Frederick Ashton and His Ballets

1946

[The Sleeping Beauty]
Ballet in a prologue and three acts by Marius Petipa and Ivan Vsevolozhsky, after Charles Perrault
Produced by Nicholas Sergeyev after the choreography of Marius Petipa, with additions by Frederick Ashton and Ninette de Valois
M Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (La Belle au bois dormant, ballet, opus 66)
SC Oliver Messel
D Princess Aurora: Margot Fonteyn; Prince Florimund: Robert Helpmann; The Lilac Fairy: Beryl Grey; Carabosse: Robert Helpmann
Act I Garland Dance
D corps de ballet
Act III Florestan and his Two Sisters
D Moira Shearer, Gerd Larsen, Michael Somes
(first woman's variation by Marius Petipa, from Jewels pas de quatre; from 20 January 1950 the programme credit for this pas de trois read "by Frederick Ashton after Petipa")
FP Sadler's Wells Ballet, Royal Opera House, London, 20 February 1946

Act II Aurora's Variation ("after Marius Petipa")
D Aurora: Beryl Grey
FP Sadler's Wells Ballet, Royal Opera House, London, 9 January 1952

Act III Florimund's Variation ("after Marius Petipa")
D Florimund: Michael Somes
FP Sadler's Wells Ballet, Royal Opera House, London, 23 February 1955

FP Sadler's Wells Ballet; adapted for television by Frederick Ashton:
D Princess Aurora: Margot Fonteyn; Prince Florimund: Michael Somes; Lilac Fairy: Beryl Grey; Carabosse: Frederick Ashton
FP NBC Television (Producers' Showcase), New York NY,
12 December 1955

ST Royal Ballet touring section; D Aurora: Anya Linden; FP Grand Theatre, Leeds, 14 September 1959

ST The Rose Adagio; specially produced by Frederick Ashton;
D Aurora: Nadia Nerina; Royal Performance, Prince of Wales Theatre, London, 4 November 1963

Act II The Awakening Scene
D Aurora: Violette Verdy; Florimund: David Blair
FP Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, London, 29 February 1964

NP Royal Ballet; production devised and staged by Peter Wright, with new and additional choreography by Frederick Ashton; S Henry Bardon; C Lila de Nobili and Rostislav Doboujinsky;
Prologue: The Fairy of Joy
D Georgina Parkinson
Act I Garland Dance (new version)
D corps de ballet
Act II Prince Florimund's Variation (sarabande)
D Anthony Dowell
Act II Pas de deux (Awakening Scene)
D Aurora: Antoinette Sibley; Florimund: Anthony Dowell
Act III Gold and Silver pas de trois
D Jennifer Penney, Brian Shaw, Keith Martin
(original Florestan pas de trois restored 15 March 1972,
under the title Gold and Silver pas de trois:
D Jennifer Penney, Ann Jenner, David Ashmole)
FP Royal Opera House, London, 17 December 1968

NP Royal Ballet; produced and with new and additional choreography by Kenneth MacMillan; SC Peter Farmer
This production retained Ashton's choregraphy for Prince
Florimund's variation in Act II D Anthony Dowell and for
the Fairy of Joy, incorporated into a new Jewels pas de six in Act III D Georgina Parkinson
FP Royal Opera House, London, 15 March 1973

NP Royal Ballet; production by Ninette de Valois; SC David Walker; this production included the following numbers by Ashton: Act I Garland Dance (1946 version); Act II Florimund's variation D Anthony Dowell; Aurora's variation D Lesley Collier); Pas de deux (Awakening Scene) (later omitted) D Lesley Collier and Anthony Dowell; Act III Florestan and his Sisters D Stephen Beagley, Wendy Ellis, Laura Connor; Connor's variation was that for the Fairy of Joy from the 1968 production
FP Royal Opera House, London, 14 October 1977

NP Royal Ballet; production by Anthony Dowell; SC Maria Bjornson; this production included the following numbers by Ashton:
Act II Florimund's variation D Zoltan Solymosi; Aurora's variation D Darcey Bussell: Act III Gold, Silver, Sapphire, and Diamond (replacing Florestan and his Sisters): Entrée and coda (Dowell after Ashton) D William Trevitt, Deborah Bull, Sara Gallie, Muriel Valtat; Sapphire variation (formerly Fairy of Joy) D Sara Gallie
FP Kennedy Center, Washington DC, 6 April 1994

ST Royal Ballet/Paris Opera Ballet; Awakening pas de deux only; R Donald MacLeary:
D Darcey Bussell, Laurent Hilaire'
FP Entente Cordiale gala, Opéra National de Paris, Palais Garnier, 29 September 2004

NP Royal Ballet; production by Monica Mason and Christopher Newton, staging by Christopher Carr; SC after Oliver Messel, realized and with additional designs by Peter Farmer; this production included the following numbers by Ashton: Act II Florimund’s variation (Sarabande) D Johan Kobborg; Aurora’s Variation D Alina Cojocaru; Act III Florestan and his Sisters (Entrée and Coda) D Martin Harvey, Belinda Hatley, Deirdre ChapmanFP Royal Opera House, London, 15 May 2006

By other companies:

ST Royal Danish Ballet; Prince's Act III solo (1955) in a production of the ballet by Ninette de Valois; D Henning Kronstam FP Kongelige Teater, Copenhagen, 8 March 1957

ST Gala Ballet Season; "Awakening" pas de deux only: D Lynn Seymour and Stephen Jefferies; FP Royal Festival Hall, London, 7 August 1978

