Leonce und Lena
Ballet by Christian Spuck
After the comedy by Georg Büchner
Music by Johann Strauss, Josef Strauss, Amilcare Ponchielli, Léo Delibes,
Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Alfred Schnittke, Martin Donner a.o.
Duration 1 H. 50 Min. incl. intermission after 1st part after approx. 45 Min. Introduction 45 min before the performance.
Partner Ballett Zürich
Leonce und Lena
Ballet by Christian Spuck, Wednesday subscription A, Good mood subscription
From Friday, 1 April, the mandatory wearing of masks will no longer be required for the public at all performances and events at the Opernhaus Zürich. You can find more information here.
Leonce und Lena
Leonce und Lena
Although there are only a few works in Georg Büchner’s oeuvre, this German poet’s pieces explore the depths of mankind’s soul. He was a lecturer in medicine in Zurich beginning in 1836, and died at the age of just 23. Today, he is regarded as one of the most important authors of the 19th century, a trailblazer of modernity.
Christian Spuck has returned time and again to Büchner’s output, staging both Woyzeck, the poet’s most well-known work, and his play Leonce und Lena for the ballet stage. After its premiere in Essen, Spuck’s Leonce und Lena has been seen in Stuttgart, Zurich, Montréal, Charlotte (USA), and Prague.
Prince Leonce of the kingdom of Popo and his friend Valerio have valiantly dedicated their lives to the fine art of doing nothing. But then out of nowhere, King Peter decides to resign. Prince Leonce is meant to succeed his father on the throne – and marry, to boot. In order to escape from an arranged marriage with a princess he’s never met, Leonce flees to Italy. Princess Lena, from the kingdom of Pipi, has no interest in marrying a man she’s never met and absconds with her governess. Along the way, the prince and princess meet…and fall in love. Back at the castle, they both appear masked – unaware of who the other is – and are married.
Christian Spuck transforms Büchner’s wryly sarcastic comedy about boredom into a clever, fast-paced farce for the whole family. Polkas and waltzes by Johann Strauss, as well as modern musings from Alfred Schnittke and Bernd Alois Zimmermann help illustrate this sadly comic tale, emphasizing its subversive nature.
Leonce und Lena
Leonce und Lena
Leonce, the prince of the kingdom of Popo, lies in the garden and passes his boredom while the court master tries unsuccessfully to acquaint him with the duties of government. Valerio, a fun-loving idler, befriends Leonce. King Peter of the kingdom of Popo has his two dressers put on the robes of state. However, a knot in his handkerchief disturbs the king's ceremony because both he and the ministers cannot think of what the mnemonic is supposed to remind him of.
At a dance party in the ballroom of the kingdom of Popo, Leonce has his mistress Rosetta called to him, but sends her away again, bored. During the party, the president of the state declares that the wedding with Princess Lena from the kingdom of Pipi, which was arranged long ago, is to take place the next day.
The court urges Leonce to finally fulfill his duties as heir to the throne. Thereupon Leonce and Valerio decide to flee. In the courtly garden of the kingdom of Pipi, Princess Lena sits and thinks about the meaning of life in an unwanted marriage to a prince she does not know. The parental arrangement is unbearable for her. She longs for freedom and in youthful defiance plans to escape with her governess. Near an inn, the paths of the two women cross with those of Leonce and Valerio.
The inn guests are in the garden, where Valerio and the governess also take a liking to each other. Away from the hustle and bustle, Leonce and Lena fall in love. A togetherness full of longing for love, but also full of skepticism, develops between the two, who have been disappointed by life up to now.
The unprecedented feeling of happiness leads Leonce to a death wish, from which Valerio is able to dissuade him at the last minute. In the kingdom of Popo, the court is making all the preparations for the wedding of the prince and princess. However, the bride and groom are missing. Leonce, Lena, the governess and Valerio join the guests masked as automatons. Led by Valerio, Leonce and Lena come to the fore. King Peter has the "strangers" married. With the subsequent unmasking of the bride and groom, both the royal family and Leonce and Lena realize the double fate: the intended couple have fallen in love with each other in freedom and the court has married the couple that was actually declared missing. The affairs of state are placed in Leonce's hands, Valerio takes the post of Minister of State and wants to decree general idleness. Thus, everything remains the same and everyone takes the position that was intended for them.
