Wohin er auch blickt... / Daphnis und Chloé

Friday, 10. February 2012
07:30 pm – 09:40 pm

Duration est. 2 hours 10 minutes · Wohin er auch blickt... (est. 07:30 pm - 08:05 pm ) · Interval (est. 08:05 pm - 08:35 pm ) · Daphnis und Chloé (est. 08:35 pm - 09:35 pm )

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Musikalische Leitung
Michael Schmidtsdorff

Wohin er auch blickt...

Jörg Mannes
Maurice Ravel
Tina Kitzing
Lenka Radecky-Kupfer
Christian Kass
Brigitte Knöß

Frau 1
Emma Barrowman
Frau 2
Séverine Ferrolier
Frau 3
Ekaterina Petina
Man 1
Cyril Pierre
Man 2
Lukáš Slavický

Daphnis und Chloé

Terence Kohler
Maurice Ravel
Bühne und Kostüme
Jordi Roig
Terence Kohler
Jordi Roig
David Bofarull
Miquel Angel Raió
Francesc Sitges-Sardà
Sören Eckhoff
Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper

Karen Azatyan
Mai Kono
Ilya Shcherbakov
Roberta Fernandes.
Wlademir Faccioni
Nymphe 1
Emma Barrowman
Nymphe 2
Ekaterina Petina
Nymphe 3
Zuzana Zahradníková
Freya Thomas
Monika Hejduková
Vittorio Alberton
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Does it need a word of explanation for an evening of creations uniting several of so overwhelmingly great compositions by Maurice Ravel? Yet three aspects should be emphasized to characterize the programmatic profile of his première:

First: for the first time on over fifty years the general music director of the opera was responsible for the musical direction of a ballet premiere. Kent Nagano conducted a ballet premiere, after Georg Solti and Rudolf Kempe half a century ago. Not to belittle the achievements of all the excellent conductors who for decades have worked with the Munich Ballet, yet the collaboration of the Bavarian State Ballet with Kent Nagano means particular recognition of the artistic quality and notable esteem for the company. By the way, Kent Nagano once started his career in the theatre as ballet repetiteur, is an extraordinary expert in this form of art and its demands. This collaboration may bring new impulses and inspiration for the State Ballet.

Then, the programme continues the memory of the Ballets Russes whose centenary jubilee has been celebrated by a wonderfully successful program with “Sheherazade”, “Les Biches”, “Once Upon An Ever After”. Maurice Ravel composed quite a few works for Serge Diaghilev's company, so used to both success and scandals. In fact Daphnis and Chloé was ordered for this company and choreographed by Mikhail Fokine in 1912.

A further mark is the engagement of the young Australian choreographer Terence Kohler to create a new interpretation of the antique myth of Daphnis and Chloé whose love is threatened by pirates and gloriously saved by God Pan. Kohler, whose movement language quite consciously remains in concordance with classical ballet and on the other hand has freshness originality not to destroy his tradition but rather transform it, deal with it in an intellectually stimulating way.

The repeat engagement of the choreographer Jörg Mannes to create a new program also guaranteed fundamentally high concentration on musical substance. His evening-length ballet “The Tempest” for the Bavarian State Ballet is distinguished by fine musical standard, the courage to tell the story in an individual way, to confront a hold form of abstraction with the concrete. Together with Kent Nagano Jörg Mannes, Ballet director in Hannover, selected three pieces of music by Ravel, with his piano concerto for the left hand at the centre, that inspired his stage imagination.


Jörg Mannes/Maurice Ravel

Jörg Mannes does not tell a story in his ballet, but he does deal with motives that are very close to Maurice Ravel’s music.

At the focal point is the “Piano Concerto for the Left Hand” by Maurice Ravel. The composition was written for piano virtuoso Paul Wittgenstein, who had lost his right arm. For Jörg Mannes this music communicates a strong sense of menace, loss and loneliness, which he works out choreographically.

Initially, however, we hear “Une barque sur l’océan” (“A Barge on the Ocean”), a work Ravel dedicated to his friend, the painter Paul Sordes. They both belonged to a group of impressionistic artists they called “Les Apaches”. To this piece, Manes creates a prélude, imbued with longing and hope.

At the end, we have “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Deceased Princess”). Inspired by the Spanish nostalgia of the early 20th century, Ravel describes it as “a reminiscence of a pavane a little princess might have danced in olden times at the Spanish court”. Inspired by the piano interpretation of the composer himself, Mannes stresses the open spaces and the tiny shimmer of hope that resounds from them. And yet, the forlornness and hopelessness of the individual remains, which resound in the title of the ballet – Whichever Way he Looks…

Terence Kohler/Maurice Ravel

Mrthale and Lamon, Nape and Dryas till their fields. They find two abandoned children, Daphnis and Chloé, and take them in.

Daphnis and Chloé – in all their childish innocence – succumb to their love for one another. Their naïveté causes them to take it to disquieting limits, which they cannot understand and are unable to surmount.

Three nymphs and the god Pan guide Daphnis and Chloé on their way into life. Destiny separates the two for a long time.

Daphnis meets Lykanion, with whom he discovers and develops his sexuality.

Chloé leaves her homeland and arrives on a foreign island. Men discover her and oppress her with a cruelty she has never known before. Briaxis liberates her from danger: but he also importunes her with an unfamiliar, menacing desire. She holds him off with growing strength that is ultimately superior to his and returns to her native island.

Daphnis and Chloé meet again at the place where they were found long ago. Their love has matured. They no longer need the guidance of Pan and the nymphs.

A new generation comes of age, to make its own discoveries and profit from its own experiences.

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Michael Schmidtsdorff was born in Hamburg. He studied conducting in his hometown and in Vienna. After being an assistance conductor at the Hamburgische Staatsoper and the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar he became leading conductor and assistant musical director at the Theater Lüneburg.

In 1998, he conducted at the Hamburg Ballett John Neumeier for the first time and traveled around the world with the company over the years. Since 2002, he worked with the Berliner Staatsballett, the Ballet de l'Opéra Paris, the Ballett der Sächsischen Staatsoper Dresden, the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen and the ballet of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo (together with the Martha Graham Dance Company New York in 2015). Further guest performances led him to St. Petersburg, Japan, San Francisco, Muscat (Oman) and to Cagliari.

Since 2005, Michael Schmidtsdorff regularly conducts performances with the Bayerisches Staatsballett. In February 2017 he accompanied the guest performance of the Bayerisches Staatsballett to Hong Kong.

Repertoire with the Bayerischen Staatsballett

The Lady of the Camellias (F. Chopin/J. Neumeier)
Swan Lake (P. Tschaikowsky /P. Bart/M. Petipa)
Brahms-Schönberg Quartett (G. Balanchine)
Große Fuge (L. van Beethoven / H. van Manen)
Le Corsaire (L. Minkus / M. Petipa / I. Liška)
Raymonda (A. Glasunow / M. Petipa / R. Barra)
Onegin (P. Tschaikowsky / J. Cranko)
Illusions – like Swan Lake (P. Tschaikowsky/J. Neumeier)
Giselle (A. Adam/M. Ek)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy/J. Neumeier)
Sinfonie in C / in the Night / Adam is (G. Bizet/F. Chopin/G. Balanchine/ J. Robbins/ A. Barton)
La Bayadère (L. Minkus/M. Petipa/P. Bart)
Paquita (A. Ratmansky/ M. Petipa)
Terpsichore Gala IX & X (The World of the Ballets Russes, 20th anniversary season of the Staatsballetts)

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