Tonight La Scala hosts the premiere of La bella addormentata nel bosco, and Opera Chic, of course, must be there. The Sleeping Beauty (lol of the Wood lol) is based on the fairytale of the same name in Perrault's ubiquitous "Mother Goose Tales" from the seventeenth century. Here we are dealing with good & bad fairies, princes and ogres.
It is a ballet near and dear to the heart of La Scala (and one that Nureyev himself called “the apex of classical ballet”), as it was here in Milan in 1966 that Rudolf Nureyev himself took to the stage in his Western Hemisphere world premier, dancing the title role (having previously danced it at the Kirov in Leningrad during the late 1950s).
This rich ballet premiered in 1890 in Saint Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre. Set to Tchaikovsky's Opus 66, it became his first big success (Swan Lake apparently was sort of a snoozer). The choreography was set by Marius Petipa, which Rudolf Nureyev later took great inspiration in his subsequent version, while giving it a new theatrical and dramatic impulse.
Tonight's production is of La Scala's and Rudolf Nureyev’s choreography, last seen during the La Scala 2001/2 season, which was also the last show at the opera house before the transfer was made to Teatro degli Arcimboldi. The 1993 Franca Squarcipino sets and costumes will be implemented, which sets the tale in a lavish and opulent background, inspired by Versailles.
At a hefty three hours and fifteen minutes, with a prologue and three acts, this may be my undoing. Make sure to check in later tonight for a trip report!