A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Release date
Opéra Bastille
George Balanchine
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Musical direction
Simon Hewett

Étoiles, Premiers Danseurs and Corps de Ballet of the Paris Opera
With the participation of the Ballet School

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Photo credit
© Agathe Poupeney/OnP

Main informations

Numerous choreographers have delved into Shakespeare to find dramatic material for their ballets, beginning with Jean-Georges Noverre, an ardent defender of the “action ballet” and Marius Petipa, who was the first to use Mendelssohn’s stage music. George Balanchine, who also loved the score, would prove no exception. In 1962 he created his version of Shakespeare’s comedy for New York City Ballet. Faithful to the Bard’s vocabulary whilst adding a subtle touch of pantomime, he portrays a complex love story in two acts and six scenes. Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, become caught up in a domestic quarrel between the king of the elves and the queen of the fairies which results in the intervention of the mischievous Puck and his magic potion along with a troupe of amateur actors. The denouement is celebrated in the form of a grand virtuoso entertainment. One of George Balanchine’s rare narrative ballets, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is entering the Paris Opera Ballet’s repertoire. The sets and costumes for this production have been designed by another magician of the stage, Christian Lacroix.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Artistic team

New to the repertoire
After William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Music / Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Choreography / George Balanchine
Sets and costumes designs / Christian Lacroix
Lighting design / Jennifer Tipton

Conductor / Simon Hewett
Chorus master / José Luis Basso
Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Soloists / Pranvera Lehnert, Anne‑Sophie Ducret

Presented by Sandra Jennings, Balanchine Trust repetiteur and Aurélie Dupont, Director of Dance at the Paris Opera
Directed by Vincent Bataillon


Étoiles, Premiers Danseurs and Corps de Ballet of the Paris Opera
With the participation of the Ballet School


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