MUSIC - FIRST PART
Overture: Johann Strauss (father): Chinese Gallop
Martin Donner: Prologue
LEONCE AND VALERIO FROM POPO
Bernd Alois Zimmermann: Prologue from The Yellow and the Green
Johann Strauss (son): Perpetuum Mobile
Eartha Kitt: Let's Do It
KING PETER AND HIS MINISTERS
Alfred Schnittke: Ball from the "Gogol Suite
Martin Donner: Gadget Society
ROSETTA / THE DECISION TO FLEE
Amilcare Ponchielli: Dance of the hours from "La Gioconda
Bernd Alois Zimmermann: Little Waltz from "The Yellow and the Green
LENA AND HER GOVERNESS FROM PIPI
Bernd Alois Zimmermann: Petite valse lunaire from "Un petit rien
Léo Delibes: Pizzicato from "Sylvia
Alfred Schnittke: The coat from "Gogol Suite
Hank Cochran: Little Bitty Tear
Bernd Alois Zimmermann: Phantasmagoria from "The Yellow and the Green
Alfred Schnittke: Overture from the "Gogol Suite
Intermission: Martin Donner: Statics
MUSIC - SECOND PART
Overture: Johann Strauss (son): Klipp-Klapp -Galopp
from the operetta "Waldmeister
Johann Strauss (son): Overture from "Die Fledermaus
Bernd Alois Zimmermann: Phantasmagoria from "The Yellow and the Green
Johann Strauss (son) and Josef Strauss: Pizzicato Polka
LEONCE AND LENA
The Mamas and the Papas: Dream a Little Dream
Martin Donner: Love Pattern
Bernd Alois Zimmermann: The ride through the forest from the "fairy tale suite
Bernd Alois Zimmermann: Burlesque from "The Yellow and the Green
Johann Strauss (son): Artists' Quadrille
Martin Donner: Eternal Marriage
Alfred Schnittke: The Game from "The Commissioner
Bernd Alois Zimmermann: Epilogue from "The Yellow and the Green
Josef Strauss: Chatterbox
Hank Cochran: Little Bitty Tear
Christian Spuck, Choreography
Christian Spuck comes from Marburg and was trained at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart. He began his dance career with Jan Lauwers’ Needcompany and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s Ensemble Rosas. In 1995 he became a member of the Stuttgart Ballet and served as the company’s resident choreographer from 2001 to 2012. In Stuttgart he created fifteen world premieres, including the story ballet Lulu. Eine Monstretragödie after Frank Wedekind, Der Sandmann and Das Fräulein von S. after E.T.A. Hoffmann.
Christian Spuck has also worked with numerous renowned ballet companies in Europe and the USA. The Return of Ulysses (guest performance at the Edinburgh Festival) was created for the Royal Ballet of Flanders, and Woyzeck (after Georg Büchner) was premiered at the Norwegian National Ballet Oslo. The ballet Die Kinder, premiered at the Aalto Ballett Theater Essen, was nominated for the «Prix Benois de la Danse». His ballet Leonce und Lena (also after Georg Büchner) likewise premiered in Essen and subsequently was taken over by the Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal and the Stuttgart Ballet. The world premiere of Poppea//Poppea for Gauthier Dance at the Theaterhaus Stuttgart was voted one of the ten most successful dance productions worldwide by the magazine Dance Europe in 2010 and was awarded the German Theatre Prize Der Faust in 2011 as well as the Italian Danza/Danza Award. Christian Spuck is also active in the field of opera. Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice at the Staatsoper Stuttgart (2009) was followed by Verdi’s Falstaff at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden (2010), Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust (2014) and Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer (2017) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. March 2021, his ballet Orlando after Virginia Wolf premiered at the Bolshoi theatre in Moscow.
