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Ballet in Two Acts and Six Scenes
Felix Mendelssohn (Overture and incidental music to Ein Sommernachtstraum, Opp. 21 and 61, 1826, 1842; Overture to Athalie, Op. 74, 1845; Concert overture Die schöne Melusine, Op. 32, 1833; Die erste Walpurgisnacht, Op. 60; Symphony No. 9 for strings [first three of four movements], 1823; Overture to Die Heimkehr aus der Fremde, Op. 89, 1829)
George Balanchine
Scenery and lighting by David Hays, assisted by Peter Harvey. Costumes by Karinska
January 17, 1962, New York City Ballet with children from the School of American Ballet, City Center of Music and Drama, New York. Conductor: Robert Irving. Singers: Veronica Tyler (soprano), Marija Kova (mezzo-soprano), 4 women
ACT I: Butterflies, Suki Schorer, 4 women, 8 children; Puck, Arthur Mitchell; Helena, in love with Demetrius, Jillana; Oberon, King of the Fairies, Edward Villella; Oberon’s Pages; Titania, Queen of the Fairies, Melissa Hayden; Titania’s Cavalier, Conrad Ludlow; Titania’s Page; Bottom, a Weaver, Roland Vazquez; Bottom’s Companions, 4 men; Theseus, Duke of Athens, Francisco Moncion; Courtiers to Theseus; Hermia, in love with Lysander, Patricia McBride; Lysander, beloved of Hermia, Nicholas Magallanes; Demetrius, Suitor to Hermia, Bill Carter; Titania’s Retinue, 12 women; Oberon’s Kingdom: Butterflies and Fairies, 13 children; Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, Gloria Govrin; Hippolyta’s Hounds, 6 women;
ACT II: Courtiers, 18 women, 8 men;
DIVERTISSEMENT: Violette Verdy, Ludlow, 6 couples
Performance Type
See Also
Balanchine’s first wholly original full-length ballet. Act I relates the story of Shakespeare’s play. Act II is a wedding celebration, concluding with a brief return to the enchanted forest, Shakespeare’s ending.
Additional Productions
New York City Ballet: Act II, third movement of Symphony No. 9 deleted almost immediately; 1964, Act II, new choreography for courtiers, DIVERTISSEMENT shortened (to first two movements of Symphony No. 9, omitting second movement fugue); 1978, Act I, new choreography for Hippolyta’s Hounds.
New Productions by Balanchine Companies
New York City Ballet: 1964, scenery and costumes redesigned by David Hays and Karinska for the New York State Theater, with color scheme in Act II changed from white and gold to red; 1980, scenery adapted by David Hays to facilitate use in repertory, lighting by Ronald Bates.

1971   Geneva Ballet (Grand Theatre de Geneve [Ballet])
1979   Zurich Ballet (Ballett des Opernhauses Zurich)
1984   San Francisco Ballet
1986   Pennsylvania Ballet
1997   Open Stage of Harrisburg
1997   Pacific Northwest Ballet
1999   Pennsylvania Ballet
1999   Texas Ballet (formerly Fort Worth Dallas Ballet)
2000   Pacific Northwest Ballet
2001   Ballet de Santiago
2001   Ballet West
2002   Longview Ballet Theater
2003   Pacific Northwest Ballet
2003   Teatro alla Scala (Milan)
2004   Carolina Ballet
2004   Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
2004   Washington Ballet
2005   Mid-Columbia Regional Ballet
2006   Pennsylvania Ballet
2007   Boston Ballet
2007   Pacific Northwest Ballet
2007   Teatro alla Scala
2008   Pacific Northwest Ballet
2011   Boston Ballet
2011   Teatro alla Scala
2012   Mariinsky Ballet
2013   Pennsylvania Ballet
2014   Nevada Ballet Theatre
2014   Pacific Northwest Ballet
2015   Mariinsky Ballet
2016   Ballet Augsburg
2016   Carolina Ballet (Act 1 Only)
2016   Miami City Ballet
2017   Paris Opera Ballet
2017   Teatro alla Scala
2020   San Francisco Ballet
2022   Paris Opera Ballet

Recorded Performances
2001, Winstar TV & Video, Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse (brief excerpts of Titania’s two pas de deux);
2001, BBC/Opus Arte (Complete [1999]);
2004, Kultur, Balanchine (pas de deux for Titania and Bottom)
1965, Association Films, Watching Ballet (Act II DIVERTISSEMENT pas de deux [1963]);
1967, Oberon Productions [1966];
1996, Seahorse Films, Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse (brief excerpts of Titania’s two pas de deux)

n.d. (pas de deux from Divertissement , German television)
1965 film, New York City Ballet [abridged]
1967 film (WSBK, Boston)
1986 (PBS, Great Performances/Live from Lincoln Center)
1999 (BBC [London])

Source Notes

Additional music information provided by Gordon Boelzner, Robert Irving

Play by William Shakespeare
Marc Blitzstein
George Balanchine
Directed by Jack Landau. Scenery by David Hays. Costumes by Thea Neu. Lighting by Tharon Musser
June 20, 1958, American Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, Connecticut. Danced by members of the Festival company. Singer: Russell Oberlin
Titania, June Havoc; Oberon, Richard Waring ; Puck, Richard Easton; Bottom, Hiram Sherman; Theseus, Jack Bittner; and others
Performance Type
See Also
Balanchine choreographed dance passages for the fairies