La Fille mal gardée - Biographies
La Fille mal gardée
Music by Ferdinand Herold / John Lanchbery
Munich Opera Festival 2012
Thursday, 05. July 2012
Sir Frederick Ashton was born in 1904 and spent his childhood in South America. He studied with Leonide Massine and Marie Rambert, who also gave him his first opportunities as a choreographer.
A Tragedy of Fashion, a commission in 1926, was his first ballet to be staged as part of a revue entitled Riverside Nights. In 1928, he joined Ida Rubinstein's company in Paris, where he also came under the influence of Bronislava Nijinska from whom, he acknowledged, he learned his craft. He came to England in 1929 to choreograph for Rambert and the Camargo Society. He also danced with the Rambert Company in both the classics and modern works, and partnered Tamara Karsavina, Lydia Lopokova and Alicia Markova, at the same time pursuing a successful career as a dancer in musicals and revues.
In 1931, he created his first work, Regatta, for Ninette de Valois' Vic-Wells Ballet, and four years later was invited to become Resident Choreographer. Ashton remained De Valois' associate until 1948 when his position as Associate Director was publicly recognized. In 1963, he succeeded Dame Ninette as Director of the company (now called The Royal Ballet), a position he held until he retired in 1970. In 1935, Ashton began his association with Margot Fonteyn, creating the Bride in Le Baiser de la Fée for her. Among the ballets he has since made with her in mind are Nocturne, Horoscope, Dante Sonata, Symphonic Variations, his first ballet for the Covent Garden stage Daphnis and Chloë, Ondine and Marguerite and Armand (for Fonteyn and Nureyev). Ashton's choreography has caused an unmistakably lyrical style to emerge in British ballet. In addition to comic and dramatic ballets and those of "pure" dance, his innate sense of theatre is always apparent.
Of nearly 100 ballets, many have been landmarks, including Cinderella, Daphnis and Chloë, The Two Pigeons, and Birthday Offering for the company's Silver Jubilee. In addition to the inspiration of Fonteyn, he created The Dream for Anotinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell. La Fille mal gardée, has been a brilliant success throughout the world, often mounted by Ashton himself.
More recent full scale ballets have been Rhapsody, created for Mikhail Baryshnikov, in honor of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s 80th birthday; Verdi Capricci, premiered on April 19, 1983, the opening night of The Royal Ballet's season at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York; and before that, A Month in the Country.
During 1985, Ashton choreographed a solo for Merle Park, La Chatte Metamorphoses en Femme, for a gala in honor of Fanny Elssler in Vienna and supervised London Festival Ballet's revival of his Romeo and Juliet. Ashton first worked in opera in 1934, when he staged Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts, in the United States. In 1953, he staged Gluck's Orfeo at Covent Garden, with Kathleen Ferrier singing the title role in her last appearance. Benjamin Britten's last opera Death in Venice, also includes dances choreographed by Ashton. In 1981, he created choreography for the Nightingale and the Fisherman (on Natalia Makarova and Anthony Dowell) for Igor Stravinsky's opera Le Rossignol for the Metropolitan Opera's triple-bill Stravinsky Centenary evening. In September, 1983, this production, with designs by David Hockney, was taken into the repertoire of the Royal Opera at Covent Garden.
Frederick Ashton was made a CBE in 1950, and knighted in 1962. In 1970, he became a Companion of Honour, and in October 1977, he was invited by The Queen to become a member of the Order of Merit. France admitted Ashton to the Legion d'Honneur in 1962 and Denmark made him a Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog in 1963. Recognition of his achievement came in 1959 from the Royal Academy of Dancing, which gave him its Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award; in 1972 from the Carina Aria Foundation in Sweden with its Gold Medal; and with honorary degrees: as Doctor of Letters in the Universities of Durham (1962) and East Anglia (1967), and as Doctor of Music in the Universities of London (1970) and Oxford (1976).
On August, 19, 1988, Frederick Ashton died in his sleep at his country home in Eye, Suffolk. He was 83.
Ashton's works remain sparingly represented in Munich repertoire. The German premiere of his masterpiece La Fille mal gardée at the Nationaltheater in 1971, starring Gislinde Skroblin, Heinz Bosl and Ferenc Barbay in the leading roles, was a sensational success. The ballet remained in the repertory for decades until its restaging at the Bavarian State Ballet in 1994. After a prolonged break, this beloved ballet comedy returns to Munich in 2012 as part of the season "Very British?!".
In 1972, Ashton's Les Rendezvous was premiered at the Nationaltheater. The charming and brief work dissappeared from the repertoire shortly afterwards. Frederick Ashton's Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan was first seen at the Nationaltheater Munich in 1996, danced by Evelyn Hart. Ten years later, with Sherelle Charge and Stephanie Hancox as dancers, it was added to the repertory and is part of the mixed bill premiere Steps & Times in December 2011. The latter, a homage to British Dance, brings one of Ashton's most important works, Scènes de ballet to Munich for the first time. Completing the bill will be Voices of spring, Frederick Ashton's delightful and captivating pas de deux which was first seen in Munich in 2006 during the Terpsichore-Gala IV.
