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2018 Met Season

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4 minutes ago, California said:

I can't find the season schedule posted anywhere on the ABT site (news, performances). Has anyone found that yet?

There's usually a lag in it appearing on the ABT site. Hopefully those on the company's press list will fill us in! They usually seem to get the schedule via e-mail before the rest of us can access it online. 

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1 hour ago, abatt said:


Woo Hoo! And just when I was contemplating a trip to London in March to see Osipova & Hallberg in Giselle. Guess this means I can save some $$, and I'll be keeping my Friday night subscription!

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You can get to the press release by tweaking the ID number of their previous press release:




But it's really the casting doc I'm interested in seeing at this point. 


Edited to add:


They've also started updating the online calendar. Only a few dates are up at the moment.



Edited by fondoffouettes
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Press release (sorry people, I was doing my job and could only post this now):





American Ballet Theatre’s 2018 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House,
May 14-July 7, will feature the World Premieres of
AFTERITE by Wayne McGregor and Harlequinade by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, it was announced today by ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

Principal Dancers for the 2018 Metropolitan Opera House are Stella Abrera, Roberto Bolle, Isabella Boylston, Jeffrey Cirio, Misty Copeland, Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Sarah Lane, Alban Lendorf, Gillian Murphy, Hee Seo, Christine Shevchenko, Daniil Simkin, Cory Stearns, Devon Teuscher and James Whiteside.

2018 Spring Gala Performance and World Premiere of AFTERITE
American Ballet Theatre’s 2018 Spring Gala on Monday, May 21 will feature the World

Premiere of AFTERITE by Wayne McGregor, Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet. In his first work for ABT, McGregor will create a new scenario set to Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. AFTERITE will be brought to the stage by set and costume designer Vicki Mortimer, with video designs by Ravi Deepres and lighting by Lucy Carter, all of whom have previously collaborated with McGregor.



The 2018 Spring Gala will also feature excerpts from Ratmansky’s Harlequinade. The all-new production of Harlequinade, staged by Ratmansky after the original by Marius Petipa, will be given its World Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on June 4, 2018. A comic ballet in two-acts, Harlequinade is set to music by Riccardo Drigo and first premiered in 1900 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The new production will feature sets and costumes by Robert Perdziola and lighting by Brad Fields. Following its World Premiere, the ballet will be given seven performances during the 2018 Spring season. A co-production with The Australian Ballet, Harlequinade is ABT’s first full-length production of the ballet. For more information on ABT’s 2018 Spring Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3310.

McGregor’s AFTERITE will share the program with Ratmansky’s Firebird for seven performances through Saturday, May 26. The one-act Stravinsky classic with original choreography by Ratmansky, features scenery by Simon Pastukh, costumes by Galina Solovyeva, lighting by Brad Fields and projections by Wendall K. Harrington. Ratmansky’s production of Firebird was given its World Premiere at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, California on March 29, 2012, danced by Natalia Osipova (Firebird), Marcelo Gomes (Ivan), David Hallberg (Kaschei) and Simone Messmer (Maiden). Ratmansky’s Firebird, co- commissioned by American Ballet Theatre and Dutch National Ballet, is American Ballet Theatre’s fourth production of the ballet.

Full-length Ballets

American Ballet Theatre’s 2018 Spring season opens with eight performances of Giselle beginning Monday evening, May 14, led by Hee Seo in the title role, opposite Cory Stearns as Albrecht and Gillian Murphy as Myrta. Guest Artist Natalia Osipova will perform the title role on Friday, May 18 opposite David Hallberg as Albrecht.

Set to music by Adolphe Adam, with scenery by Gianni Quaranta, costumes by Anna Anni and lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Giselle features choreography after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa and has been staged for ABT by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. The world premiere of Giselle, one of the oldest continually-performed ballets, occurred at the Theatre de l’Academie Royale de Musique in Paris on June 28, 1841. The ballet was first presented by ABT (then Ballet Theatre) at the Center Theatre in New York City on January 12, 1940 with choreography by Anton Dolin and scenery and costumes by Lucinda Ballard. The leading roles were danced by Annabelle Lyon and Anton Dolin. American Ballet Theatre’s sixth production, featuring scenery by Gianni Quaranta and costumes by Anna Anni, was created for the film Dancers, produced in 1987 by Cannon Films. This production’s first public performance was given on March 20, 1987 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Marianna Tcherkassky as Giselle and Kevin McKenzie as Albrecht. The current staging is by McKenzie, using the Quaranta and Anni designs.