Since the 2012/13 season, Christian Spuck has been director of Ballett Zürich. Thus far, his Romeo und Julia, Leonce und Lena, Woyzeck, Der Sandmann, Messa da Requiem (a co-production of the Oper and Ballett Zürich), Nussknacker und Mausekönig and Dornröschen have been shown here. The ballet Anna Karenina after Lew Tolstoy, which premiered in Zurich in 2014, was taken over by the Norwegian National Ballet Oslo and the Stanislavski Theatre in Moscow in 2016, as well as by the Korean National Ballet in Seoul, and the Bavarian State Ballet in 2017. For Winterreise, which premiered in October 2018 in Zurich, he was awarded with the «Prix Benois de la Danse 2019». In autumn 2019, he staged Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern (The Little Match Girl) by Helmut Lachenmann with Ballett Zürich, which was awarded «Production of the Year» by German magazine tanz.
Pavel Baleff, Musical director
Pavel Baleff ist Chefdirigent der Philharmonie Baden-Baden. Engagements als Opern- und Konzertdirigent führten ihn u.a. an das Zürcher Opernhaus, die Dresdner Semperoper, das Leipziger Gewandhaus, die Hamburgische Staatsoper, das Bolschoi Theater Moskau, die Oper Montpellier, zum Dänischen Nationalorchester, zum Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg sowie zu den Rundfunksinfonieorchestern des WDR und des BR. Er leitete Aufführungen, Fernsehaufzeichnungen und CD-Produktionen mit international renommierten Solisten wie Krassimira Stoyanova, Diana Damrau, Edita Gruberova und Vesselina Kasarova, Ramón Vargas, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Anna Netrebko, Thomas Hampson, Piotr Beczala und Luca Pisaroni. Seine CD-Produktionen mit der Sopranistin Krassimira Stoyanova und dem Münchner Rundfunkorchester wurden 2012 und 2014 mit dem Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik und dem International Classic Music Award prämiert. Anlässlich der von ihm geleiteten Ersteinstudierung des Ring des Nibelungen in Bulgarien an der Nationaloper in Sofia wurde er zum bulgarischen «Dirigenten des Jahres» gewählt. 2016 debütierte er an der Wiener Staatsoper mit L’elisir d’amore und 2017 an der Staatsoper Stuttgart mit Romeo und Julia. Am Opernhaus Zürich dirigierte er in jüngster Zeit Schwanensee sowie die beiden Opern von Ravel L’Heure Espagnole und L’Enfant et les sortilèges. Pavel Baleff ist 1. Preisträger beim Carl-Maria-von-Weber-Wettbewerb in München sowie beim Internationalen Bad Homburger Dirigentenwettbewerb, wurde in das Dirigentenforum des Deutschen Musikrates aufgenommen und erhielt eine Auszeichnung durch die Herbert von Karajan Stiftung.
Emma Ryott, Stage and costume design
Emma Ryott trained at Trent Polytechnic with a BA in Theatre Design. Ever since their first collaboration in 2003, Emma Ryott and Christian Spuck continued working together for ballet and opera productions, such as Lulu. Eine Monstretragödie in Stuttgart, Anna Karenina in Zurich, Oslo and Moscow, Romeo und Julia in Zurich, Woyzeck in Oslo and Zurich, Das Fräulein von S. in Stuttgart, Leonce und Lena in Montréal, Stuttgart und Zurich, Der Sandmann in Stuttgart und Zurich, Poppea / Poppea und Don Q. for Gauthier Dance, The Return of Ulysses for das Royal Ballet of Flanders, La Damnation de Faust at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Falstaff in Wiesbaden and Orfeo ed Euridice in Stuttgart. She also works closely with director Keith Warner. Their collaborations include Mathis der Maler at Theater an der Wien, Manon Lescaut at the English National Opera as well as La Damnation de Faust and Harbison’s The Great Gatsby at the Semperoper Dresden. Other designs were created for Sunset Boulevard and Manon Lescaut (Goteborg), Otello (Salzburg), The Heart of Robin Hood for the Royal Shakespeare Company (awarded with Elliot Norton Award for outstanding design), Rock ‘n Roll by Tom Stoppard (London Royal Court, West End and Broadway), Chekhov-trilogy directed by Jonathan Kent (National Theatre, London) and the New Year’s Day Concert, Vienna, 2016.
