Four Seasons

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Ballet in one act. (Version 1) With choreography by MacMillan, music by Verdi, and design by Peter Rice. Premiered 5 Mar. 1975 by the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, London, with Derman, Parkinson, MacLeary, Collier, Coleman, Ashmole, Eagling, Mason, Wall, Dowell, Penney, and Sleep. This lighthearted setting of ballet music composed by Verdi for the first Paris production of Les Vêpres siciliennes (chor. L. Petipa, 1855) also incorporates ballet music from Verdi's Jérusalem and Don Carlos. It was revived with new designs by Barry Kay for Paris Opera (1978). (Version 2) With choreography by Robbins, music by Verdi, and design by Santo Loquasto (costumes). Premiered 18 Jan. 1979 by New York City Ballet at the State Theater, New York, with K. Nichols, Duell, S. Saland, B. Cook, J.-P. Frohlich, McBride, and Baryshnikov. This suite of classical dances portraying the changing seasons is set to Verdi's ballet music for Les Vêpres siciliennes and also incorporates his ballet music from I Lombardi and Il trovatore.

Other settings of the Vêpres music include those by J. Carter (Ambassador Ballet, 1950) and Prokovsky (New London Ballet, 1973), and other ballets portraying the seasons include those by Hilverding (Vienna c.1750), Perrot (mus. Pugni, London, 1848), Petipa (Les Saisons mus. Glazunov, St Petersburg, 1900), plus several settings of the famous Vivaldi violin concertos including Walter (Düsseldorf, 1970), Cohen (Scottish Ballet, Glasgow 1996), Kudelka (National Ballet of Canada, 1997), and S. Welch (Houston, 2007).

Subjects: Dance.

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