Adolphe Adam

Giselle, ou les Wilis

ballet in two acts

Age 6+

Dates

Libretto: Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges, Théophile Gautier, Jean Coralli
Choreography: Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, Marius Petipa
Staging: People’s Artist of the USSR, Professor Nikita Dolgushin
Musical director: Honoured Art Worker of the Republic of Belarus Nikolai Koliadko
Designer: People's Artist of Russia, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Vyacheslav Okunev
Conductor: Aleh Lessoun
Assistant ballet master: recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal Aleksandra Tikhomirova

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes with one interval
Premiere: 30 March 2012

6

Act I

The Young Count is in love with Giselle. He has disguised himself as a peasant, and Giselle takes him for a young man from a neighbouring village.

The Gamekeeper, who is also enamoured of Giselle, tries to persuade her that her beloved is not the kind of a person who he poses as. But Giselle does not want to listen to him.

The Gamekeeper sneaks into the cottage, where the young Count has changed into a peasant’s clothing, and finds his sword with the coat of arms.

Horns are heard in the distance announcing the arrival of the hunting party. Among the hunters are the Count’s Bride and her Father. The Noble woman is charmed by Giselle and presents her with a necklace…

The Gamekeeper appears in the midst of the villagers’ party in celebration of the wine harvest. He denounces the Count as a deceiver, and in proof of this he demonstrates the sword. Giselle does not believe him. Then the Gamekeeper blows the horn and the Bride appears in front of the confused Count. Distraught by the betrayal of her beloved, Giselle loses her mind and dies.

Act II

Midnight. The Gamekeeper comes to Giselle’s grave. The Wilis rise from their graves, and he flees. The Wilis force all the wayfarers who come to the graveyard to dance until they drop dead.

The Queen of the Wilis calls for the spirit of Giselle: from now on she is one of the Wilis…

The Count comes to the grave of Giselle. Seeing the grief and the remorse of the young man, Giselle forgives him.

The Wilis lure the Gamekeeper, and after ensnaring him, throw him to his death in a nearby lake. The same fate awaits the Count. In vain does Giselle implore the Wilis to let her beloved go, they are implacable…

Clock chimes are heard from afar. The day breaks and the Wilis retreat to their graves. The Count is saved and forgiven. Giselle disappears in the early morning mist.

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