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Whatever happened to Loys?


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 06:09 AM

Originally, Giselle's duplicitous lover had two names: Loys and Albrecht. As late as the mid-1970s, he was listed that way in the programs. (Loys/Albrecht) Then suddenly, Loys disappeared. No explanations, no complaints.

This raises a couple of questions. First, why? Second, when? (For balletgoers who knew Loys, do you remember when he disappeared from your company's production? For those who came to ballet in the last 20 years or so, did you ever see Loys?) And third, does it matter?

#2 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 06:28 AM

Albrecht being his "noble" name and Loys being his "peasant name"; is that right? I remember it but can't really say when I stopped seeing it. I didn't find it hard to understand, but maybe someone (!) decided it would confuse the audience?

#3 Jane Simpson

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 06:29 AM

The synopsis of the Royal Ballet's production still* refers to 'Count Albrecht, who has led [Giselle] to believe that he is a villager named Loys'. For the rest of Act 1 it refers to him as 'Loys' (with the quotes) when describing what the villagers see of him, but as Albrecht when he's talking to Wilfrid or Bathilde.

* or at least it did when I last bought a programme, back in 1999.

#4 Alexandra

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 06:33 AM

Yes, pmeja. He's Count Albrecht masquerading as humble peasant Loys -- thank you for the clarification!

Jane, thank you for that. Is he listed on the cast list in the program as Loys/Albrecht or just Albrecht?

#5 bart

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 06:47 AM

Interesting! It got me thinking about just how multicultural Giselle's world seems to be. Albrecht is German. Peasants Giselle, Berthe and Loys (an old variant of what became Louis) are French -- as is the noblewoman Bathilde, who is engagead to Albrecht. Hilariion is ... what? This can be a French surname, I believe.

Is this somehow an enthnicallyl French village with a Germanic overlord? Is there a political subtext going on here? Or were the names just picked out of a hat?

Incidentally, I've seen both Myrtha (possibly German) and Myrthe (French) in English-language programs. What is the story with that?

#6 Jane Simpson

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 06:49 AM

Is he listed on the cast list in the program as Loys/Albrecht or just Albrecht?


Just Albrecht. Checking on one of the first times I saw the RB do it, in the early 1960s, the cast list showed him as 'Count Albrecht, disguised as Loys, a villager', but I don't know at what point in the next 38 years that disappeared!

#7 Alexandra

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 06:50 AM

I think Silesia is now part of Poland! My geography is a bit shaky, though, so someone who actually knows should answer :clapping: So I've always thought of it as a borderland. The Danes called him "Albert". I don't remember what he was called in the original program. So the multi-culturalism may be posthumous :)

I've seen so many different spellings of Myrtha/Myrthe/Myrta that I don't know which came first, and how the divergence came about. I hope someone else will! Thank you for the questions, bart!

#8 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 07:02 AM

A place like Strasbourg maybe?

#9 bart

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 07:03 AM

Silesia is one of those controversial areas, now part of Poland again since World War II. Germans colonized the region in the Middle Ages, and it became part of both the Hapsburg empire, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Third Reigh. The nobility was German, but town dwellers and peasants also became, in time, predominantly German After the war, however, the Germans were forced to move West, and the area was reclaimed by Poles.

It's a touchy issue in European politics even today. When talking about the region's biggest city, don't make the mistake of referring to the old German name "Breslau" "It's Wroclaw", you will be told. And that is that.

As to Giselle, the production "look" is certainly more Alsatian or Rhineland than anything so far to the east as Silesia. Those areas were famed for their wine production, and I don't think this was ever the case in Silesia which is one of the world centers for beer.

Alexandra, you mention that Albrecht is Albert in Denmark. It might be interesting to hear from our members what the characters are called in various countries. For instance, is Giselle ever "Gisela," the German variant? Is "Albrecht" Albert in all the francophone countries? How do bi- or multi-lingual countries (Canada, Belgium, Switzerland) handle it? Which side do the Russians, Spaniards, and Italians take? And how about the Poles?

#10 rg

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 09:11 AM

russian/soviet GISELLEs have variously listed the characters as follows:

This listing from 100 BALLET LIBRETTOS - 1966 - Moscow
ZHIZEL
BERTA
PRINTS ALBER
GERTSOG KURLYANDSKII
BATILDA
VILFRID
GANS
MIRTA
ZELMA
MONNA

& This from a Kirov Th. prog. 1962, led by Makarova and Onoshko, and given in Petipa's choreography as staged by V. I. Ponomaraev with 'coaching' by E. M. Lukom, B. V. Shavrov, and N. M. Dudinskaya:
ZHIZEL
BERTA
GRAF [NB: no name, just 'graf' which means 'count']
NYEVESTA GRAFA [NB: also no name, just indication of 'fiancee of the count']
GANS
DRUG GRAFA [NB: again no name, just 'friend']
GERTSOG ['duke']
VILIS: MIRTA, MONNA, ZULMA

#11 carbro

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 09:21 AM

Hilariion is ... what? This can be a French surname, I believe.

From the list posted by rg, Hilarion is conspicuously absent.

Interesting.

#12 Alexandra

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 09:23 AM

Hilarion is Hans (or Gans) in Russian productions. (and with the Trocaderos, who used to have a wonderful, chubby;, determined Hans in raspberry tights)

Thank you for the information about Silesia, bart, and for the cast lists, rg.

#13 carbro

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 09:25 AM

Thanks for the clarification. That is, linguistically, a bit of a leap; the names are hardly cognates.

#14 bart

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 09:26 AM

From what I gather about Italian productions, the accent is French (with some variations). The ballet is "Giselle," not Gisella.

Roles are:

Giselle
Albrecht (no longer paired with Loys, but it was in the past)
Hilarion
Batilde (or Bahtilde, for phonetics?)
Myrtha (or Mirta)
And ... of course ... the Villis.

rg, that character "DRUG GRAFA" sugggets subplots not often seen in this ballet

#15 Alexandra

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 09:29 AM

rg, that character "DRUG GRAFA" suggests subplots not often seen in this ballet.


I was thinking the same thing. Drug Grafa sounds like a character in a new ballet by Ratmansky about the Russian Mob.


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