ASTANA – The public will have the chance to witness the ballet as it was conducted half a century ago, as the Astana Opera House will present its premiere of “Notre-Dame de Paris” on June 24 and 25. . The National Opera and Ballet Theater will dance Roland Petit’s 1965 choreography to music by Maurice Jarre.
Based on Victor Hugo’s novel, Jules Perrot originally staged “La Esmeralda” in 1844. Petit wrote the libretto and changed the title, and the ballet entered the list of classics of world choreography shortly. after its creation.
“I want the Middle Ages to be forgotten, so that the tragic meaning of Victor Hugo’s creation becomes clearer to the public,” Petit said, according to Astana Opera’s press release.
The statement highlighted the differences between the two versions.
“It is not the beautiful gypsy who is at the center of his ballet, but Quasimodo. The choreographer, who was also the first performer of this part, didn’t need to wear make-up or disguise, he “danced” his bump. Quasimodo’s regeneration – from canine loyalty to his ‘master’ Claude Frollo to heroic attempt to save the innocent Esmeralda and avenge her death – is presented convincingly on stage,” he said.
The sharp grotesque, imbued with modern plasticity, accentuates the perfect beauty of classical dance in the ballet “Notre-Dame de Paris”. Harsh reality and dark fantasy are intertwined in this monumental tragic spectacle. If 19th century ‘La Esmeralda’ had an obligatory happy ending, the lonely wretched Quasimodo is the only character granted life in the stern 20th century portrayal,” the press release noted.
The 1965 version is also famous for designer Yves Saint Laurent’s costumes, which shocked Parisian beau monde at the time. He dressed the heroine in minis, which only entered the fashion scene. He felt that the “beautiful and conquering Esmeralda” should take the stage wearing a white-lilac mini dress, the press release added.
Revival choreographer and ballet master Luigi Bonino gave an overview of the presentation.
“At the time, the eminent couturier [Saint-Laurent] created all the costumes for the Parisian premiere of the ballet himself, and now spectators at the Astana Opera will be able to admire the designer’s restored creations. The sets are fantastic! When the curtain opens, it has a huge impact on the audience. In the second act, there is only a big bell on stage. It’s really beautiful and Quasimodo is up there. ‘Notre-Dame de Paris’ is always a huge hit wherever we play it and I think it will delight Kazakh audiences as well,” he said in the interview on the opera’s website.
Esmeralda will be performed by Kazakh honored workers Madina Basbayeva and Gaukhar Ussina and Aigerim Beketayeva. Quasimodo will be performed by Rustem Seitbekov, a Kazakh skilled worker, and Bakhtiyar Adamzhan. Serik Nakyspekov, Gaziz Ryskulov and Doszhan Tabyldy will dance the role of Frollo. Phoebus will be played by Kazakh skilled workers Zhandos Aubakirov and Tair Gatauov and Arman Urazov.
The sets are by René Allio and the conductor and musical director is Arman Urazgaliyev.
The ballet will be presented at 7 p.m. on June 24 and at 6 p.m. on June 25.