Reinhard Traub, Lighting designer
Reinhard Traub absolvierte eine Ausbildung als Grafikdesigner und Berufspilot. Von 1980 bis 1985 war er Assistent bei Chenault Spence und gestaltete anschliessend u. a. zwei Welttourneen mit den Produktionen Sophisticated Ladies und Carmen Jones als Lichtdesigner. Seit 1992/93 war er bei den Bühnen Graz tätig und konzipierte Lichtdesigns für Produktionen an den Opernhäusern von Amsterdam, Zürich, Brüssel, Hamburg, Helsinki, Hongkong, Kopenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Montreal, Moskau, München, Oslo, für die Salzburger Festspiele, das Glyndebourne Festival sowie für das Hamburger Thalia Theater, die Volksbühne Berlin und das Burgtheater in Wien. Reinhard Traub arbeitet regelmässig mit Regisseuren wie Johann Kresnik, Martin Kušej und Christof Loy zusammen. Seit 2006/07 ist Reinhard Traub Leiter der Beleuchtungsabteilung der Staatsoper Stuttgart. Dort ist er Lichtdesigner für Produktionen wie Jenůfa, Der Schaum der Tage, Ariadne auf Naxos, Nabucco sowie Die Nachtwandlerin, Platée, Der fliegende Holländer, Parsifal und La Bohème. 2017 war Reinhard Traub für das Lichtdesign der Produktion Aida bei den Salzburger Festspielen verantwortlich, ausserdem für Tristan und Isolde (2015), Parsifal (2016) und Lohengrin (2018) bei den Bayreuther Festspielen, denen er zukünftig bei Tannhäuser und Der Ring des Nibelungen verbunden sein wird. Darüber hinaus unterrichtet Reinhard Traub seit 2001 an der Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart.
Wolf Hoeyberghs, König Peter
Wolf Hoeyberghs is from Belgium. He received his training at the Royal Ballet School in Antwerp and at the European School of Ballet (ESB) in Amsterdam. He was the winner of the Munich International Ballet Competition in 2017 and a prizewinner at Tanzolymp Berlin. He has performed with the Royal Ballet of Flanders, the Dutch National Ballet, and Ballett Zürich. This is his third season as a member of the Junior Ballett.
Kevin Pouzou, König Peter
Kevin Pouzou is French. He studied at the École de Danse de l’Opéra de Paris and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris. In 2007 he became a member of the Staatsballett Berlin, where he was appointed principal dancer in 2015. He has performed as Benno in Patrice Bart’s Schwanensee, as Paris in John Cranko’s Romeo und Julia, as well as in choreographies by George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Stanton Welch, Angelin Preljocaj, Alexei Ratmansky, Ohad Nahrin, Vladimir Malakhov, and Jiří Kylián. He has been a member of Ballett Zürich since the 2017/18 season, where he has appeared as Prince Siegfried in Alexei Ratmansky’s Schwanensee, Diaghilev in Marco Goecke’s Nijinski, and Albrecht in Patrice Bart’s Giselle.
Matthew Knight, Prinz Leonce
Matthew Knight is British. He completed his training at the Elmhurst School and the Royal Ballet School in London. After a season with the Junior Ballett, he joined Ballett Zürich in the 2014/15 season. He presented Jane Doe and Mocambo as part of the «Junge Choreografen» series. He has danced in choreographies by Mats Ek (Cavalier in Dornröschen), William Forsythe, Marco Goecke (Moor in Petruschka), Jiří Kylián, Douglas Lee, Sol León/Paul Lightfoot, Hans van Manen, Wayne McGregor, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, and Filipe Portugal. He was Leonce in Christian Spuck’s Leonce und Lena, Nathanael in Spuck’s Der Sandmann and the Clown in Spuck’s Nussknacker und Mausekönig. In 2018 he also appeared as the title roles in Edward Clug’s Faust and in Marco Goecke’s Nijinski. In 2016 he was awarded the «Tanzpreis der Freunde des Balletts Zürich».
