The Sleeping Beauty is a classic russian ballet, composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky in 1889-1890. The Sleeping Beauty has become part of the classical repertoire of the most famous ballet theatres all over the world.
The original ballet scenario, created by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, based on the Brothers Grimm's version of Charles Perrault's La Belle au bois dormant”. In that version, the Princess's parents survived her 100-year sleep to celebrate the Princess's wedding to the Prince. However, Vsevolozhsky incorporated other characters from Perrault's stories into the ballet, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots and Cinderella.
World premiere of The Sleeping Beauty took place at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on 15 January 1890. The choreographer of the original production was ballet master of Mariinsky Theatre, Marius Petipa.
The ballet's premiere received more favorable reviews from the press than Swan Lake, but Tchaikovsky never had the luxury of being able to witness his work become an instant success in theatres outside of Russia.
The first notable production of The Sleeping Beauty in Europe took place in 1896 at the La Scala in Milan. But that production did not arouse much interest and it was not until 1921 when in London, the ballet finally gained wide acclaim and a permanent place in the classical repertoire of many ballet theatres worldwide.
Today in 2023 in St.Petersburg The Sleeping Beauty ballet is staged in all the major ballet theatres: Mariinsky Theatre, Mikhailovsky Theatre, Hermitage Theatre, Alexandrinsky Theatre, Aurora Ballet Hall and Russian Classical Ballet Palace.
The Mariinsky Theatre is a historic stage, where the The Sleeping Beauty by Marius Petipa, considered to be world classic, was premiered in 1890. The meaning of Mariinsky Theatre for russian ballet history and for The Sleeping Beauty performance can not be underestimated. The first, the best and the greatest - the most suitable characteristics for Mariinsky Theatre and it’s The Sleeping Beauty performance, directed by Maestro Valery Gergiev.
The version of The Sleeping Beauty, staged in Mariinsky Theatre now (Konstantin Sergeyev’s version, based on Marius Petipa’s version) was premiered 25 March 1952 and has not been changed up to date.
If one is lucky enough to buy a couple of tickets to The Sleeping Beauty ballet in Mariinsky Theatre - he can truly be sure, he will have a life-time experience. Unfortunately, The Sleeping Beauty ballet in Mariinsky Theatre is staged only a dozen times a year, and huge ammount of best-view and good-view tickets immediately goes to black market resellers, where they are sold at least two times more expensive.
The Mikhailovsky Theatre is one of Russia's oldest opera and ballet houses. It was founded in 1833 and is situated in a historical building on the Arts Square in St. Petersburg. The current production of The Sleeping Beauty by Nacho Duato after Ivan Vsevolozhsky, staged in Mikhailovsky Theatre was premiered on 16 December 2011.
The renowned Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato has told the classical fairytale in his own way, preserving the incredibly romantic and magical spirit of this famous ballet. Duato’s style, recognizable even in the classical ballet, his light humour and legendary musicality captivate the audience and retain their attention to the very last second.
The intimate atmosphere of the Hermitage theatre, which used to be palace theatre hundred years ago, is probably the best place to see The Sleeping Beauty in Saint Petersburg.
The balet is performed with the symphonic orchestra here. The classical original choreography is conserved, and colourful decorations and costumes make ballet in the Hermitage theatre even more attractive.
The pecularity of the Hermitage theatre is the small hall without seat categoies or even number, so if you would like to buy the best tickets for The Sleeping Beauty ballet in the Hermitage theatre, you should do that in advance, especially if calls of the big cruise-ships are expected in Saint Petersburg seaport.
The Alexandrinsky Theatre used to be the favourite theatre of the royal family. Its stunning magnificent interiors with gorgeous balcony, opened in Summer season, are truly royal. Different local ballet companies, including Konstantine Tachkin theatre, perform here. The Sleeping Beauty in the Alexandrinsky theatre is always classical one, whichrerally shorter than in other theatres. Unfortunately it is not that easy to buy the ticket for The Sleeping Beauty in the Alexandrinsky theatre, as the companies, which perform here, use to go abroad for ballet-tours, so every ballet performance here is definitely an event.
