On 27, 28 April and 18 May Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre is presenting its newest premiere – the spectacular “Le Corsaire” by Adolphe Adam. The Lithuanian audience is certainly far from indifferent when it comes to classical ballet: tickets to all three performances have already been sold out. Those who were late to purchase their seats may still get standby tickets for 10 euros.
Principal roles in premiere performances of “Le Corsaire” shall be danced by Genadij Žukovsky (Conrad), Kristina Gudžiūnaitė (Medora), Olesya Shaitanova (Medora, Gulnare), Jonas Laucius (Lan’khadam) and others soloists of the ballet company of the LNOBT.
The premiere was produced by an international team of talented artists: choreographer Manuel Legris, music director and conductor Valery Ovsianikov, set and costume designer Luisa Spinatelli and lighting designer Marion Hewlett.
Manuel Legris was born in Paris and trained at the ballet school of the Paris Opéra. He joined the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1980. In 1986 he was appointed Danseur Étoile by then ballet director of the Paris Opéra, Rudolf Nureyev. He performed the great roles of the classical and modern repertoire, and appeared in numerous world premieres. He was a guest performer with renowned ballet companies around the world and also appeared with his own ensemble, Manuel Legris et ses Étoiles. In May 2009, he gave his farewell performance as Danseur Étoile of the Paris Opéra; since then he has given guest performances both at the Paris Opéra and at other theatres in Europe, Asia and America. Since September 2010 Manuel Legris has been the Director of the Wiener Staatsballett and Artistic Director of the Ballet Academy of the Vienna State Opera. In March 2016 he presented his very first full-lenght story ballet: his version of Le Corsaire at Wiener Staatsoper.
Valery Ovsyanikov has been performing as a guest conductor with the Finnish National Opera (since 1998), Bavarian State Opera (since 2001), Lithuania (since 2005), Vienna State Opera (since 2014). Since 2010 he has been guest conductor with the Mikhailovsky Theatre. V. Ovsyanikov collaborates extensively with the Mariinsky Theatre: his productions here include Giselle, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, La Sylphide, La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, Le sacre du printemps, Romeo and Juliet, and other ballets. Graduation performances of the Vaganova Academy and the Galas of international ballet festivals are also played under his direction. In 2005 V. Ovsyanikov was the music director and conductor of the production of R. Shchedrin’s Anna Karenina, presented at the LNOBT.
Luisa Spinatelli made her debut as a set designer with Francesca da Rimini (Teatro alla Scala, 1965). After this project, L. Spinatelli has collaborated with La Scala on numerous occasions, designing Lamberto Puggelli’s productions of Attila (1975), La forza del destino (1978), Andrea Chenier (1982), Adriana Lecouvreur (1988) and Fedora (1993), Lev Dodin’s production of Mazepa (1989) and George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2003). L. Spinatelli has designed productions for various theatres, including the Berliner Staatsoper, the Opera de Paris, the National Theatre in Tokyo, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Tokyo’s Bunkamura theatre, Poland’s Teatr Wielki and the National Theatre of Korea, among others. In 1989 L. Spinatelli was awarded the Leonide Massine Prize.
M. Hewlett created lighting designs for such production as Blue Beard Castle, Fidelio with Daniel Barenboim at the Wiener Staatsoper, Jenufa at the Chatelet in Paris, Rigoletto at La Monnaie in Brussels, Elektra, Don Carlos at La Scala, The Magic Flute at Aix en Provence Festival, The Makropoulos Case, Wozzeck, The Ring with Sir Simon Rattle. At the Comic Opera (Paris) she worked on Pelleas and Melisande, Porgy and Bess, and at the Theatre des Champs Elysées her projects included Idomeneo, Don Giovanni, Norma. She worked at the Paris Opera with Roland Petit, Patrice Bart, Robin Orlyn and more recently with Manuel Legris in Vienna (Swan Lake, Le Corsaire) and with Kader Belarbi (Le Corsaire) in Toulouse. She has other collaborations with Mariame Clément, Lukas Hemleb, Isabelle Lafon. Her latest project is Autumn Sonata in Helsinki, a new opera written by Sebastien Fagerlund."