Jan Casier, Prinz Leonce
Jan Casier was born in Belgium. He studied at the Royal Ballet School in Antwerp. From 2008 to 2012 he was a member of the Royal Ballet of Flanders where he danced in ballets by John Cranko, William Forsythe, David Dawson and Christian Spuck. He appeared in David Dawson’s Faun(e) as a guest at the English National Ballet. From 2012 to 2014 he was a member of Ballett Zürich, where he performed roles in numerous Christian Spuck ballets, including Leonce in Leonce und Lena, Paris in Romeo und Julia and the title role of Woyzeck. He also danced in choreographies by Edward Clug, Sol León/Paul Lightfoot, Marco Goecke and Wayne McGregor. From 2014 to 2016 he was a member of the Semperoper Ballett Dresden. There he performed in choreographies by Aaron Watkins (Prince in The Nutcracker), William Forsythe, Alexei Ratmansky, David Dawson and Alexander Ekman. Jan Casier returned to Ballett Zürich in 2016. Since his return, he has danced in Forsythe’s Quintett, Godani’s rituals from another when and the title role in Edward Clug’s Faust and Marco Goecke’s Nijinski. He also appeared as Drosselmeier in Christian Spuck’s Nussknacker und Mausekönig. In 2019, he was named «Dancer of the Year» by the «tanz» magazine and was awarded the «Tanzpreis der Freunde des Balletts Zürich».
Michelle Willems, Prinzessin Lena
Michelle Willems is French. She studied at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and at the Atelier Rudra-Béjart in Lausanne. After two seasons with the Junior Ballett, she joined Ballett Zürich in the 2016/17 season. After solo roles in Giselle and Schwanensee, she danced Kitty in Christian Spuck’s Anna Karenina, Marie in Spuck’s Nussknacker und Mausekönig and Gretchen in Edward Clug’s Faust, and in Spuck’s Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern. She has also appeared in choreographies by William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Marco Goecke, Crystal Pite, George Balanchine, Ohad Naharin, Douglas Lee, and Filipe Portugal She was awarded the «Tanzpreis der Freunde des Balletts Zürich» in 2018.
Emma Antrobus, Prinzessin Lena
Emma Antrobus comes from Australia. She studied at the Lamont Dance Theatre, at the Conlan College in Sydney and at the Ballett Akademie of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. After two seasons with the Junior Ballett, she joined Ballett Zürich with the 2019/20 season. She danced in choreographies by Christian Spuck (including Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern), Edward Clug, Crystal Pite, and Ohad Naharin. In 2018, she was awarded the «Tanzpreis der Freunde des Balletts Zürich».
Wei Chen, Valerio
Wei Chen comes from the USA and received his education at the Boston Ballet School, the Margo Marshall School of Ballet, the Walnut Hill School, and the Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. At the Royal Ballet of Flanders he danced in Marcia Haydées Schwanensee (Siegfried) and Dornröschen (Prince Desiré) as well as in Cranko’s Onegin (Lensky). He has also appeared in choreographies by Balanchine, Bournonville, Dawson, Forsythe, Godani, McGregor, Nureyev, Pite, Stevenson, and Wheeldon. He has been a member of Ballett Zürich since the 2013/14 season and has performed in choreographies by Douglas Lee, Jiří Kylián, Marco Goecke, Edward Clug, William Forsythe, and Crystal Pite, among others. He also danced Romeo and Mercutio in Spuck’s Romeo und Julia, Benno in Ratmansky’s Schwanensee, Coppelius in Spuck’s Der Sandmann, and Albrecht in Patrice Bart’s Giselle.
