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Balanchine's Operas

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I recently picked up the complete catalogue of Balanchine works and one thing that stands out is how much choreography he did for operatic productions his entire life. In 1935 he did the choreography for productions of La Traviata, Faust, Aida, Lakme, Tannhauser, Carmen and Rigoletto at the Met. This continued throughout his life -- for instance in 1973 he did the choreography for a production of Prince Igor in Deutsche Oper Berlin. In 1974 he did the choreography for a new production of Boris Godunov at the Met.  In 1975 he did choreography for productions of Faust and Orfeo.

I know he reworked some of that choreography into standalone ballets like Walpurgisnacht and Chaconne but was any of that other choreography ever preserved?

It just seems like a big chunk of his career that has not been recorded. 

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Opera choreography is often uncredited and is the responsibility of the house choreographer.  When a name choreographer of any genre is hired, it often gets a lot of publicity, along with guest artists they bring.  Wheeldon, for example, did choreography, for a production of "La Traviata" for the Metropolitan Opera.  Lucinda Childs did choreography for San Francisco Opera's "Doctor Atomic," and Jessica Lang was considered a headliner in Seattle Opera's co-production of "Aida" playing now.

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4 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

So he went the same way as Petipa, right...? I know there are many choreographed  "ballet for opera" numbers in the Stepanov. And just like Mr. B's...we might never see them revived...

As luck would have it, Petipa’s choreography for La Gioconda’s Dance of the Hours was revived for Kremlin Ballet around the time of the Petipa 175th birthday celebrations. It has been further revived a number of times since then, such as at NBA Japan, circa 2000. Apparently, one of the big Russian academies is doing it this year (forget which academy but it’s all part of the Petipa celebration).

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