ST Boston Ballet: Act I Garland Dance (1946) and Act II Florimund’s variation (1968) in a production of the ballet by Patricia Ruanne; D Nelson Madrigal; SC David Walker (Royal Ballet 1977): FP Wang Theatre, Boston MA, 5 May 2005

ST New York City Ballet: Act II Aurora’s variation after Frederick Ashton (1952), uncredited; in a production of the ballet by Peter Martins; D Darci Kistler; S David Mitchell; C Patricia Zipprodt; FP New York State Theater, New York NY, 24 April 1991

Symphonic Variations
M César Franck (Variations symphoniques, for piano and orchestra, 1885)
SC Sophie Fedorovitch
D Margot Fonteyn, Pamela May, Moira Shearer, Michael Somes, Henry Danton, Brian Shaw
FP Sadler's Wells Ballet, Royal Opera House, London, 24 April 1946

ST Royal Ballet touring section; D Antoinette Sibley, Jennifer Penney, Laura Connor, Anthony Dowell, Robert Mead, Michael Coleman; FP Theatre Royal, Nottingham, 9 November 1970

ST Birmingham Royal Ballet; R Michael Somes: D Rachel Peppin, Sherilyn Kennedy, Susan Lucas, Kevin O'Hare, David Bailey, Vincent Redmon; FP Hippodrome, Birmingham, 19 October 1992

By other companies:

ST Fonteyn World Tour, 1965; D Margot Fonteyn, Annette Page, Shirley Grahame, Royes Fernandez, Ronald Hynd, Alexander Grant
FP Athens Festival, Herod Atticus Theatre, Athens, 9 August 1963

ST Het Nationale Ballet; R Michael Somes and Wendy Ellis:
FP Muziektheater, Amsterdam, 18 October 1989

ST American Ballet Theatre; R Michael Somes, assisted by Judy Maelor-Thomas: D Cynthia Harvey, Ashley Tuttle, Sandra Brown, Ethan Brown, Parrish Maynard, Wes Chapman FP Civic Opera House, Chicago, Illinois, 29 March 1992

ST National Ballet of Canada; R Wendy Ellis Somes: FP O'Keefe Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, 8 May 1996

ST San Francisco Ballet; R Wendy Ellis Somes:
D Julie Diana, Vanessa Zahorian, Tina LeBlanc, Damian Smith,
Joan Boada, Nicolas Blanc
FP War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco CA, 13 April 2004

ST An Evening of British Ballet: R Bruce Sansom and Wendy Ellis Somes; C only Sophie Fedorovitch
D Alina Cojocaru, Johann Kobborg, Deirdre Chapman, Ricardo Cervera, Lauren Culbertson, Edward Watson
FP Festival de Sintra, Portugal, 23 July 2004

Les Sirènes
Ballet by Frederick Ashton
M Lord Berners
SC Cecil Beaton
D Mermaids: Palma Nye, Gillian Lynne; Seagulls: Margaret Dale, Alexis Rassine; Children: Pauline Clayden, Alexander Grant,
Guinevere Parry, Mavis Spence; Nannies: Anne Gieves, Fiorella Keane; Gendarmes: Paul Reymond, Alec Martin; Flowerwoman: Betty Cooper; Countess Kitty: Beryl Grey; Captain Bay Vavasour; Michael Somes; La Bolero: Margot Fonteyn; Her Chauffeur: Leslie Edwards; King Hihat of Agpar: Frederick Ashton; Adelino Canberra (of the Adelaide Opera): Robert Helpmann; The Smart Set, King Hihat's Suite: corps de ballet
FP Sadler's Wells Ballet, Royal Opera House, London, 12 November 1946

The Fairy Queen
Masque in three acts, after William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
M Henry Purcell (1692), adapted by Constant Lambert (in association with Edward J Dent)
Production by Frederick Ashton and Malcolm Baker-Smith
Curtain SC Michael Ayrton
Players: Margaret Rawlings, Robert Helpmann, James Kenney, Tony Tarver, Edgar Evans, Audrey Bowman, Constance Shacklock, Harcourt Williams, Michael Hordern
D Tatiana's train: Julia Farron, Gerd Larsen, Palma Nye, Lorna Mossford, Rosemary Lindsay, Joan Grantham, Christine du Boulay, Margaret Sear; Ballet of the Birds: Anne Negus, Pauline Clayden, Avril Navarre, Jill Gregory; Echo Dancers: Beryl Grey, Gillian Lynne, Margaret Dale; The Followers of Night: corps de ballet; Four Fairies: Anne Negus, Pauline Clayden, Jill Gregory, Avril Navarre; A Nymph: Moira Shearer; Savages: Franklin White, Kenneth Melville, Paddy Stone, Alexander Grant; Spirits of the Air: Margot Fonteyn, Michael Somes; Phoebus: David Davenport; Attendants on Spring: Moira Shearer and corps de ballet; Attendants on Summer: Beryl Grey and corps de ballet; Attendants on Autumn: Michael Somes and corps de ballet; Attendants on Winter: David Paltenghi and corps de ballet; Four Chinese Dancers: Alexis Rassine, John Hart, Pauline Clayden, Margaret Dale; Two Chinese Children: Veronica Vail, Peter Clegg; Hymen: Richard Ellis
FP Covent Garden Opera and Sadler's Wells Ballet, Royal Opera House, London, 12 December 1946

ST Ny Norsk Ballet; Spirits of the Air pas de deux only;
D Margot Fonteyn, Robert Helpmann FP Norske Theatre, Oslo, 30 January 1950

copyright © 2004 by David Vaughan