Giselle, the Romantic ballet par excellence! Relive the story of a young country girl's innocent love for the Duke Albrecht. When she learns that he is already engaged to marry a princess, Giselle suffers violent hallucinations and then dies. In vengeance, the Queen of the Wilis—the ghosts of young girls who die before their time—condemns Albrecht to dance until he dies of exhaustion...
What did Adolphe Adam do in Giselle? He created not only the most symphonic music that he could, but he created something that could be called a musique savante, an intellectual music; for example, the Wilis dance to a fugue, a real classical fugue, a form rather astonishing to find in a ballet. He also writes [...] real dance airs [...] The most famous of his ballets, Giselle, is a pure masterpiece. [...] Its instrumentation is original, colorful, marvelous. —Camille Saint-Saëns in Writings on Music and Musicians: 1870-1921, Éditions Vrin.
Adolphe Adam's Giselle, a two-act ballet-pantomime particularly celebrated for its incredibly rich melodies, began a renaissance in ballet music. Based on a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Théophile Gautier, its original 1841, choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot was adapted in 1991 by Patrice Bart and Eugène Polyakov.
Photo: Laëtitia Pujol and Nicolas Le Riche © Anne Deniau
Alina Cojocaru (Princess Aurora), Federico Bonelli (Prince Florimund), Christopher Saunders (King Florestan XXIV) – The Royal Ballet
Agnès Letestu (Odette), José Martinez (Siegfried) – Corps de Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris