Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Ballet stars on the opera stage

Recommended Posts

There's a post by mussel on the ABT forum about the forthcoming debut of Julie Kent at the Metropolitan Opera. She's going to dance with Damian Woetzel in Le Rossignol, part of a Stravinsky triple-bill. Ballet stars appear frequently in opera productions, but seldom is the choreographer as distinguished as in this case -- Sir Frederick Ashton.

I've seen a number of forgettable appearances by well-known dancers in opera, but one I haven't forgotten was by Edward Villella in a New York City Opera production of Prince Igor, 30 or 35 years ago. I don't remember the choreographer (it wasn't Fokine) and, in fact, the choreography wasn't that good, but Villella, leading the Polovtsy tribe, clad in animal skins, was something to behold. Campy, yes, but also thrilling. For years afterward, whenever I heard the Polovtsian Dances, I visualized Villella jumping.

Have you any particular memories of ballet dancers in opera productions?

Link to comment

Carla Fracci and Wayne Eagling in la Scala's production of Verdi's I Vespri Siciliani Act III the Four Season. Riccardo Muti conducted. It's available on DVD. The same music and title Jerome Robbins choreographed for NYCB. It is one of the rare occasions in modern opera production where the original ballet divertissement remains intact.

Wasn't it in the early years of NYCB or was it Ballet Society that merged with the Metropolitan Opera for a season or two? But it didn't work out because Balanchine sent the divas to the pit while ballerinas performed prominently on stage. Of course, the Met was not amused and the relationship ended.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...