Mariinsky Theatre


fantasy ballet in two acts

IX International Ballet Festival MARIINSKY

Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes in the ballet


Giselle – Diana Vishneva
Count Albert – Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theatre)
Hans – Ilya Kuznetsov
 Mirtha – Yekaterina Kondaurova
Classical duet  – Valeria Martynyuk, Filipp Stepin


Music by Adolphe Adam
Libretto by Vernoy de Saint-Georges, Théophile Gautier and Jean Coralli
Choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa

Set design by Igor Ivanov
Costume design by Irina Press
Production reconstruction consultant: Yuri Slonimsky


Act I
Count Albrecht, in love with the peasant girl Giselle, keeps his noble status a secret from her. Giselle’s other admirer Hans, a woodsman, tries to warn her that Albrecht is not who he claims to be, but Giselle doesn’t want to hear him. Left alone, Hans enters the hunter’s cottage and removes Albrecht’s sword with bears his noble coat of arms.
The sounds of a horn announce the arrival of a hunting party, amongst whom the Count’s betrothed – Bathilde and her father. They stop to seek rest in the village. The Count’s fiancée, charmed by Giselle’s innocence and beauty, gives the girl an expensive necklace.
The hunting party retires and the peasants begin a celebration of their own to mark the harvest. At the height of the festivities Hans appears. He accuses Albrecht of lying and shows the Count’s sword as proof. Giselle refuses to believe it. Then Hans blows the hunting horn and before the embarrassed Count his fiancée appears. Giselle is in despair. She loses her reason and dies.

Act II
It is midnight. Hans has come to Giselle’s grave. The Wilis appear – the ghosts of brides who died before their weddings – and frighten him. They emerge from their graves with a passion to dance the way they could not when still alive and anyone who happens to be in the graveyard at the time must dance till they drop dead. Myrtha, the Queen of the Wilis, summons Giselle’s soul from her tomb and initiates her into their order.
Count Albrecht comes to his beloved’s grave. His grief and despair touch Giselle. She forgives Albrecht.
The Wilis force Hans to dance until he is exhausted and, spinning round, throw him into the lake. The same fate awaits Albrecht. Myrtha forces him to dance. Giselle begs Myrtha to set Albrecht free but Myrtha is unmoved. Dawn breaks. With the rise of the sun the Wilis lose their power. Albrecht is saved. Giselle bids farewell to her beloved – this time forever...

World premiere: 28 June 1841, Théâtre de l´Académie Royal de Musique, Paris
Premiere in St Petersburg: 18 December 1842, Bolshoi Theatre
Premiere Marius Petipa´s version: 5 February 1884, Bolshoi Theatre, St Petersburg

Running time 2 hours 10 minutes
The performance has one interval
Age category 6+

Conductor – Mikhail Agrest

The highlighting of performances by age represents recommendations.

This highlighting is being used in accordance with Federal Law N139-FZ dated 28 July 2012 “On the introduction of changes to the Federal Law ‘On the protection of children from information that may be harmful to their health and development’ and other legislative acts of the Russian Federation.”