19th January 2011
Joby Talbot has written the music for a full-length ballet to be premiered by The Royal Ballet…
The world premiere of a new full-length ballet created by Christopher Wheeldon is a major highlight of the entire season. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will bring a famous story and its equally famous characters to the ballet stage. The Victorian childhood of Lewis Carroll’s Alice and her encounters with extraordinary people, strange creatures and unusual events gives The Royal Ballet an entire new world to create, and also gives a great chance to see the whole Company on stage in new guises. The music – the first new, full-length ballet score for The Royal Ballet for 20 years – is by Joby Talbot and will be conducted by Barry Wordsworth, Music Director of The Royal Ballet. With a scenario by Nicholas Wright (his adaptations have included His Dark Materials at the National Theatre), and designs by the internationally acclaimed Bob Crowley, this is a compelling creative team indeed. Not surprisingly, the production will draw upon the full resources of the Company and the Royal Opera House in what is a major addition to the ballet repertory and a must-see event of the year.
Its familiar story – about young Alice and her fall into a bizarre nether world (down the famous rabbit hole) – has spawned many stage and screen adaptations, but ballet seems uniquely suited to conjure the frabjous* physicality of Wonderland. Wheeldon knows Alice better than most; as a child he would repeatedly listen to a
bedtime audio recording of the story. And, it is a uniquely
English story suited to a company like The Royal Ballet.
* frabjous: a word coined by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking-Glass to mean fabulous or wonderful . As in ‘O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!', from the tale of the Jabberwocky, as told to Alice.
I've been writing the music for Alice for nearly two years now, and have completely loved immersing myself in Lewis Carroll's strange and beautiful world. The book is such an extraordinary source of inspiration and collaborating with The Royal Ballet and Christopher Wheeldon on turning into a full-length ballet has been one of the most exciting challenges of my compositional life.
Chris Wheeldon writes:
I am really excited about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and thrilled to be working with Joby Talbot again. He is the perfect composer to conjure up the magical world of Wonderland.
Click here to watch the trailer
Click here to hear the BBC Arts Correspondent Rebecca Jones report on Alice
Read an article about the ballet here
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