Varna Ballet and Orchestra is coming to Hull

Raymond Gubbay Limited is pleased to announce that Varna International Ballet and Orchestra will return to the UK after a hugely successful debut in 2023. This season they will bring much-loved classical ballets The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty to Hull New Theatre from 29 -31 January 2024.

British dancer Luc Burns will perform alongside Italy’s Mara Salvaggio, Martina Prefetto, Giovanni Pompei, Agnese Di Dio Masa, Andrea Conforti, Mirko Andreutti, Giacomo Ammazzini and Vittorio Scolé, France’s Pauline Clémence Faget, Spain’s Mónica Alegre and Yael Delgado, and Brazil’s Wellson Felipio.

The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty will be classical versions of the original, including sumptuous costumes and familiar choreography and settings.

Swan Lake will be a recreation of Tchaikovsky’s original production, which was created for the Bolshoi Ballet in 1877. Modern audiences are more familiar with the 1895 version that included musical and choreographic changes to the original by Marius Petipa and Riccardo Drigo, which was presented at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1895, two years after Tchaikovsky’s death. The producers of Varna International Ballet went back into the archives in order to return to the original score, orchestration and libretto, above all to preserve the original meanings that were at the bottom of the musical dramaturgy of the ballet.

Renowned for its award-winning soloists from the UK, France, Italy and Spain, and magnificent corps de ballet, the company has been delighting audiences for decades at home in Bulgaria and abroad with its performances of the highest quality.

Artistic Director Daniela Dimova and Music Director and Chief Conductor Peter Tuleshkov from Varna International Ballet and Orchestra said: “We are thrilled to be bringing our highly talented company of dancers and musicians back to the UK. We can’t wait to perform for British audiences again and to bring these magical ballets to life on stage.”

Varna State Opera was founded in 1947 by the renowned Bulgarian tenor Peter Raycheff. The main credit for the development of the ballet troupe goes to Galina and Stefan Yordanov who were Artistic Directors and choreographers for over 25 years (1960-1985). They formed the image of the Varna Ballet and brought it to the international stage and founded the first and now world-famous Varna International Ballet Competition in 1964. Since 2010 Varna State Opera and Varna Drama Theatre are united in one cultural institute called Theatre and Music Production Centre Varna.

The ballets to be performed this season are:

Swan Lake – The greatest romantic ballet of all time is brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s haunting and unforgettable score. From the impressive splendour of the Palace ballroom to the moon-lit lake where swans glide in perfect formation, this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all. From Odile, the temptress in black tulle as she seduces the Prince by spinning with captivating precision to the spellbound purity of the swan queen, Odette as she flutters with emotional intensity, the dual role of Odette/Odile is one of ballet’s most unmissable technical challenges.

Sleeping Beauty – Every child’s favourite fairy tale, this is the classic story of love and innocence, mystery and magic set to Tchaikovsky’s sublime score. Stunning choreography, sumptuous costumes and wonderful sets form the fantasy world in which the Lilac Fairy struggles against the evil Carabosse.

The Nutcracker – This most famous of fantasy ballets for all the family begins as night falls on Christmas Eve. As snowflakes fall outside, the warm glow of the open fire sends flickering shadows across the boughs of the Christmas tree and all the presents beneath. When midnight strikes we are swept away to a fairy-tale world where nothing is quite as it seems, toy dolls spring to life, the Mouse-king and his mouse-army battle with the Nutcracker Prince and we travel through the Land of Snow to an enchanted place where the magic really begins…

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