• Bright Sheng
  • The Nightingale and the Rose (2007)

  • G Schirmer Inc (World)
  • 2(pic,afl)+pic.3(ca).3(Ebcl:bcl).3(cbn)/4.3Ctpt(3Bbpictpt).2+btbn.1/timp.4perc/hp/str
  • 15 min

Programme Note

This ballet is inspired by a short story by Oscar Wilde who wrote it for his children. It tells of a nightingale who has befriended a love-stricken young student and ultimately decided to sacrifice herself for the student’s love for the daughter of his professor. However, as typical of Wilde, the story is atypical for children as the tragic twist at the end reveals very much of Wilde’s view of life and the society in which he lived.

Christopher Wheeldon, (the Choreographer-in-Resident for the New York City Ballet) and I worked together on the work for the last year or two. Our approach is to dramatize the impact of the storyline through music and dance. Along the process of the creation, we both did something we had not done before. Working together is also a new experience for us as this is my first ballet score and Wheeldon’s first commissioned narrative ballet from a living composer.

— Bright Sheng