The first of seven performances of La Bayadère on Tuesday, May 29 will be led by Hee Seo as Nikiya, David Hallberg as Solor and Gillian Murphy as Gamzatti. Choreographed by Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa, La Bayadère is set to music by Ludwig Minkus, specially arranged by John Lanchbery, and features scenery by PierLuigi Samaritani, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting by Toshiro Ogawa. The full-length La Bayadère received its World Premiere by the Imperial Ballet at the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre in St. Petersburg on February 4, 1877. La Bayadère, Act II (The Kingdom of the Shades) was first performed in the West by the Leningrad-Kirov Ballet in 196l. Natalia Makarova first staged The Kingdom of the Shades scene for American Ballet Theatre in 1974, and it received its premiere at the State Theater in New York City on July 3 of that year, danced by Cynthia Gregory as Nikiya and Ivan Nagy as Solor. Makarova subsequently produced and choreographed the complete version of La Bayadère (in three acts) for American Ballet Theatre, which received its World Premiere on May 21, 1980 with Natalia Makarova as Nikiya, Anthony Dowell as Solor and Cynthia Harvey as Gamzatti.

Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet will be given eight performances beginning Monday evening, June 11 with Gillian Murphy as Juliet, Marcelo Gomes as Romeo and Daniil Simkin as Mercutio. Set to the score by Sergei Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet features scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by Thomas Skelton. Romeo and Juliet received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet in London on February 9, 1965 and was given its ABT Company Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House on April 22, 1985 with Leslie Browne and Robert La Fosse in the leading roles.

Eight performances of Swan Lake, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa, will be given beginning Monday, June 18 with Devon Teuscher and Marcelo Gomes leading the opening night cast. Swan Lake is set to the score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky and features scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler. This production of Swan Lake premiered on March 24, 2000 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with Julie Kent (Odette-Odile), Angel Corella (Prince Siegfried) and Marcelo Gomes (von Rothbart).

Don Quixote will begin the first of eight performances on Monday evening, June 25 led by Isabella Boylston as Kitri, Daniil Simkin as Basilio, Hee Seo as Mercedes and James Whiteside as Espada. The ballet is staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, with choreography after Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky. Don Quixote is set to music by Ludwig Minkus and features scenery and costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Natasha Katz. The McKenzie/Jones staging of the current production was first performed by ABT on June 12, 1995.

Last season’s World Premiere production of Whipped Cream returns to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House for eight performances beginning Monday, July 2 featuring Daniil Simkin, Stella Abrera, David Hallberg and Sarah Lane in the leading roles. Choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, the ballet features scenery and costumes by artist Mark Ryden and lighting by Brad Fields. Whipped Cream, with a libretto and score by Richard Strauss, is based on the two-act ballet originally created as Schlagobers, which premiered at the Vienna State Opera in 1924. Ratmansky’s production received its World Premiere by ABT on March 15, 2017 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. Whipped Cream will be given eight performances at the Metropolitan Opera House through Saturday evening, July 7, including a special matinee performance on Friday, July 6 at 2:00 P.M.


ABTKids, American Ballet Theatre’s annual one-hour introduction to ballet, is scheduled for Saturday morning, May 19 at 11:30 A.M. All tickets for ABTKids are $25.

Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2018 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, on sale beginning Wednesday, November 1, are available by phone at 212-362- 6000, or online at ABT’s website www.abt.org.


American Airlines is the Official Airline of American Ballet Theatre. Northern Trust is the Leading Corporate Sponsor of the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. ABT is supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

American Ballet Theatre's performances of Giselle are generously supported through an endowed gift from Sharon Patrick.

La Bayadre is generously supported by an endowed gift from Drs. Philip and Marjorie Gerdine. In loving memory of Caroline Newhouse.

American Ballet Theatre's performances of Romeo and Juliet are generously underwritten through an endowed gift from Ali and Monica Wambold.

Firebird is generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

Swan Lake is generously underwritten by R. Chemers Neustein. Costumes for Swan Lake are generously sponsored through Ellen Everett Kimiatek Costume Preservation Trust.

Don Quixote is generously supported through an endowed gift from Anka K. Palitz in memory of Clarence Y. Palitz Jr.

