dulcinea91

Question about Le Corsaire

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I don't know if this is the right place to put this but there was no sub forum my question seemed to fit under. Anyway...

At the end of Le Corsaire there is a storm and the ship sinks? But the final scene is Medora and Conrad on a rock and tehy embrace as the curtains close. Were they saved by some miracle from the destruction of the ship or are they at the bottom of the ocean and their finding eachother is some sort of metaphorical discription of how even in death they do not part, a la Swan Lake?

Just wondering...

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Musically, that section is marked "apotheosis". In some productions, which I don't believe are still around, Conrad and Medora are seen united in the garden from the "jardin animé" sequence, except set up now in the upstage and somewhat higher than the main stage level, making use of the stage convention, "In the middle, somewhat elevated".

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here is what the synopsis for "Le Corsaire" says in Beaumont's COMPLETE BOOK OF BALLETS:

"Epilogue: The storm ceases and, as the scene grows lighter, two figures are seen clinging to a piece of wreckage. They are borne towards land. It is Conrad and Medora. They kneel and offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for having been delivered from peril."

the attached scan of an illustration from THE BALLET OF THE SECOND EMPIRE by Ivor Guest comes from "The Advent of Rosati" the book's 4th chapter, which concerns the first Paris production of LE CORSAIRE.

post-848-1211459195_thumb.jpg

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similarly, from a translation of a CORSAIRE libretto (from russia?) kindly passed along to me by BT's doug around the time of the Munich re-staging of LE CORSAIRE, this version of the ballet's final scene, under the heading "Storm and Shipwreck":

"The wind slowly dies down and the seas becomes calm again. The moon comes out and two figures are lit up in its silvery light: these are Medora and Conrad who, miraculously, haven't drowned. They reach the rock, clamber up onto it and thank God for their salvation."

the attached scan of a photo from the Bolshoi Ballet house program produced for its recent production of KORSAR shows what i take to be a pose from the Epilogue/Apotheosis, shot in a photo studio w/ P. Gerdt as Conrad and P.Legnani as Medora.

post-848-1211471948_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for that wonderful photo, rg. They -- particularly Legnani -- seem to have weathered the shipwreck very well. A miracle, indeed!

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The ending pose of Medora and Conrad in the current production danced by the Bolshoi is exatly the same as the one on the picture.

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