Choreography by David Parsons
Music Excerpts by Gioachino Rossini, Georges Bizet, Johann Sebastian Bach, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Manuel de Falla, and Giacomino Puccini
Libretto by David Glass
Costume Design by Silvie Rood
Lighting Design by Howell Binkley
Choreographer Collaborator and Rehearsal Director – Eoghan Dillon
Artistic Consultant – Melinda Gabrielle Dechiazza
– We are such stuff as dreams are made on –
– Shakespeare: The Tempest; IV
Long ago, in the city of Venice, there lived a wealthy merchant named Baptista who had two beautiful daughters. Baptista’s youngest daughter, Bianca, was a delight. However, the eldest daughter, Katarina, was impossible. Katarina had promised herself that no one would ever marry her, let alone win her heart. Katarina was smitten with pride, and only concerned about herself. One day, when Baptista had lost all hope that he would ever find someone to rid him of Katarina, he discovered Petruchio. Petruchio was dazzling, and impossibly handsome, and, like Katarina, was smitten with pride, and only in love with himself. As soon as Baptista saw Petruchio in all his shimmering magnificence, he got the idea that perhaps he could convince him to woo and wed Katarina. Baptista proceeded to try to tempt Petruchio with glimpses of Katarina, and bags of gold. Finally, Petruchio agreed to try to win her over, but only after being offered an enormous bag of gold he couldn’t resist. However, much to Baptista’s dismay, Katarina and Petruchio immediately began to quarrel and grapple with one another when they were introduced, each refusing to yield.
Meanwhile, gazing down from his enchanted isle poised somewhere between Heaven and Earth, Prospero was not pleased. As a learned sorcerer and benevolent magician, Prospero’s job was to keep a careful eye on all the people down on Earth to make sure they behaved properly, and that
all things went as they should. When he witnessed two such beautiful creatures, who were clearly meant for each other, bickering and behaving so abominably, he decided it was time to teach them a few lessons about love. Prospero first transports them back in time to Juliet’s crypt. Katarina and Petruchio are forced to witness the heart wrenching tragedy of true love being lost forever as they helplessly watch Romeo and Juliet spend their last precious moments together. Next, Prospero transports Katarina and Petruchio even further back in time to Alexandria, the Egyptian capital, where Cleopatra and Julius Caesar lived as lovers. The two rulers, along with their minions of gladiators and lotus ladies, forcefully strip Katarina and Petruchio of their vices, exposing their souls, and allowing them together to finally discover their destiny – true love.
World Premiere: Kansas City Ballet, Friday, May 10, 2019. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts