The ballet company of the Hvorostovsky Krasnoyarsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre is extensively working on staging Cesare Pugni’s ballet Catarina ou La Fille du Bandit that was overlooked for more than 100 years.
The history of this ballet began in 1846 at the Royal Theatre in London, went on in 1848 at La Scala in Milan, and later Russian ballet fans saw Catarina. The legendary Marius Petipa directed dances for the 1870 version at the Mariinsky Theatre. The ballet was staged at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1895.
The recreated performance is based on the legacy of the outstanding choreographer, librettist, author of the famous Giselle Jules Perrot.
“It will be an interesting reconstruction, in which there is a certain "sweetness" of the 19th century with spectacular pompous set design and costumes, what seems to lack in an academic theatre nowadays. Jules Perrot's choreography has not survived, but we have restored the entire script bit by bit. For example, I came across the 19th-century newspaper, in which the full Petersburg libretto was printed. Various versions of the libretto were restored in various theatres. Historian Yuri Burlaka helped us in this,” said the Artistic Director of the Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre Sergei Bobrov. “Interestingly, various theatres staged this ballet with different endings; thus, we will present three endings of Catarina in our show. We’ll make it as understandable for the audience as possible, literally the signs “the ending of the year ___” will be shown. That means that the libretto is 100% restored.”
Music material was found in Rome, Milan, and the Bolshoi Theatre. Puni included music from other works of his in Catarina; it’ll also be performed during the show. As Sergei Bobrov said, the accompaniment to the famous dance with a gun considered to be lost; it was found in another ballet. The orchestral version of the music was created by the composer Pyotr Pospelov commissioned by the Krasnoyarsk theatre.
The set design for the show was developed by the Bolshoi Theatre specialists. The costumes were invented by Elena Zaitseva; they were based on the survived sketches of the artist Eugeny Ponomarev. The samples were sewn in the Bolshoi and transferred to Krasnoyarsk; now they are used to sew costumes in the workshops of the Krasnoyarsk theatre. The set design is being done by the artist Aliona Pikalova: it’s based on the sets that were created in the Bolshoi using the work of the artist Salvator Rosa who is one of the main characters in the play.
This is a colossal work, and the team of the Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre is confident that the result will impress the audience.