The SSO Swan Lake Suite
Much like the differences between the stage and movie version of your favourite musicals, there are differences between what an orchestra performs when they play the Swan Lake Suite versus a staged ballet of Swan Lake.
Luckily for us, conductor Judith Yan is well versed in both versions of Swan Lake and has created a special SSO Suite for our concert. It mixes some of the works you know, and some you may not be as familiar with so that we get a musical storyline that is much closer to the ballet Tchaikovsky wrote.
Judith Yan used her ballet connections to get us photos from the Finnish National Ballet that pair well with the storyline she has put together for the SSO Swan Lake Suite.
The following notes are from Conductor Yan and the photos are all from the Finnish National Ballet’s (Artistic Director Madeleine Onne) production of Swan Lake, choreographed by David MacAllister AM and photographed by Roosa Oksaharju. These images will also be incorporated into the live stream and recording of this concert that are available on ConcertStream.tv.
Prologue (At the magical Swan Lake)
Princess Odette takes a solitary walk in the woods.
Hidden, was the watchful evil sorcerer, Baron von Rothbart. He pursues and captures the princess, transforming her into a swan.
Doomed is she to take human form only at night – an evil spell that can be broken by true love.
Act I (At the Palace of Prince Siegried)
No. 1 – Scène
No. 2 – Valse
No. 3 – Scène
At a palace, Prince Siegfried celebrates his coming-of-age with a magnificent party held in his honour.
The Queen Mother informs him he must choose a bride and eligible princesses are introduced.
Act II (At Swan Lake)
No. 10 – Scène
Unhappy he cannot marry for love, the Prince ventures on his own to the magical lake. As twilight transforms to night, the Prince spies the beautiful Swan Queen. As he raises his crossbow, she transforms from a swan to Princess Odette.
V. Pas d’action (Odette et le prince)
Princess Odette reveals the story of the sorcerer’s curse: by day, she takes the form of a swan. At night, she regains her human form. Only true love can break this curse. As they dance; the Prince proclaims his love.
ACT III (At the Palace of Prince Siegfried)
A party is held in the honour of Prince Siegfried.
No. 15 – Allegro giusto
Royal Guests arrive for an opulent costume ball. Suddenly, 2 mysterious guests arrive. It was the Sorcerer von Rothbart and his daughter, Odile, disguised to resemble Princess Odette.
No. 5 – Black Swan Pas de Deux
The Prince, overjoyed, dances with Odile, the daughter of the evil sorcerer.
No. 24 – Scène
Tricked into believing this was his beloved, Prince Siegfried proclaims his love for Odile.
The sorcerer shows him the vision of Odette, trapped at the lake. The Prince realizes his grave mistake, flees from the castle to the lake to search for Odette.
ACT IV (At Swan Lake)
No. 28 – Scène
The Prince arrives at the lake and makes a passionate apology but his betrayal cannot be undone.
No. 29 – Scène finale
Princess Odette chooses to die for love. Prince Siegfried, declaring his eternal devotion, joins her in death. As they leapt into the enchanted lake of tears, the spell was broken.