Opera Ballet Vlaanderen presents new Petruschka and Die Sieben Todsünden

Opera Ballet Vlaanderen presents new Petruschka and Die Sieben Todsünden

Opera Ballet Vlaanderen presents two brand-new versions of two iconic works from the 20th-century repertoire: the ballet Petrushka to music by Igor Stravinsky and the ‘ballet chanté’ Die Sieben Todsünden by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. This will be a must-see production for the dance and opera press alike, showcasing the work of two first-rate choreographers. 

The Israeli-German choreographer Ella Rothschild is known worldwide for her work with Batsheva Dance Company. Now she is tackling a classic for the first time in her career. She strips Petrushka’s story of the folklore of a puppet theatre at a St. Petersburg fair and shifts the plot to a desolate wilderness. Her Petrushka shows us a crowd that once knew civilization but has now succumbed to brutality. 

Rothschild is known for her work with puppets and she maintains that link with the original ballet. A donkey, manipulated by the dancers, plays a crucial role in her story as the link between a physical and a mythical world.

In Die Sieben Todsünden by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, we find ourselves in a society gone mad, this time due to greed. We meet the Anna sisters who travel across America in search of money for a house for their family. In seven cities they are tempted by the respective deadly sins. One Anna sings the story, the other Anna dances. 

The Belgian choreographer and former Opera Ballet Vlaanderen dancer Jeroen Verbruggen eliminates the division between the ‘ballet’ and the ‘chanté’ and merges both disciplines. Verbruggen created the acclaimed Ma Mêre l’Oye in 2016. Now he is following in the footsteps of George Balanchine and Pina Bausch with this new version of Die Sieben Todsünden. Belgian mezzo-soprano Sara Jo Benoot, a regular guest at OBV, plays the singing Anna.

Each ballet has its own choreographer, but they share the same scenography and lighting design by Eva Veronica Born and costume designer Teresa Vergho. In this way, they link the worlds of Petrushka and Die Sieben Todsünden.

The two works also share a masterful score that will be performed live by the internationally acclaimed Opera Ballet Vlaanderen Symphony Orchestra, conducted by music director Alejo Pérez. (Two performances will be conducted by the young Italian conductor Gaetano La Coco.)

General director Jan Raes and artistic director Jan Vandenhouwe cordially invite you to the world premiere of these creations. You are welcome to attend the premiere at Opera Ghent on Saturday, December 16 at 8 p.m. or the premiere at the Stadsschouwburg Antwerp on Wednesday, January 24 at 8 p.m.

With this double bill, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen once again provides two classic works with a contemporary twist that fully showcases the versatility and talent of both our dancers and our orchestra. An ideal evening for those who want to spend the festive season in an original way or want to put an exciting gift under the tree.

Click here for the full dates and to book now.