located on Broadway between 64th and 65th streets in New York City.

Ticket holders for the 2023 Summer season at the Metropolitan Opera House may exchange tickets up until Noon the day of the performance at no charge, minus any difference in the ticket price. We regret that there are no refunds or cancellations.


Student Ticket Policy

American Ballet Theatre offers $12–$30 advance tickets and Day of Rush tickets for any full-time undergraduate or graduate student. A valid student ID is required. Tickets are subject to availability and require advance registration on the Met website. Limit two tickets per person, per performance.

American Ballet Theatre offers $35 orchestra day of rush tickets to the general public for all performances. Two tickets may be purchased for one performance every seven days. Tickets are subject to availability and require advance registration on the Met website.

American Ballet Theatre offers theatergoers under 30 years old $30 advance tickets to select performances. A limited number of tickets are available. Tickets are subject to availability and require an ID for pick up. Limit two tickets per person, per performance.


Health and Safety Protocols

American Ballet Theatre and the Metropolitan Opera House ask audiences to review the following health and safety protocols on the Met website before attending performances.



American Ballet Theatre is one of the greatest dance companies in the world. Revered as a national treasure since its founding season in 1940, its mission is to create, present, preserve, and extend the great repertoire of classical dancing for the widest possible audience. Headquartered in New York City, ABT is the only cultural institution of its size and stature to extensively tour, enchanting audiences for eight decades in 50 U.S. states, 45 countries, and over 480 cities worldwide. ABT’s repertoire includes full-length classics from the nineteenth century, the finest works from the early twentieth century, and acclaimed contemporary masterpieces. In 2006, by an act of Congress, ABT was designated America’s National Ballet Company®.


Major support of the 2023 season production of Like Water for Chocolate is provided by Alexandra and Alan Airth. Additional support is provided by Michèle and Steve Pesner.

Leadership support of ABT’s New Works Initiative is provided by Mark Casey and Carrie Gaiser Casey, The Ted and Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund, and through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

American Ballet Theatre’s performances of Giselle are generously supported through an endowed gift from Sharon Patrick.

Swan Lake is generously underwritten by R. Chemers Neustein.

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

Commissions and presentations of new works by women choreographers are supported by the ABT Women’s Movement. Champion support for the ABT Women’s Movement is provided by Jenna Segal. Additional leadership support is provided by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Special thanks to Denise Littlefield Sobel for her leadership gifts to ABT’s Media Fund, advancing the Company’s digital endeavors; and ABT RISE, fueling the Company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

ABT is supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of The Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

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