La Fille mal gardée - Biographies

La Fille mal gardée. Ensemble. ©Wilfried Hösl La Fille mal gardée. Cyril Pierre, Ensemble. ©Wilfried Hösl La Fille mal gardée. Ilana Werner, LukᚠSlavický. ©Wilfried Hösl

La Fille mal gardée

Frederick Ashton

Music by Ferdinand Herold / John Lanchbery

Munich Opera Festival 2013
Saturday, 13. July 2013


Sir Frederick Ashton
Frederick Ashton
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.

Set and Costumes



Myron Romanul
Myron Romanul
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


Katherina Markowskaja © Sascha Kletzsch
Katherina Markowskaja
First Soloist

Katherina Markowskaja was born in Kiev, Ukraine where she completed her training at the National Ballet Academy of Arts. As a student, she was cast in performances of the National Ballet of Kiev. At the age of sixteen, she accepted a scholarship of the Heinz-Bosl-Foundation, offered to her by Konstanze Vernon. Ms. Markowskaja graduated from the Ballet-Academy Munich and subsequently joined the Saxon State Opera Ballet Dresden under artistic director Vladimir Derevianko. She was promoted to the rank of first soloist two years later. In 1999, she received the Mary Wigman Award.

Her repertory includes, among others, classical principal roles such as Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Giselle, Kitri (Don Quijote), Lise (La Fille mal gardée), Bianca (The Taming of the Shrew – Cranko) and Otilie (Wahlverwandtschaften – Schilling) as well as in John Neumeier's ballets Natalia and Princess Claire (Illusions – like Swan Lake), Marie (Nutcracker), Hermia (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Rosalind (As you like it) and Chloé (Daphnis and Chloé).

Since 2010, she works as a freelance ballerina and trains with the Bavarian State Ballet. Since the beginning of the season 2012/13 she is a First Soloist.

Debuts in Munich 2010/2011
Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa/ I. Liška)

Debuts in Munich 2011/2012
Marie in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Voices of Spring (F. Ashton)
1. Pas de deux in Goldberg-Variationen (J. Robbins
3. Pas de deux in Goldberg-Variationen (J. Robbins)
Lise in La Fille mal gardée (F. Ashton)

Debut 2012/2013
5. Solo-Girl in Choreartium (L. Massine)
Pandora in Helden (T. Kohler)
Unitxt (R. Siegal), Creation

Debut 2013/2014
Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (J. Cranko)
Konzert für Violine und Orchester (A. Barton)
The Chosen One in Le Sacre du printemps (M. Wigman)


Matej Urban.©Sascha Kletzsch
Matej Urban
First Soloist

Matej Urban was born in Prague and trained at the National Conservatorium Prague. Then he danced at the National Theatre of Prague for two seasons.

He became a member of the Corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet in the season 2008/2009, became Soloist in the season 2010/2011 and dances as First Solist since the beginning of the season 2011/12.

Debut 2008/2009
Sidemen in Les Biches (B. Nijinska)

Debut 2009/2010
Albrecht in Giselle - Mats Ek (M. Ek)

Debut 2010/2011
Man 2 in My Ravel: Whichever Way he Looks... (J. Mannes)
Briaxis in My Ravel: Daphnis and Chloé (T. Kohler)
Albrecht in Once Upon an Ever After (T. Kohler)
Solo in Pas Fabergé 3rd Act in Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa, I. Liška)
Pas de Six in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Count Alexander in Illusions - like Swan Lake (J. Neumeier)
Fernando in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)

Debut 2011/2012
The Clown in The Girl and the Knifethrower (S. Sandroni)
Gods and Dogs (J. Kylián)
Pas der six in Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung (J. Cranko)
Rotbart in Swan Lake (Ray Barra/Lew Iwanow/Marius Petipa)
Colas in La Fille mal gardée (F. Ashton)
Sommer 2012
Gala for Tanya Pearson Taming-Pas de deux, Gala Version

Debut 2012/2013
Broken Fall (R. Maliphant)
1. Solo-Boy in Choreartium (L. Massine)
'Man in the Shadows' in Illusions - like Swan Lake (J. Neumeier)
Birthday Offering (F. Ashton)
BIPED (M. Cunningham)

Debut 2013/2014
Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream (J. Neumeier)
Theseus/Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream (J. Neumeier)
Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (J. Cranko)

Witwe Simone

Vittorio Alberton.©Sascha Kletzsch
Vittorio Alberton
Corps de ballet

Vittorio was born in Treviso, Italy. He trained at the Accademia della Scala in Milan and at the Ballet Academy/Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung in Munich.

In 2002 he became member of the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich.

Debut 2002/2003
Solo part in Six Dances (J. Kylián)

Debut 2003/2004:
Tom Thumb in Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa / I. Liška)
Dawn (J. Neumeier)
Pas de quatre in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
Serenade (G. Balanchine)

Debut 2004/2005:
Evan in Limb's Theorem (W. Forsythe)

Debut 2005/2006:
So nah, so fern (I. Galili)
Boys Variation in Raymonda (P. Wright)
Century Rolls (D. Bombana)

Debut 2006/2007:
Pas de six in Giselle (P. Wright)
Pas de six in Swan Lake (R. Barra)
A Tailor in The silver rose (G. Murphy)

Debut 2007/2008
Cambio d'abito (S. Sandroni), creation

Debut 2010/2011
Pas de Six in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Camacho in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)

Debut 2011/2012
Widow Simone in La Fille mal gardée (F. Ashton)

Debut 2012/2013
BIPED (M. Cunningham)

Debut 2013/2014
Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (J. Cranko)


Nikita Korotkov.©Sascha Kletzsch
Nikita Korotkov
Corps de ballet

Nikita Korotkov was born in Ekaterinburg / Russia and attended the State Conservatorium of Prague. He completed his dance training at the Dance Academy in Zurich, where he received his diploma in 2008.

He joined the Corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet in the season 2008/09. He dances a solo part in Cambio d'abito by Simone Sandroni.

Debut 2009/2010
The Faun in L'Aprés-Midi d'un Faune (V.Nijinsky)
Boyfriend in Série Noire - A choreographic murder mystery (T. Kohler)

Debut 2010/2011
Daphnis in My Ravel: Daphnis and Chloé (T. Kohler)
Puss in Boots in Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa/I. Liška)

Debut 2011/2012
Pepe in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)
Fritz in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
Russian Hip-hopper in The Girl and the Knifethrower (S. Sandroni)
Gods and Dogs (J. Kylián)
Valet in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Alain in La Fille mal gardée (F. Ashton)

Debut 2012/2013
Broken Fall (R. Maliphant)

Debut 2013/2014
The knifethrower in The Girl and the Knifethrower (S. Sandroni)