Shéhérazade / Les Biches / Once Upon An Ever After

Choreography Mikhail Fokine / Bronislawa Nijinska / Terence Kohler · Composer Nikolai Rimski-Korsakow / Francis Poulenc / Peter I. Tschaikowksy

Thursday, 01. July 2010
07:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Duration est. 3 hours · Shéhérazade (est. 07:30 pm - 08:15 pm ) · Interval (est. 08:15 pm - 08:35 pm ) · Les Biches (est. 08:35 pm - 09:10 pm ) · Interval (est. 09:10 pm - 09:40 pm ) · Once Upon An Ever After (est. 09:40 pm - 10:25 pm )

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Bayerisches Staatsorchester


Musikalische Leitung
Valery Ovsyanikov
Mikhail Fokine
Choreographische Rekonstruktion
Isabelle Fokine
Nikolai Rimski-Korsakow
Bühne und Kostüme nach den Original-Entwürfen von
Léon Bakst
Christian Kass
Realisierung Bühnenbild
Ulrich Franz
Realisierung Kostüme
Astrid Eisenberger

Daria Sukhorukova
Der Goldene Sklave
Lukáš Slavický
Cyril Pierre
Schah Zeman
Norbert Graf
Erster Eunuch
Vincent Loermans
Drei Odalisken
Ekaterina Petina
Drei Odalisken
Zuzana Zahradníková
Drei Odalisken
Martina Balabanova

Les Biches

Bronislawa Nijinska
Francis Poulenc
Bühne und Kostüme
Marie Laurencin
Christian Kass

Dame des Hauses
Lisa-Maree Cullum
Dame in Blau
Séverine Ferrolier
Drei Athleten
Cyril Pierre
Drei Athleten
Javier Amo
Drei Athleten
Maxim Chashchegorov
Mädchen in Grau
Ilana Werner
Mädchen in Grau
Maira Fontes

Once Upon An Ever After

Terence Kohler
Peter I. Tschaikowsky
Bühne, Kostüme und Lichtinstallation

Lisa-Maree Cullum
Emma Barrowman
Séverine Ferrolier
Variation II
Zuzana Zahradníková
Lucia Lacarra
Alen Bottaini
Marlon Dino
Gregory Mislin
Variation I
Tigran Mikayelyan
Vincent Loermans
  • Soloists and corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
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The Ballets Russes, a formation brought together by Serge Diaghilew in the early 19th century, truly crossed boundaries and reconciled the arts. Their productions were all at once: Ecstatic forays into the past, saturated with the lushest and most vibrant colours, indulging in excess, and of the strictest formal purity – in short, synonymous for avant-garde.

After their triumphant first season in Paris in 1909, the Ballets Russes quickly took the world by storm. At the same time as this unique group made its first appearances in Germany, catapulting its audiences into a state of frenzy, Germany's own dance scene was celebrating equally revolutionary changes. The stylistic heterogeneity of the works by the Ballets Russes, the mysterious mixture of contemporaneity, opulence and exoticism has lost none of its fascination. In staging Les Ballets Russes, the Bavarian State Ballet stayed true to its commitment to critically engaging with works of the past.

Shéhérazade, a tragic tale of love, desire and death which seemed almost lost to posterity, was fastidiously reconstructed, as was Les Biches, a humourous episode set in the Côte d'Azur of the 1902s and exuding the charm, frivolity and eroticism.

Once upon an ever after – an evocative title derivative of fairytale syntax since time immemorial. Terence Kohler's choreography, set to Tschaikowky's – who else!? – Pathétique, is a journey through dance history which redistributes and -interprets staple figures of classical Russian narrative ballet. Giselle and Albrecht are driven away by Rotbart, who is later barred from entering Auroras castle by briars… This to and fro, this flitting through narrative structures and plot lines is mirrored constantly and "ever after" in the artist rosalie's superb light-object stage design for Kohler's creation.


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When the curtain rises the Shah Sharyar is seated on the divan with his favourite wife, Zobéide, on his left hand and his brother, Shah Zeman, on his right. Zobéide solicits the caresses of her lord, but he is in an angry mood, for his brother has hinted that his wives are unfaithful. Sharyar summons the chief Eunuch, who commands three odalisques to entertain their lord with dances. But he soon tires of them and announces his intention of starting on a hunting expedition. The women entreat him to stay, but Zobéide suspects that the journey is a pretext of the Shahriar to seek the favours of another. But he is not to be deterred, and accompanied by his brother, passes out of the harem.

As soon as he is gone the women throng about the blue doors, then bring out caskets of jewels, with which they adorn themselves. Presently two of their number depart and return with the Chief Eunuch, whom they bribe to open the doors. From the first comes a group of slaves in rose, from the second a similar group in green. With ingratiating leers they soon make love to the women and, seizing the objects of their admiration, disappear among the shadows. The Chief Eunuch is now approached by Zobéide who bids him open the last door, which he does in great fear of the consequences. From this door emerges a single slave clad in gold, who fawns at Zobéide’s feet. Fruit and wine is brought in and musicians inflame passions with the thrumming of their tambourines. The women and slaves begin a dance which grows more and more passionate and soon becomes a wild orgy. As the orgy reaches its height, there return Shahriar, mad with rage, and his brother. With a dramatic gesture Shahriar raises his hand and guards, armed with flashing scimitars, pour into the harem and cut down slaves and women. The golden slave is the last to be slain.

