The story of the peasant girl who turns into a restless forest spirit after dying of a broken heart, Giselle was first performed in Paris in 1841 and has been the Romantic ballet par excellence ever since.
The current Royal Ballet production by Peter Wright follows closely Petipa’s classic staging, which took St Petersburg by storm only three years after the ballet’s Paris premiere.
The plot is well known and Peter Wright captures the work’s two acts to perfection: in Act I we’re in a sunlit, colourful farming village, where the naïve young Giselle is visited by her lover, Count Albrecht disguised as a simple local lad, and comes to grief when she realises the extent of his betrayal.
Act II is all eerie, monochromatic, moonlit, mist-enveloped forest, where the wilis come out at night to dance and kill any man who dares set foot in their realm. A remorseful Albrecht is only saved from having to dance himself to death through the intervention of Giselle’s forgiving spirit.
In this white act the Royal's corps de ballet come into their own, as an impeccably drilled ensemble, dealing with a demanding, exacting choreography.
Casts have yet to be announced, but The Royal Ballet is enjoying an abundance of talent, and so established partnerships made in heaven, such as Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov, will alternate with younger talent, such as Francesca Hayward, possibly with her life partner, the dashing Cuban César Corrales, and Yasmine Naghdi, possibly with Matthew Ball.
And, of course, the Russian superstar ballerina Natalia Osipova will reprise one of the roles in which she absolutely excels. As the spirit of Giselle in Act II Osipova's interpretation is particularly blood-chilling.
The Royal Ballet's Giselle offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our full return to the theatre. We shall definitely be there – will you?
Giselle will be streamed on Friday 3 December 2021, 19:30 – 21:45 (performed on Saturday 20 November), as part of the ROH Autumn streaming programme
To access the ROH streaming platform click here
|What||The Royal Ballet: Giselle, ROH|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
04 Nov 21 – 03 Dec 21, 19:30. Fri 19 & Wed 24 at 12:30. Sat 20 at 13:30 & 19:00. Sat 27 at 11:30 & 17:00 Dur.: 2 hours inc one interval