Leadership support for The Ratmansky Project, including Harlequinade and Whipped Cream, has been generously provided by Avery and Andrew F. Barth, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton E. James, and The Ted and Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund. Additional major support has been provided by Linda Allard, Sarah Arison, Lisa and Dick Cashin, Lloyd E. Rigler - Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, The Susan and Leonard Feinstein Foundation, William J. Gillespie, Brian J. Heidtke, Howard S. Paley, Bernard L. Schwartz, Melissa A. Smith, The H. Russell Smith Foundation/Stewart R. Smith and Robin A. Ferracone, and the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation. ABT gratefully acknowledges Dr. Joan Taub Ades, Steven Backes, Mark Casey and Carrier Gaiser Casey, Linda and Martin Fell, Vicki Netter Fitzgerald, John Leland Sills and Elizabeth Papadopoulos-Sills, and Barbara and Sedgwick Ward for their generosity.

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Some assorted reactions, in no particular order.


  • They are styling AFTERITE in all caps and with a red R. Seriously? Is there such a need to be gimmicky?
  • Giselle: Glad to see Waski getting a shot at Myrtha, and I think Osipova counts as a judicious use of a guest star. Bolle should be considered a guest star, as he's only performing once all season, in the Saturday evening Giselle. I didn't think this was a great role for Murphy, but I suppose they couldn't take it away from her. Lane was perhaps the most brilliant Giselle last season, yet they give her the Wednesday matinee. 
  • La Bayadere: It's kind of nice to see an all home-team Bayadere for the first time in...I can't remember how long. Hallberg returns to Solor (but not Siegfried). And two new Nikiyas: Lane and Teuscher. Corps member Joo Wan Ahn gets cast twice as Solor. I feel like ABT never casts corps members in principal roles...how exciting. Murphy is only cast as Gamzatti but not Nikiya; she's always alternated the roles, at least in recent seasons. 
  • Romeo and Juliet: If you want to see Hallberg, you get stuck with Boylston...both times he performs. Ugh. Abrera is the only new Juliet. Should fit her like a glove.
  • Swan Lake: This is the most unimaginative Swan Lake casting I can recall since the year of Seo Ballet Theatre. We have only six Swan Queens, not the usual seven (or even eight, as in 2014). Very much looking forward to Shevchenko's debut, though. I can't believe Hammoudi is cast yet again, and opposite Murphy. They are still trying to make him work as a leading man? He was such a letdown in the role last time. I guess they figure Murphy can practically partner herself. Glad we are getting to see the D.C. casting of Gomes/Teuscher, though.
  • Don Quixote: Mostly lots of the same, with the exception of Lane's debut. I have no doubt she'll be a fine Kitri, but I'd much rather see her in Swan Lake or Romeo and Juliet. 
  • Whipped Cream: Yay for Shayer getting a shot at this role! Jonathan Klein hasn't really been on my radar, but exciting to see another corps member in a leading role.

Some overall thoughts:

  • Cirio isn't being utilized much. He gets a Don Q, a couple Whipped Cream performances and three Mercutios in Romeo and Juliet. Maybe he will be cast in Harlequinade.
  • Copeland is given no new roles, I believe (smart move). 
  • Gorak is currently not cast at all; maybe that will change once Harlequinade casting is announced.
  • Murphy and Gomes seem to be dialing back a bit in terms of number of performances. 
Edited by fondoffouettes
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Copeland is cast in everything. I know she sells tickets, but...I can't picture her executing all the steps for Giselle, or Kitri, and we already know her Odette fouette record... I have to pick around her to see Cornejo this year, I guess... He is only paired with Lane for La Bayadere and Don Q (which should be very exciting)


I'm excited about the Osipova/Hallberg Giselle too, with as the bonus the only Bolle appearance we'll get this season, although opposite Seo... 


Teuscher will have the chance to partner Gomes for Swan Lake - this should help her feel more secure and gain maturity in her characterization! Looking forward to hearing reports of Schevchenko's debut as well. Too bad Murphy has Hammoudi as her prince this year

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44 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Mostly up now. Wow -- no Swan Lake or Romeo and Juliet for Lane, and she's given the Wednesday matinee Giselle. Abrera does get R&J, though. 


Lane adds Nikiya and Kitri to her rep, though. Many other things to absorb, too!!!

No Swan Lake for Lane is disappointing but no Romeo & Juliet is insane IMO

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3 minutes ago, California said:

That lone Bolle performance on Saturday night 5/19 is peculiar -- I wonder if they'll announce later that this is his ABT-retirement performance.