Although Aurora ballet hall is located in the modern building and is more concert-hall, than theatre, it offerrs unbeatable prices and same quality of ballet, performed by Russian ballet company - one of the best-known in the city. The Sleeping Beauty in the Aurora Ballet Hall has a touch of modernism, however, the choreography is ancient one, created by Minkus in the XIX century. The ballet-hall, located at the beautiful Neva river embankment, is relatively big, so if you want to buy last-minute ticket for The Sleeping Beauty ballet in St. Petersburg, Aurora ballet hall might be good economic option.
Russian Classical Ballet Palace, located at the famous Arts square, has definitely one of the most luxurious interiors in the city, so if you would like to feel the luxury of the Russian ballet theatre, this would be the best option. The performanсe of The Sleeping Beauty in the Russian Classical Ballet Palace is always special with beautiful costumes and gorgeous romantic scene at the end of the performance.
There are plenty of options of purchasing ticket to The Sleeping Beauty ballet in Saint-Petersburg.
Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky theatre tickets are the most rare, most valuable and the most expensive. If one is lucky enough to buy a couple of tickets to The Sleeping Beauty ballet in Mariinsky or Mikhailovsky theatres - he can truly be sure, he will have a life-time experience. Unfortunately, The Sleeping Beauty ballet in Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky theatres is staged only a dozen times a year, and huge ammount of best-view and good-view tickets immediately goes to the black market resellers, where they are sold at least two times more expensive. It is completely useless to hope to get The Sleeping Beauty tickets at Mariinsky or Mikhailovsky Theatre on the day of performance. This tickets must be bought in early advance, or being long-time hunted on black-market.
Much more affordable and simple option - is buying ticket to The Sleeping Beauty in “minor” theatres - Hermitage Theatre, Alexandrinsky Theatre, Russian Classical Ballet Palace or Aurora Ballet Hall. They are way cheaper, and The Sleeping Beauty performances are staged there almost daily. So if one has limited budget, or wants to get his first Russian Ballet experience - going to the of the mentioned theatres is really good idea.
To book The Sleeping Beauty tickets - click here
The king Florestan and his wife are celebrating the christening ceremony of their first daughter princess Aurora. The invited fairies prepared excellent gifts for the Aurora: beauty, enchantment, talents. Suddenly it is getting dark and with a rumble of thunder the evil fairy Carabosse arrives, who was not invited to the ceremony. She curses Aurora – wishing her that at her sixteenth birthday she will die by pricking her finger, and leaves.
Florestan and the Queen are frightened, but the most kind and the most powerful fairy leaves the curse, changing the death by a century sleep, at the end of which the prince will wake her up with a kiss.
On the Princess Aurora’s sixteenth birthday four foreign princes woo her. Although the knitting is strictly prohibited in the country, as spindles might be dangerous for Aurora, the cloacked old lady with the spindle harms Aurora. She falls. The old lady turned to be Carabosse, who is sure she killed Aurora.
However the fairy Lilac reminds King and Queen that Aurora has not died – she is just sleeping. The kiss of the prince will wake her up. They carry Aurora to bed. The Lilac Fairy fall make the whole kingdom fall asleep.
A century later Prince Desire is hunting with his friends. He is melancholic and unhappy, and asks to be alone and the party goes off, leaving him in the forest. The fairy Lilac appears – she has chosen him to save Aurora. She shows him a vision of Aurora, explains him everything and takes to the old castle, where in spite of Caraboss threats, Prince Desire awakens princess with a kiss.
The curse is lifted, the whole kingdom wakes up, the King and his wife approve the marriage of Desire and Aurora, who has already accepted the proposal.
It is wedding time. There are a lot of guests, including all the feries, even Carabosse, and fairytale characters, including Little red riding hood and the Wolf, Cinderella, Puss in boots, Beauty and the Beast. The recently married couple, blessed by the Lilac fairy is dancing together while the rest of the guests are dancing mazurka.