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53. BARABAU


Ballet with Chorus


Music And Book: By Vittorio Rieti (expanded to an orchestral score with chorus from an existing a cappella cantata, Barabau, on commission from Serge Diaghilev, 1925).

Choreography: By George Balanchine.

Production: Scenery and costumes by Maurice Utrillo. Scenery executed by Prince A. Schervashidze; costumes executed by Alias and Morris Angel.

Premiere: December 11, 1925, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, Coliseum, London. Conductor: Roger Desormière.

Cast: Barabau, Léon Woizikowsky; Sergeant, Serge Lifar; Servants of Barabau, Alice Nikitina, Alexandra Danilova, Tamara Geva; Peasants, 3 men, 3 women; 6 Soldiers. Chorus on stage.

Note: Balanchine's first original ballet for Diaghilev. Rieti based the plot on an Italian nursery rhyme: When a village party in Barabau's garden is disrupted by soldiers, Barabau feigns death; the villagers carry him mournfully to church, but as soon as the soldiers depart he revives, and they return him to his home in triumph.

Revisions: Soon after London opening, role of one female peasant enlarged, with additional solo to new music.

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