Ballet in One Act | 30 minutes
Libretto by Alasdair Middleton
Diana and Actaeon, inspired by Titian's oil painting of the same name and 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 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 moment. As 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."
After a hunt, Actaeon wanders away from his companions and hounds and comes across the Goddess Diana and her nymphs bathing in a pool after the chase. Because he looked upon her nakedness, Diana turns Actaeon into a stag and he is killed by his own hounds.
Commissioned by the Royal Ballet as part of Metamorphosis: Titian 2012, a unique collaboration with the National Gallery, part of the London 2012 Festival
EP72266 - Available from Edition Peters
Banner image © Johan Persson, courtesy of the Royal Opera House
Royal Ballet, UK, July 2012
Choreogrphy by Liam Scarlett, Will Tuckett and Jonathan Watkins, with designs by Chris Ofili