Mark Geilings, Valerio
Mark Geilings comes from Australia, where he was trained at the Australian Ballet School. He danced with the Leipzig Ballet from 2012-2015, where he performed in choreographies by Uwe Scholz, Mario Schröder (the title role in Otello), Meryl Tankard (Cinderella), Ohad Naharin, and Cayetano Soto. He was a member of Gauthier Dance in Stuttgart for the 2015/16 season, where he performed in Marco Goecke’s Nijinsky. He has been a member of Ballett Zürich since the 2016/17 season, where he has appeared in Petruschka by Marco Goecke, Kammerballett by Hans van Manen, Gods and Dogs by Jiří Kylián, Lady with a Fan by Douglas Lee, and as Mercutio in Spuck’s Romeo und Julia, among others.
Inna Bilash, Gouvernante
Inna Bilash comes from Ukraine. She studied ballet at the Kharkov Choreographic School, the Perm State Choreographic College and the Perm State Academy of Arts and Culture. She was a principal dancer in the Perm Ballet, where she appeared as Julia in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo und Julia, Odette/Odile in Natalia Makorova’s Schwanensee, Giselle in the choreography of Perrot/Coralli/Petipa, the Bride in Kylián’s Les Noces and Masha in MacMillan’s Winter Dreams. She has also appeared as a soloist in choreographies by Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine and Douglas Lee. She won the Arabesque Competition in Perm and the Bolshoi Ballet Television Competition. In 2017 she was awarded the prize from the ballet magazine «The Soul of Dance». Inna Bilash has been a member of Ballett Zürich since the 2018/19 season and has appeared in a variety of roles, including as the title role in Patrice Bart’s Giselle.
Elena Vostrotina, Gouvernante
Elena Vostrotina comes from St. Petersburg. She received her ballet education at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. In 2003 she became a member of the Mariinsky Ballet. There she danced among others Odette/Odile in Schwanensee (Petipa/Ivanov), Myrtha in Giselle (Coralli/Perrot), Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote (Gorsky) and in Approximate Sonata (Forsythe). In 2006 she was engaged by Aaron S. Watkin at the Semperoper Ballett Dresden. Here she was appointed principal dancer and danced a wide repertoire of classical, neoclassical and modern ballets. She has collaborated with renowned choreographers and performed at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theater in Moscow, at the State Theater Novosibirsk, at the gala «Roberto Bolle and Friends», and at the Ballets Bubeníček. Elena Vostrotina has been a first soloist at Ballett Zürich since the 2017/18 season, where season she has appeared as Odette/Odile in Ratmansky’s Schwanensee reconstruction, as the nursemaid in Christian Spuck’s Romeo und Julia, Myrtha in Patrice Bart’s Giselle as well as in Christian Spuck’s Nussknacker und Mausekönig, Winterreise and Nocturne.
Katja Wünsche, Rosetta
Katja Wünsche comes from Dresden and was trained at the Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin. She has won prizes at numerous ballet competitions. From 1999 to 2012 she danced in the Stuttgart Ballet, including as a principal dance from 2006. She danced leading roles in choreographies by John Cranko (Romeo und Julia, Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung, Onegin), John Neumeier (Endstation Sehnsucht, Die Kameliendame), Marcia Haydée (Dornröschen, La Sylphide, La fille mal gardée) and Christian Spuck (Lulu, Der Sandmann, Leonce und Lena, Das Fräulein von S.) and ballets by Forsythe, Kylián, León/Lightfoot and Goecke. In 2007 she was awarded the German Dance Prize Future (for promising young artists) and the German Theater Prize Der Faust. Katja Wünsche has been a first soloist with Ballett Zürich since the 2012/13 season. She has been seen in Zurich as Julia in Spuck’s Romeo und Julia, Lena in Leonce und Lena, Marie in Woyzeck, Anna Karenina and Kitty in Anna Karenina and Clara in Der Sandmann. She has also performed in choreographies by Sol León/Paul Lightfoot, Douglas Lee, Martin Schläpfer, Wayne McGregor and Marco Goecke. In 2014 she was awarded the «Tanzpreis der Freunde des Balletts Zürich».