Another significant work of Sir Frederick Ashton will be performed as part of a guest appearance by the Birmingham Royal Ballet during the Ballet Festival Week 2012. Ashton's version of Shakespeare's The Dream has only been performed in part during the Ballet Festival Week Gala in 1972.
Born in Baltimore,studied in Boston.
Debut as piano soloist with Boston Symphony Orcherstra at age of 11
Performed as soloist and member of Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops Orchestra with Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Mazur, Arthur Fiedler, John Williams and others
Won Grammy Award with New England Conservatory Ragtime Ensemble in 1973 for Best Classical Chamber Music.
Assistant Music Director, Boston Lyric Opera
Principal Conductor Boston Ballet
Conductor & Solo Pianist, Stuttgart Ballet, 1985-1990
2. Kapellmeister & Assistant GMD, Badische Staatstheater Karlsruhe, 1990-1994
1. Kapellmeister & Stellvertreter GMD, Staatstheater Mainz, 1994-1997
1. Kapellmeister, Aalto Theater Essen
Music Director, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, since 1985
Principal Guest Conductor, Central Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, since 1985
Guest Conductor, Ankara State Theater, since 1999
Also play Cimbalom (Hungarian dulcimer), performed with Pierre Boulez & Speculum Musicae, and recorded film score to Gorky Park
Ilana Werner– whose parents were both dancers - was born in Zurich (Switzerland) and trained in her native town, in Monte Carlo and at the Munich Ballet Academy. She got a scholarship from the Ambrosoli Foundation and the Migros Kulturgenossenschaft.
Having graduated, she joined the Bavarian State Ballet in season 2003/2004 as a Corps de ballet dancer. Her repertoire includes Mats Ek’s Apartment, Forsythe’s Limb’s Theorem, one of the shadow variations in La Bayadère, Kylián's Bella Figura, a solo in van Manens Five Tangos and Balanchines Serenade.
She was promoted to soloist in February 2009 and to First Soloist in July 2012.
Solo in Song of the Earth (MacMillan)
Fairy variation in The Sleeping Beauty (Petipa, Liška)
Miranda in Der Sturm (Mannes)
Sister in A Cinderella Story (J. Neumeier)
Julia in Romeo and Juliet (J. Cranko)
Girl in Grey in Les Biches (B. Nijinska)
Olympia in Lady of the Camelias (J. Neumeier)
Solo in Viola Concerto II (M. Schläpfer)
Odalisque in Le Corsaire (M. Petipa/I. Liška)
Pas de six in Swan Lake (M. Petipa/L. Iwanow/R.Barra)
Clémence in Raymonda (M. Petipa)
Olga in Onegin (J. Cranko)
Giselle in Once Upon An Ever After (T. Kohler)
Solo in Dämmern in Terpsichore-Gala IX (J. Neumeier)
Princess Claire in Illusions - Like Swan Lake (J. Neumeier)
2. dream variation in Don Quijote (R. Barra; M. Petipa, A. Gorski, Tradition)
Rocio in Don Quijote (R. Barra nach M. Petipa, A. Gorski, Tradition)
Princess Florine in Sleeping Beauty (I. Liška, M. Petipa)
Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Voices of Spring (F. Ashton)
Pas fabergée in Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa / I. Liška)
Marie in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
Solo "Of Youth" in Song of the Earth (K. MacMillan)
The Youngest Sister in Las Hermanas (K. MacMillan)
2. Pas de trois in Goldberg-Variations (J. Robbins)
Lise in La Fille mal gardée (F. Ashton)
2. Shade Variation in La Bayadère (M. Petipa/P. Bart)
1. Pas de deux in Goldberg-Variations (J. Robbins)
3. Solo-Girl in Choreartium (L. Massine)
The Moor's wife in The Moor's Pavane (José Limón)
Ilia Sarkisov was born in Moscow and trained in Israel. At the age of 16 he came to Munich to study at the Ballet Academy/Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung.
He joined the Bavarian State Ballet in season 2004-05 as an apprentice. He received the Bavarian State Award for promising talents in the Performing Arts in autumn 2004. He joined the Corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet in the season 2005/2006 and was promoted to s Soloist at the beginning of the season 2011/12.
Tom thumb in The Sleeping Beauty (Petipa, Liška)
The Golden Idol in La Bayadère (Petipa, Bart)
Cambio d´abito (S. Sandroni), creation
Zugvögel (J. Kylián), creation
Sancho Pansa in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)
Fritz/ "The Dancing Lieutenants" in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
Russian Hip-hopper in The Girl and the Knifethrower (S. Sandroni)
2. Pas de trois in Goldberg-Variations (J. Robbins)
Gods and Dogs (J. Kylián)
Gremio in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Alain in La Fille mal gardée (F. Ashton)
Joker in Choreartium (L. Massine)
Epimetheus in Heroes (T. Kohler)
Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream (J. Neumeier)