Karen Khachaturyan


ballet in three acts

Recommended age 6+


Libretto: Gennadi Rykhlov in Genrikh Mayorov’s version, based on the fairy tale Le avventure di Cipollino by Gianni Rodari
Choreography and staging: laureate of the State Prize of the USSR Genrikh Mayorov
Musical director: Honoured Art Worker of the Republic of Belarus, Professor Lev Lyakh
Designer: Honoured Artist of Russia Valery Levental
Revival: People’s Artist of Belarus Yury Trayan
Conductor:  Honoured Art Worker of the Republic of Belarus Nikolai Koliadko

Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes with two intervals
Premiere: 17 November 1978
Revival: 7 April 2007


Act 1

The square in a dream city. It seems that there stand baskets for fruits and vegetables, but in fact these are houses, small and big, where fruits and vegetables live. 
Radish and Cipollino family meet at the square. Cipollona and Cipollone withdraw their irrepressible son Cipollino, who is tired of nursing his sister Cipolletta. Right there Master Raisin repairs shoes. Godfather Pumpkin searches for bricks to build his house. Professor Pear plays violin, and all the citizens dance.
Suddenly Signor Tomato appears at the square and announces that personally Prince Lemon comes soon and wants to talk to his nation. The Prince has ordained a new law: each of them has to pay for the sunshine, for the rain, for the wind.
The crowd feels indignant. In a hustle Cipollino steps on the Prince’s foot. The guards are incensed – the Prince is affronted! The rebel has to be punished! But he disappears, and the guards arrest the old Cipollone. 
Not only Radish family is upset. Pumpkin can’t build his house alone. And the citizens, headed by Cipollino, help him. As soon as the building is finished, Signor Tomato appears again. 
He blew his top as he saw the house: it is built on the land of the Countess Cherry. No one else except her can use this land.
The Lemon guards ruin the Pumpkin’s house. The poor old fellow is in despair. Cipollino decides to take revenge against the offenders. 

Act 2
Cipollino and his friend Little Radish go to the palace to find the underground, where Lemon has confined Cipollone. On the way they meet Little Count Cherry, who feels sad and lonely in the palace, and they make friends. In search for a prisoner friends are nearly caught by Signor Tomato, but they manage to escape, and, while the ball in honour of Prince Lemon is given by the Countess Cherry, the friends let the old Cipollone out.

Act 3
The Lemon guards and the policemen chase the escapees everywhere. Cipollino hides his father and Little Radish, but Cipollino himself is caught by the guards and thrown into the underground.
The palace is still. Little Count Cherry and Magnolia search for Cipollino. Magnolia sends to sleep the guards with her heady scent, and Little Count Cherry bounds them and let Cipollino out.
Prince Lemon goes to the underground to punish the rebel and finds the bounded guards and empty underground. The Prince is infuriated and commands to fire a gun at the city. But Cipollino and his friends force Prince Lemon into the gun.
The smoke is dissipated. There’s neither Lemon, nor gun and guards.
From now on life in the city will be peaceful. A new city spreads under the warm sun and blue sky. The city of friends!...