Diana and Actaeon

Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House (Johan Persson), Courtesy of ROH, www.roh.org.uk

Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House (Johan Persson), Courtesy of ROH, www.roh.org.uk

“This work is in fact the triumph of the evening. The only fully narrative ballet here, Diana and Actaeon also displays the starkest division of labour between its dance-makers. Liam Scarlett, Will Tuckett and Jonathan Watkins acquit themselves in high style. Two more laurels, here. One, for composer Jonathan Dove, for the Prokofiev-like drama of his score. The other, to Turner Prize-winner Chris Ofili, for his phantasmagorically sensual garden-of-paradise designs, like a vast Tiffany lamp gone trippily haywire. Wonderful.”Mark Monahan | The Daily Telegraph

 

A Ballet Score in One Act

Libretto by Alasdair Middleton

Commissioned by the Royal Ballet as part of Metamorphosis:Titian 2012 a unique collaboration with the National Gallery, part of the London 2012 Festival

World Premiere: Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, 14 July 2012

Jonathan Dove’s ballet score in one act, Diana and Actaeon, inspired by Titian’s oil painting of the same name and by the poetry of Ovid that Titian was illustrating, unfolds in 13 scenes. The action is vividly portrayed in Dove’s interpretation; working with his regular collaborator, librettist Alasdair Middleton, the score employs a soprano and a tenor who sing the roles of Diana and Actaeon from the orchestra pit. Singing in Latin, Greek and English, they serve to amplify the story told in the movement. As Jonathan Dove explains, “I got a feeling about how the piece might start during the creative team’s first discussion. We decided to open with Diana on her own, walking through the woods, and immediately I started to hear this rather mysterious, luminous music. Even then I was imagining the sound of a woman’s voice singing on a single note in some kind of incantation.”

Synopsis

After a hunt, Actaeon wanders away from his companions and hounds and comes across the Goddess Diana and her nymphs bathing in a pool. Because he has looked upon her nakedness, Diana turns Actaeon into a stag and he is killed by his own hounds.

Production History

Royal Ballet, UK July 2012. Choreography Liam Scarlett, Will Tuckett, Jonathan Watkins, designs Chris Ofili

“This work is in fact the triumph of the evening. The only fully narrative ballet here, Diana and Actaeon also displays the starkest division of labour between its dance-makers. Liam Scarlett, Will Tuckett and Jonathan Watkins acquit themselves in high style. Two more laurels, here. One, for composer Jonathan Dove, for the Prokofiev-like drama of his score. The other, to Turner Prize-winner Chris Ofili, for his phantasmagorically sensual garden-of-paradise designs, like a vast Tiffany lamp gone trippily haywire. Wonderful.”Mark Monahan | The Daily Telegraph

Duration, Technical Information and Resources

Diana and Actaeon (2012)

Ballet in One Act | 30 minutes

Libretto by Alasdair Middleton

S.T Soli

2(II=Picc).2(II=CA).2.2(II=CBsn)—6.2.3.1—Timp—2Perc—Hp—Cel—Str

Commissioned by the Royal Ballet

First performed 14 July 2012, Royal Opera House, London

EP 72266

Photos

Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House (Johan Persson), Courtesy of ROH, www.roh.org.uk

Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House (Johan Persson), Courtesy of ROH, www.roh.org.uk

Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House (Johan Persson), Courtesy of ROH, www.roh.org.uk

Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House (Johan Persson), Courtesy of ROH, www.roh.org.uk

Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House (Johan Persson), Courtesy of ROH, www.roh.org.uk

Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House (Johan Persson), Courtesy of ROH, www.roh.org.uk

Other

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