First presented by the Ballet du Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique (Paris Opera Ballet) in Paris, on June 28, 1841, “Giselle” is the story of a peasant girl named Giselle who protects her lover from the vengeance of a group of evil female spirits, called the Wilis. The libretto is by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Théophile Gautier, with music by Adolphe Adam, and original choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot.
In City Ballet’s production the choreography is by Elizabeth Wistrich after Marius Petipa’s 1884 revival for the Imperial Ballet (today known as the Kirov/Maryinsky Ballet).
The title role of Giselle is one of the most sought-after in ballet, demanding both technical perfection and outstanding grace and lyricism, as well as great dramatic skill. In the first act, Giselle has to convey the innocence and love of a country girl, and the heartbreak of being betrayed.
In the second act she must seem otherworldly, yet loving. Some of the most accomplished dancers to perform this role include Anna Pavlova, Margot Fonteyn, and Gelsey Kirkland. In City Ballet’s production, the role of Giselle will be shared by Ariana Gonzalez and Sumire Ito.
Live musical accompaniment will be provided by the City Ballet Orchestra under the leadership of John Nettles, and costumes and scenery are courtesy of Sacramento Ballet.
Tickets are $30-$85. Students, seniors and military may purchase discounted tickets of $5 off regular price. Purchase tickets at cityballet.org or through Ticketmaster.
Prior to each performance is a free pre-concert lecture for ticket holders with artistic director Steven Wistrich.
Heralded by critics as “a top-tier dance company” and “an oasis of classical dance in a city otherwise too often a desert,” City Ballet is San Diego’s world-class professional ballet company, now celebrating its 24th season under the direction of former Boston Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet dancers, Steven and Elizabeth Wistrich. City Ballet is a nonprofit organization committed to furthering the ballet art form.