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Christoph Willibald Gluck (ballet music from Orfeo ed Euridice, produced 1762, with music from the Paris production of 1774)
George Balanchine, staged by Brigitte Thom
Lighting by Ronald Bates
January 22, 1976, New York City Ballet, New York State Theater. Conductor: Robert Irving
Suzanne Farrell, Peter Martins;
PAS DE TROIS: Renee Estopinal, Wilhelmina Frankfurt, Jay Jolley;
PAS DE DEUX: Susan Hendl, Jean-Pierre Frohlich;
PAS DE CINQ: Elise Flagg; Bonita Borne, Elyse Borne, Laura Flagg, Nichol Hlinka;
PAS DE DEUX: Farrell, Martins;
CHACONNE: Farrell, Martins; Susan Pilarre, Marjorie Spohn, Tracy Bennett, Gerard Ebitz, corps de ballet
Performance Type
See Also
The finale of Gluck’s opera is in the form of a dance rather than song. This choreography, first performed in the 1963 Hamburg State Opera production of Orfeo ed Euridice [345], was somewhat altered for presentation as the ballet Chaconne and Balanchine added a new pas deux at the beginning for Farrell and Martins. Initially danced in practice clothes; costumes by Karinska were added in the spring of 1976.
Additional Productions
Spring 1976, New York City Ballet: Opening ensemble added to ‘The Dance of the Blessed Spirits.’

1978   Paris Opera Ballet
1983   Pacific Northwest Ballet (with San Francisco Ballet)
1983   San Francisco Ballet (with Pacific Northwest Ballet)
1986   Pacific Northwest Ballet
1989   Pacific Northwest Ballet
1992   Pacific Northwest Ballet
1994   Stuttgart Ballet
1995   Miami City Ballet
1996    Pacific Northwest Ballet
2001    Pacific Northwest Ballet
2003   Suzanne Farrell Ballet
2005   State Ballet of Georgia
2007   Cincinnati Ballet
2007   The Suzanne Farrell Ballet
2008   Ballet West
2011    Ballet West
2014   Tbilisi Ballet
2017    Ballet West
2017    Suzanne Farrell Ballet
2018    Boston Ballet
2019    National Ballet of Canada
2022    Boston Ballet

Recorded Performances
1995, Nonesuch, The Balanchine Library: Choreography by Balanchine (excerpts [1978]);
2001, Kultur, Peter Martins: A Dancer (PAS DE DEUX);
2004, Kultur, Balanchine (excerpts)
1978, The Film Company, Peter Martins: A Dancer (PAS DE DEUX)

1978 excerpts (PBS, Dance in America)
1978 (CBC [Montreal])
1983 excerpt (PBS, Gala of Stars)
1984 Faust (French television, TF1)

Source Notes

Balanchine, Arlene Croce, Nancy Goldner, Barbara Horgan

Opera in Three Acts and Five Scenes
Christoph Willibald Gluck (Orfeo ed Euridice, produced 1762, with ballet music from the Paris production of 1774). Libretto by Raniero da Calzabigi, translated by Hans Swarowsky
George Balanchine
Directed and choreographed by George Balanchine. Scenery and costumes designed by Rouben Ter-Arutunian
November 16, 1963, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Hamburg. Danced by Ballett der Hamburgischen Staatsoper. Conductor: Janos Kulka
SINGERS: Orpheus, Ursula Boese; Eurydike, Doris Jung; Amor, Ria Urban; and others.
DANCERS: SCENE 1: Shepherds and Shepherdesses, 7 women, 4 men.
SCENE 2: Furies, 12 women, 12 men.
SCENE 3: Night, Angèle Albrecht; 8 Spirits (women), 4 Shadows (women).
SCENE 5: CHACONNE: Christa Kempf, Heinz Clauss; Albrecht; Erika Czarnecki, Falco Kapuste; Wilfried Schumann; 9 women, 6 men;
PAS DE TROIS: Uta Graf, Heidi Korf, Helmut Baumann;
CUPID AND CHERUBS (PAS DE CINQ): Henni Vanhaiden, 4 women;
PAS DE DEUX: Dulce Anaya, Rainer Kochermann; Marilyn Burr, Peter van Dyk
Performance Type
See Also
The CHACONNE of this production, directed and choreographed by Balanchine at the invitation of Rolf Liebermann, formed the basis for the ballet Chaconne [400], first performed by the New York City Ballet in 1976.
Additional Productions
1973, Théâtre National de l’Opéra, Paris: Choreography from Hamburg,
1963, performed in a new production of the opera (not directed by Balanchine).
Other Versions
1936, Metropolitan Opera (danced by American Ballet, as American Ballet Ensemble)

1965   Ballett der Hamburgischen Staatsoper (Hamburg, Germany)
1974   Geneva Ballet (Grand Theatre de Geneve [Ballet])

Recorded Performances
Nonesuch: listed under Chaconne [400]
Source Notes

Derivation of the ballet Chaconne provided by Balanchine

Opera in Two Acts and Four Scenes
Christoph Willibald Gluck (Orfeo ed Euridice, produced 1762, with ballet music from the Paris production of 1774). Libretto by Raniero da Calzabigi
George Balanchine
Stage production conceived by George Balanchine and Pavel Tchelitchew. Scenery and costumes by Pavel Tchelitchew. Scenery painted by Joseph Novak
May 22, 1936, Metropolitan Opera, New York. Danced by American Ballet Ensemble. Conductor: Richard Hageman
SINGERS: Orpheus, Anna Kaskas; Eurydice, Jeanne Pengelly; Amor, Maxine Stellman; and others. DANCERS: Orpheus, Lew Christensen; Eurydice, Daphne Vane; Amor, William Dollar; Shepherds and Nymphs, Furies and Ghosts from Hades, Heroes from Elysium, Followers of Orpheus, corps de ballet.
Act I: SCENE I. At the tomb of Eurydice. SCENE 2. Entrance to Hades.
Act II: SCENE I. The Elysian Fields. SCENE 2. The Gardens of the Temple of Love.
Performance Type
See Also
An original production staged by Balanchine at the Metropolitan; the singers were invisible in the orchestra pit while the dancers performed the action on stage; atmospheric scenic effects ended with a vast night-sky of stars. The innovative and controversial production was presented only twice. Balanchine reconceived and directed Orpheus and Eurydice for the Hamburgische Staatsoper in 1963; this all-new choreography.was performed in a new production of the Théâtre National de l’Opéra, Paris, in 1973 and the Chicago Lyric Opera in 1975 and forms the basis for the ballet Chaconne [400], first presented by the New York City Ballet in 1976.
Additional Productions
Other Versions
1963, Hamburgische Staatsoper.
Source Notes

Information about later productions provided by Balanchine, Barbara Horgan.