Napoli (ballet)

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Napoli
August Bournonville.jpg
Bournonville in 1841
Choreographed byAugust Bournonville
Composed byHelsted
Gade
Paulli
Libretto byAugust Bournonville
Date of premiereMarch 29, 1842
Place of premiereCopenhagen, Denmark
Original ballet companyRoyal Danish Ballet
CharactersTeresina
Gennaro
Golfo
SettingNaples
Blue Grotto
GenreFantasy
TypeRomantic ballet

Napoli is a ballet in three acts. The story of the ballet and the dances are the work of August Bournonville. The music was written by E. Helsted, Gade, and Paulli. Napoli was first danced by the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen on 29 March 1842. Napoli has not changed over the years. It is danced in Copenhagen today exactly as it was danced in 1842. It is said to be Bournonville's greatest ballet.[1]

Story of the ballet[change | change source]

The beautiful Neapolitan girl Teresina loves Gennaro, a fisherman. Gennaro and Teresina sail out into the Gulf of Naples. A storm washes Teresina into the sea. Gennaro sets out to save her. Teresina has been taken to the blue grotto (a rocky cave) by sea spirits. The grotto is the home of the powerful spirit Golfo. He plans to keep Teresina in the grotto. He changes her into a spirit. Gennaro sails into the grotto. He prays to the Madonna and Teresina becomes herself again. Gennaro and Teresina go back to Naples. The people believe Teresina was saved through witchcraft. A priest says it was a miracle. The people are happy. Teresina and Gennaro marry.[2]

Romantic Ballets
Sketch of a female ballet dancer posing en pointe in a mid-length, white dress; her hair and bodice are covered in orange flowers

The Ballet of the Nuns (1831)
La Sylphide (1832)
Giselle (1841)
Napoli (1842)
Pas de Quatre (1845)
Paquita (1846)
Coppélia (1870)

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Balanchine 1975, p. 263
  2. Balanchine 1975, pp. 263–65

References[change | change source]

  • Balanchine, George (1975), 101 Stories of the Great Ballets, Anchor Books

Other websites[change | change source]