I'm pretty sure he's planning to dance till he's 60...while still looking 30. But in all seriousness, yes, I think you may be right.

Edited by fondoffouettes
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1 minute ago, fondoffouettes said:

I'm pretty sure he's planning to dance till he's 60...while still looking 30.

Vishneva is still dancing, too, just not at ABT. It might be that he was becoming too expensive for the tickets/prices he sells. 


I thought it interesting that Ferri is not doing anything this year.

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29 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Also, no R&J for Lane? That's nuts.

Seriously. I'm guessing Lane is also a very likely candidate for Columbine. Maybe management felt that learning four new full-length roles would have been too much for her. But if that's the case, I wish they would have given her Don Q to someone like Brandt, who could certainly do the role justice (not that Lane can't). Especially bearing in mind the profound acting abilities Lane showed last year in Giselle, it seems a crime not to give her Juliet. Hopefully it's still in the works for the future, though. 

Edited by fondoffouettes
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46 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

They are styling AFTERITE in all caps and with a red R. Seriously? Is there such a need to be gimmicky?


The noteworthy thing here is that McGregor was supposed to have choreographed a Rite of Spring for the Bolshoi in 2013 but never did in the aftermath of the attack on Sergei Filin. Five years later ABT is going to get that premiere instead.

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Just now, fondoffouettes said:

Seriously. I'm guessing Lane is also a very likely candidate for Columbine. Maybe management felt that learning four new full-length roles would have been too much for her. But if that's the case, I wish they would have given her Don Q to someone like Brandt, who could certainly do the role justice (not that Lane can't). Especially bearing in mind the profound acting abilities Lane showed last year in Giselle, it seems a crime not to give her Juliet. Hopefully it's still in the works for the future, though. 



Lane posted on her instagram awhile back that she was learning Harlequinade so yes, we can expect to see her there. I know that dancers always want to work with Ratmansky and be seen in new ballets (even new -old ballets) but despite her height I see Lane much more as a ballerina than a soubrette so I'd much rather see her as O/O and Juliet than Kitri and Columbine. 

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Well, I'm not too happy. BTW, Lane already learned McMillan's Juliet (she understudied it). But I get that it's not a great idea to overwhelm her with too many roles.

Having said that, I would have given her Juliet and/or O/O while giving Brandt a Kitri. I'm sure Lane will do the role justice, but we're missing out on seeing Brandt perform Kitri and I know Juliet is better suited for Lane.

I'm confused by the May 30th matinee cast. Someone's name is not where it should, but I can't tell who it is (is Teuscher doing 2 Nikiyas or is she doing one Nikiya AND one Gamzatti later that week). Either that or she'll be a fine Solor and Ahn an excellent Gamzatti.

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Boylston as Nikiya?  Is this a role debut for her?  I don't see her as Nikiya, at all.  She was a good Gamzatti, and should have stayed with that role.


Speaking of Bayadere,  I guess we'll have to watch Hee Seo stumble around the stage if we want to see Hallberg's Solor and Murphy's Gamzatti.

Edited by abatt
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1 hour ago, LadyBubbles said:

Bolle is down to ONE show this season. Is this his retirement (from ABT, not ballet) year? . . . 

Dacing Albrecht on closing night of Giselle. Hmmm...I smell an announcement coming, perhaps? We'll see.


I was thinking the same thing. In 2017, they had Vishneva's ABT-retirement and Marcello's 20th anniversary. Perhaps somebody was thinking ahead and realized a third "event" with Bolle might make more sense a year later.

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It would've been nice to see Shevchenko as Nikiya instead of Lane. Teauscher is an obvious choice but I wanted to see both Shevchenko and Teauscher alternating Nikiya/Gamzatti. Perhaps I'm asking too much from the newly promoted dancers. This could've been solved by giving one less Nikiya for Boylston (IMO a huge miscast but who knows). I'm sure Lane will get her Juliet some day for sure. I think Lane's Kitri will be much better than most people expect from her. Seo's return to Kitri is a wasted opportunity as it could've gone to either Brandt or Shevchenko. Super excited for Shevchenko's O/O.... althought it's a wed mat performance.


I'm a little disappointed about seeing less Cirio again this year. Cirio is one of the most versatile dancers within ABT but he's kept being typecasted.  


Looking at the casting again, It seems like they had to pull Lane from Juliet only to have Copeland paired with two different Romeos (Cornejo, Simkin)... Sigh

Edited by alexL
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