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The Sleeping Beauty

Repertory Archive

The Sleeping Beauty

Ballet in a Prologue and Three Acts

Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
Libretto by Marius Petipa and I.A. Vsevolozhsky
Choreography after Marius Petipa
Staging and Additional Choreography by Kenneth MacMillan
Scenery and Costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis
Lighting by Thomas R. Skelton

World Premiere

February 11, 1987
Auditorium Theatre
Chicago, Illinois

Susan Jaffe (Princess Aurora)
Robert Hill (Prince Desiré)
Leslie Browne (Lilac Fairy)
Victor Barbee (Carabosse)
Marianna Tcherkassky (Princess Florine)
Johan Renvall (The Bluebird)

New York Premiere

April 20, 1987
Metropolitan Opera House
New York, New York

Susan Jaffe (Princess Aurora)
Ross Stretton (Prince Desiré)
Christine Dunham (Lilac Fairy)
Michael Owen(Carabosse)
Marianna Tcherkassky (Princess Florine)
Johan Renvall (The Bluebird)


Prologue – The Christening:
King Florestan and His Queen celebrate the christening of Princess Aurora and their special guests are her fairy godmothers who bestow magic gifts. Just as the Lilac Fairy is to present her gift, the Fairy Carabosse, whose invitation has been overlooked by the Master of Ceremonies, arrives and pronounces — in revenge for the insult — that Aurora will one day prick her finger on a needle and die. However, the curse is confounded by the Lilac Fairy’s promise that Aurora will not die but rather fall into a deep sleep from which she will be awakened one hundred years later by a Prince’s kiss.

Act I – The Spell:
It is Princess Aurora’s sixteenth birthday and four princes seek her hand during the festivities. An unknown guest approaches her with an unusual gift — a spindle. While looking at it, Aurora pricks her finger and, after revealing her disguise, Carabosse vanishes.

The Lilac Fairy appears and casts a spell of sleep over the Palace and all its people. At her command, the Palace is covered by a forest until the promised awakening.

Act II – The Vision:
One hundred years have passed. Prince Desiré is hunting with members of his court. Strangely unhappy, he seeks solitude to reflect on his ideal love. The Lilac Fairy appears, presents a vision of Aurora, and heeds his plea to take him to the place where the lovely vision sleeps. After a journey, they come to an overgrown palace where, following a confrontation between the forces of good and evil, the Prince awakens Aurora with a kiss. The spell is broken and Carabosse and her attendants disappear vanquished.

Act III – The Wedding:
The Court is jubilant for the wedding celebrations of Princess Aurora and Prince Desiré. The guests include fairytale characters who pay their respects to the radiant couple. Their joy is complete when the Lilac Fairy appears and gives her blessing on their happy union.