Shahriar confronts Zobéide, sad at heart, that she, too, has proved unfaithful. He is minded to pardon her, when his brother indicates the body of her lover. At this his rage rekindles and he motions to the guards, but Zobéide snatches a dagger from the nearest and kills herself. As she expires, Shahriar buries his face in his hands.


Scene and time: A summer afternoon on the Côte d’Azur; a villa with wide open windows and undoubtedly also open doors, furnished with an atmosphere of luxurious minimalism, favoured by the fashionable interior designers of the nineteen-twenties.

Dramatis personae: A crowd of young women (the “Biches” of the title*), a mysterious figure in blue, the sophisticated hostess and three rather sportive lads who in their tight-fitting bathing costumes cause the inevitable erotic confusion among the female element.

A frivolous game of flirtation (and behind the scenes maybe more than that): a mixture of giggling naivety and snobbery, the portrait of an age and a society, “the most stylish ballet ever invented”. It is a playful, slightly spiteful comment on the kind of fashionable party in which – although mirrored in a clearly defined epoch – the luxury craving “smart set” of all times can recognize themselves. 

With this work Bronislawa Nijinska pioneered neoclassicism in ballet, long before George Balanchine. After Fokine’s reforms and the avant-garde experiments of her brother Vaslav, Bronislawa Nijinska again used the pure, classical vocabulary in her choreographies, expressive both of the music and the dramatic situation, in a masterly way. The greatness of the music, choreography and setting allows “Les Biches” to transcend its era and speak to the discerning public of each new generation. 

*Les Biches is French for the young hinds, but figuratively also used for young ladies.

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Das Bayerische Staatsorchester ist aus einem der ältesten Orchester Deutschlands hervorgegangen. Seine Keimzellen lassen sich bis in das Jahr 1523 zurückverfolgen, als der Komponist Ludwig Senfl die Leitung über die Münchner Kantorei übernahm. Der erste berühmte Leiter der Münchner Hofmusik und damit der Hofkapelle war der Komponist Orlando di Lasso, der 1563 offiziell während der Regierungszeit Herzog Albrechts V. angestellt wurde. 1594 gründete der Herzog ein Studienseminar mit Freistatt für begabte Söhne aus unbemittelten Bauern- und Bürgerfamilien, um den Nachwuchs für die Hofkapelle zu sichern. Nach dem Tode Lassos 1594 übernahm der bisherige Unterkapellmeister Johannes de Fossa die Leitung der Hofkapelle.

Nachdem über 100 Jahre lang das Repertoire des Orchesters von Kirchenmusik geprägt worden war, fand 1653 in der Residenz mit Maccionis L'Arpa festante die erste Opernaufführung in München statt. Der Komponist Agostino Steffani machte sich in den 80er Jahren des 17. Jahrhunderts um zahlreiche Aufführungen von italienischen Opern verdient.

Erst 1762 wird der Begriff Orchesters eingeführt. Durch zahlreiche Opernaufführungen an festgesetzten Tagen begann Mitte der 70er Jahre des 18. Jahrhunderts erstmals ein regelmäßiger Operndienst des Hoforchesters, geleitet von Andrea Bernasconi. 1778 trat der Mannheimer Kurfürst Karl Theodor sein Regierungserbe in München an. Er brachte 33 Musiker des Mannheimer Hofmusikstabes nach München mit. Am 1. Oktober 1778 fand die Vereinigung der Mannheimer Musiker mit 32 ausgewählten Mitgliedern der Münchner Hofmusik statt.

Im Jahre 1811 wurde die Musikalische Akademie gegründet, die sich aus Mitgliedern des Hoforchesters zusammensetzte.

Noch während der Regierungszeit König Max' I. umfaßte der Dienst des Hoforchesters gleichermaßen die Bereiche Kirche, Tafel, Kammer und Theater. Unter König Ludwig I. konnte 1836 Franz Lachner als erster Generalmusikdirektor gewonnen werden.

Die Regierungszeit König Ludwigs II. ist eng mit dem Namen Richard Wagners verknüpft. Am 10. Juni 1865 dirigierte der Hofkapellmeister Hans von Bülow die Uraufführung von Tristan und Isolde, am 21. Juni 1868 die der Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Es folgten am 22. September 1869 und am 26. Juni 1870 die Uraufführungen von Das Rheingold und Die Walküre unter der Leitung von Franz Wüllner.

Von 1872 bis 1896 war Hermann Levi Generalmusikdirektor. Seitdem haben die bedeutendsten Dirigenten ihrer Zeit von Richard Strauss, Felix Mottl, über Bruno Walter, Hans Knappertsbusch, Clemens Krauss bis zu Georg Solti, Ferenc Fricsay, Joseph Keilberth und WOLFGANG SAWALLISCH dem Orchester als Chef vorgestanden. Sein Leiter und Bayerischer Generalmusikdirektor war von 1998 bis 2006 ZUBIN MEHTA. 2007 folgte ihm KENT NAGANO nach. Mit der Spielzeit 2013/14 trat KIRILL PETRENKO das Amt des Bayerischen Generalmusikdirektors an.

Das Bayerische Staatsorchester ist das einzige Orchester Münchens, das in Oper und Konzert Dienst tut. Unter seinen Gastdirigenten fehlt kein berühmter Name der internationalen Elite.

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