Swan Lake

Piotr Ilici Ceaikovski

Libretul Gheorghe Iancu (after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov)
Durata 3 h Pauze 1
Premieră 19th of April 2008
Premiera mondială 27th of January 1895, Mariinsky Theatre, Sankt Petersburg
Conductor Iurie Florea
Directed and choreographed by Gheorghe Iancu
Scenography Luisa Spinatelli
Lighting design Camilla Piccioni
Assistants choreography Roxana Popescu, Ştefan Bănică
Choreography consultant Alexander Monakov, Carlos Vilán
Ballet master Petruța Almosnino, Laura Blică Toader, Cristian Crăciun, Corina Dumitrescu, Florin Mateescu
Assistant for sets and costumes Monia Felicia Torchia, Andreea Koch



Part I
In the palace courtyards, during his birthday celebration, prince Siegfried is reading a book. It’s the «Swan Lake» story. The Queen Mother asks him to put down the book and join his guests. Among them there is Beno, his childhood friend, accompanied by two young women, who wish to be introduced to the Prince. Beno succeeds to get Siegfried into the spirit of the party.

The Queen Mother and the prince open the ball with a waltz. The butler announces a young princess, who is introduced to all the guests by the queen as future wife of prince Siegfried, the next in throne and in need of a consort. Feeling embarrassed, he refuses his mother’s proposal, and the princess and her parents leave offended, followed by the Queen. When evening falls, before the last toast, Beno suggests a new dance to brighten the spirits.

The guests leave the palace and Beno can’t convince Siegfried to keep the celebration going. The saddened prince wants to be left alone to finish reading his book. Dozing off, he enters the dream world, where he meets Deirfgeis, the sorcerer, the negative embodiment of his ego.  He takes Siegfried to a fantasy realm, where he encounters some girls transformed into swans by the sorcerer. With the help of a spell, Deirfgeis shows him Odette, the swan princess. Siegfried immediately falls in love with her. The swan girl is apprehensive in the beginning, but then tells him about her sad destiny: she and her maids, turned into swans, and they have been enslaved by Deirfgeis’ spell, which can only be broken by a sincere love vow. Siegfried pledges his eternal love, but Odette fears that he won’t be able to keep his promise and she will forever remain under the evil spell, as only a man incapable of betrayal can break it. Siegfried vows eternal love once again and invites her to the Queen’s party. Odette believes she will not be able to attend because of her swan appearance, but promises she will fly over the palace. The prince pledges his love once again. The swans, together with Odette fly away and Deirfgeis turns into Siegfried’s alter-ego once again.

Part II
Siegfried continues his journey into the dream world, which takes him to the palace, for the Queen’s party. Guests are arriving from all parts of the world and four more prospective brides from Hungary, Spain, Italy and Poland are presented. All those attending appear as birds, Beno being the cheerful parrot entertaining the audience. Siegfried dances with each candidate, but his thoughts remain with his beloved swan princess, Odette. The Queen asks him to choose a wife out of the four young ladies, but Siegfried disregards his mother’s request once again.

Suddenly, the arrival of a new guest is announced. It is Deirfgeis, the sorcerer, accompanied by a princess dressed in black, named Odile. Odile bares striking resemblance to the beautiful Odette, whose face was in fact borrowed by Deirfgeis with the help of a spell and used to trick the prince.

Siegfried, deceived by the young lady’s appearance, introduces her to his mother and the noblemen as his future wife. The guests disappear. Only Deirfgeis and the Queen Mother remain. They fall prey to passion and seduction and their bodies intertwine in a sensual dance.

Siegfried and Odile are getting ready for the lavish wedding and crowning ceremony. However, during the preparations, Deirfgeis shows everyone the true identity of Odile, the black swan, while the swan princess, Odette, flies over the palace and is devastated by her lover’s betrayal and her future fate.

Deirfgeis and Odile run away and Siegfried realizes that he broke his vow of eternal love he made to Odette, sentencing her to a life under Deirfgeist’s spell.

On the lake shore, the other swans anxiously await for the return of Odette, the only one who can free them from the curse they are under. The swan princess arrives devastated by pain and tells them about Siegfried’s betrayal. The swans join Odette and weep over their destiny.

Proud of his triumph, Deirfgeis returns to the poor swans to feed his ego and to torment their souls. He knows that Siegfried would soon arrive to ask for forgiveness, and the sorcerer is awaiting him to render the final blow. The Prince arrives in search of his beloved Odette, who is hidden by her friends. He is hurt, his soul is torn and he falls on his knees. The swans prepare to fly away, but Odette cannot leave her lover’s side. She forgives him and decides to face her cruel destiny alongside him.

The evil genius of Deirfgeis casts a horrifying storm to kill the two lovers, and their fate seems to be sealed. They’re about to be swallowed by the aggressive waves, when Siegfried wakes up. Yes, it was all but a dream, a figment of his own imagination, and the prince will have to continue looking for his true love.