Rafaelle Queiroz, Rosetta
Rafaelle Queiroz is from Brazil. She received her training in Rio de Janeiro and, with a stipend from the Tanzstiftung Birgit Keil, at the Akademie des Tanzes in Mannheim. She was a finalist at the «Prix de Lausanne» and won the Langham Award at the Youth American Grand Prix 2009. She was a member of the Badisches Staatsballett Karlsruhe from 2009 to 2019, where roles included Odette/Odile in Schwanensee by Christopher Wheeldon, Myrtha in Giselle by Peter Wright, the title role in La Sylphide by Peter Schaufuss, Katharina/Bianca in Cranko’s Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung, Julia in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo und Julia, and the title role in Rusalka von Jiří Bubeníček. In addition, she appeared in choreographies by Hans van Manen, Heinz Spoerli, Davide Bombana and Reginaldo Oliveira. She joined Ballett Zürich with the 2019/20 season.
Mélissa Ligurgo, Hofmeister
Mélissa Ligurgo comes from Belgium and studied at the Royal Ballet School in Antwerp. She danced in John Cranko’s Onegin (Tatiana), as well as in ballets by Forsythe, Kylián, Dawson, and Robbins, at the Royal Ballet of Flanders. She appeared in Preljocaj’s Romeo und Julia (Julia) at the Ballett Basel in the 2011/12 season. She has been a member of Ballett Zürich since the 2012/13 season, where has danced Lena in Leonce und Lena by Christian Spuck and Frau Mauserinks in Nussknacker und Mausekönig. She has also appeared in choreographies by Wayne McGregor and Douglas Lee. As part of the «Junge Choreografen» series she presented Mind Games and Klastos together with Giulia Tonelli as well as Individuo.
Mélanie Borel, Hofmeister
Mélanie Borel comes from France. She studied at the École Nationale Supérieure de Danse in Marseille and at the École de Danse de l’Opéra de Paris. Engagements have taken her to the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Bordeaux and, from 2005 to 2008, to the Peter Schaufuss Ballet in Denmark. She has been a member of Ballett Zürich since the 2008/09 season and has performed as a soloist in choreographies by Twyla Tharp, Heinz Spoerli, and Mats Ek. She was the Haushofmeister in Spuck’s Leonce und Lena and danced the «Cholerisch» variation in Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. In addition, she has appeared in choreographies by Marco Goecke, Douglas Lee, Jiří Kylián, Wayne McGregor, Martin Schläpfer, Hans van Manen, Edward Clug and Crystal Pite.
Irmina Kopaczynska, Zeremonienmeister
Irmina Kopaczynska was born in Poland. She studied at the Polish National Ballet School Poznan. She won several prizes in the Polish National Ballet Competition. She also took part in the «Premio Roma» and the «Prix de Lausanne». After two seasons with the Junior Ballett, she became a member of Ballett Zürich starting with the 2011/12 season. She danced the Silver Fairy in Mats Ek’s Dornröschen, Betsy in Christian Spuck’s Anna Karenina, and the Nursemaid in Spuck’s Romeo und Julia. She has also appeared in choreographies by William Forsythe (In the middle, New Sleep), Hans van Manen (Kammerballett), Jiří Kylián (Gods and Dogs, Bella Figura), Iacopo Godani, Edward Clug, Marco Goecke (including the Mother in Nijinski), Douglas Lee, and Crystal Pite.
Alba Sempere Torres, Zeremonienmeister
Alba Sempere Torres
Alba Sempere Torres is Spanish. She trained at the Institut del Teatro in Barcelona and at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart. She won the Castellón Ballet Competition and danced with the Vienna State Opera Ballet, the Staatsballett Berlin and, from 2004 to 2008 with the Bayerisches Staatsballett. She has appeared in choreographies by Jo Strømgren, Peter Wright, Jiří Kylián, Vladimir Malakhov, John Neumeier and Mats Ek, among others. She has belonged to Ballett Zürich since the 2014/15 season, where she has been seen in choreographies by Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, George Balanchine, Patrice Bart, Martin Schläpfer, and Christian Spuck.