La Sonnambula

(originally called Night Shadow)

Music: Vittorio Rieti (Night Shadow, based on themes from operas by Bellini, 1946)
Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Staging: Peter Boal with Richard Tanner
Costume Design: Christine Joly after original design by Karinska
Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli
Duration: 37 minutes
Premiere: February 27, 1946; Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (New York)
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: March 15, 2007

Louise Nadeau and Olivier Wevers in La Sonnambula.
Photo © Angela Sterling

The 2007 Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of George Balanchine’s La Sonnambula was generously underwritten in part by the PNB Advisory Board of Trustees.

La Sonnambula (originally called Night Shadow) reveals Balanchine at his most mystical, operatic, and European. Set in a darkly mysterious masked ball, the one-act ballet tells the story of a Poet who pays suit to a Coquette, who is escorted by the Baron. After a series of exotic divertissements, the elegantly attired guests go in to supper, leaving the Poet to himself. In a moment, an apparition in white enters. She is a beautiful Sleepwalker. Entranced, the Poet tries repeatedly to wake her, but she eludes him. The jealous Coquette informs the Baron of the Poet's advances to her; enraged, he stabs the Poet. The Sleepwalker reappears to bear the Poet’s lifeless body away.

Notes compiled by Doug Fullington.

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