P R E S S R E L E A S E
Hamburg, May 23, 2011
Purgatorio by John Neumeier opens 37th Hamburger Ballett-Tage on June 26th – Music by Alma and Gustav Mahler // Guest company: The National Ballet of China with Raise the Red Lantern
On June 26, this year’s Hamburger Ballett-Tage open with the world premiere of John Neumeier’s new ballet Purgatorio. Until July 10, when the Nijinsky-Gala XXXVII makes the grand finale of the festival, The HAMBURG BALLET will present the season’s repertoire highlights danced by superior casts and will welcome the National Ballet of China as guest company.
With the premiere of Purgatorio, John Neumeier commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler. The musical score for this creation, however, does not only derive from Mahler’s Tenth Symphony: In the first part of the ballet, Neumeier mainly uses songs by Alma Schindler-Mahler for his choreography. John Neumeier approaches the relationship of the spouses at the time when Mahler worked on his last symphony. In the production, the songs will be sung by Charlotte Margiono. The Dutch soprano is renowned for her interpretation of Alma Mahler’s songs, which also particularly inspired Neumeier.
Another musical highlight of the Ballett-Tage will be Parzival – Episodes and Echo on Juli 1. The baritone Thomas Hampson will interpret John Adams’ composition “The Wound-Dresser“, in the second part of the ballet.
At this year’s Nijinsky-Gala on July 10, John Neumeier will once again welcome international top dancers. The 37th edition of the popular gala will be dedicated to Gustav Mahler and Frédéric Chopin, among others, whose jubilees have been celebrated in the 2010/2011 season.
The National Ballet of China, this year’s guest company, will present Raise the Red Lantern. The ballet, created in 2001, is based on the film of the same title by China’s most important director Zhang Yimou, which won the Silver Lion at the Venice film festival in 1991. Raise the Red Lantern brings together western ballet tradition and elements of the classical Beijing Opera. Set in the time of the warlords in the China of the 1920s, the ballet tells the story of a beautiful, but unfaithful concubine, trapped in the household intrigue of a powerful Mandarin’s estate. The company has toured widely with the production, for instance to Sydney, New York, Paris, London and Moscow.
Ballet by John Neumeier
Music: Songs by Alma Maria Schindler-Mahler, Tenth Symphony by Gustav Mahler (Edition: Deryck Cooke)
Choreography, Stage and Costume Design: John Neumeier
Conductor: Simone Young
Contralto: Charlotte Margiono
Premiere A: June 26, 2011, 6.00 p.m.
Premiere B: June 28, 2011, 7.30 p.m.
Performance: July 3, 2011, 7.30 p.m
Parzival – Episodes and Echo
Ballet by John Neumeier
based on Chrétien de Troyes and Wolfram von Eschenbach
Stage Design: Peter Schmidt
Music: John Adams, Richard Wagner, Arvo Pärt
Conductor: Simon Hewett
Baritone: Thomas Hampson
Perfomance: Juliy 1, 2011, 7.30 p.m.
The National Ballet of China (guest company)
Raise the Red Lantern
Librettist and Director: Zhang Yimou
Music: Qigang Chen
Choreography: Xin Peng Wang (original), Wang Yuanyuan
Stage Design: Zeng Li
Costume Design: Jérôme Kaplan
Light Design: Zhang Yimou
Performances: July 5 and 6, 2011, 7.30 p.m.
HAMBURG BALLETT and guests
Host: John Neumeier
July 10, 2011, 6.00 p.m.
Hamburgische Staatsoper (Großes Haus) – Tickets: 4,- to 158,- Euro
To book, please call +49-(0)40-35 68 68 or book online at the Hamberg Ballet website.