Le Papillon

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Ballet in two acts with choreography by Marie Taglioni, libretto by de Saint-Georges, music by Offenbach, set by Martin, Despléchin, Nolau, Rubé, Cambon, and Thierry, and costumes by Albert. Premiered 26 Nov. 1860 at the Paris Opera, with Livry and Mérante. A young woman, Farfalla, is transformed into a butterfly by the wicked Fairy Hamza, and can only be reunited with her lover, the Prince Djalma, after many plot complications. It was Marie Taglioni's only ballet and Offenbach's only ballet score. Emma Livry, who triumphed in the title role, died three years after its premiere when her dress caught fire during a rehearsal, causing her to suffer terrible burns. She was just 20. Elsa-Marianne von Rosen used the Offenbach score for her ballet Utopia, for the Gothenburg Ballet in 1974. Pierre Lacotte staged Le Papillon, ‘after Taglioni’, for the Paris Opera in 1976. Ronald Hynd choreographed a version for Houston Ballet in 1979, which was revived for Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet in 1980.

Subjects: Dance.

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