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Classical Ballet Le Tricorne. Les Presages. Gaite Parisienne. (Ballet in one act)
World famous Bolshoi Ballet and Opera theatre (established 1776) - Small Stage

Schedule for Le Tricorne. Les Presages. Gaite Parisienne. (Ballet in one act) 2022

Composer: Peter Tchaikovsky
Balletmaster: Lorca Massine
Assistant of balletmaster: Anna Krzhishkov
Designer: Igor Chapurin
Choreography: Leonide Massine
Music Director: Alexander Titov
Designer: Raimonda Gaetani
Designer: Pablo Picasso

Orchestra: Bolshoi Theatre Symphony Orchestra

Premiere of this production: April 14, 2005.

Le Tricorne

Ballet in one act
Manuel de Falla

Libretto by Gregorio Martinez Sierra after the story El sombrer de tres picos by Pedro Antonio de Alarcon

The world premiere took place on July 22, 1919, at the Alhambra Theatre, London.
The ballet was staged for the Russian Ballet of Serge Diaghilev.


A village. The miller stands before his house, whistling to a blackbird who sits in a cage. The miller’s wife comes out of the house and teases her husband. He chases her and they embrace.

The couple go to the well to draw eater. While the miller is busy at the well, a dandy passes by and blows Kisses to his wife, who responds flirtatiously. The miller looks up and sees this exchange and chases the dandy off. He is not angry with his wife. He is delighted that other men find her as beautiful as he does. They are very much in love.

Now the governor of the province, the corregidor, enters with an escort. A doddering old fool, he looks absurd in his finery among the simple folk of the village. He wears a three-cornered hat, symbol of his class and position.

Almost immediately, the corregidor eyes the miller’s wife and decides that she must be his. The miller’s wife is polite to him, but no more. He passes on. Noting that his wife is getting all the attention, the miller decides that he’d better give another girl some favor. He playfully flirts with one of the lovely girls of the village, Now that both husband and wife have cause to be jealous, they are amused at each other and embrace.

The miller goes into the house. His wife, remaining outside, dances a brilliant fandango. The corregidor as come back and secretly watches her. Soon he approaches her and tries to make advances. The woman eludes him cleverly and flees. The old man, however, purses her. The miller has watched this scene from inside the house and runs out to help his wife. The corregidor can run no more and falls to the ground exhausted. The miller and his wife pick him up, dust him off, and try to act as if it were all an accident, but the corregidor, furious with them, suggests that this is only the beginning of what they may expect of him. The husband and wife dance together.

Evening falls. The village folk come to the miller’s house to join in a festival with the happy couple. The miller gives them wine and then dances alone a farruca, which everyone applauds. The escorts of the corregidor enter. The men arrest the miller and take him off. Abandoned by her friends, the miller’s wife is alone.

The corregidor is back again, seeking her favor now with real determination. The miller’s wife throws him to the ground as he clumsily holds her. He rises with difficulty and pursues her to the village bridge, which crosses a running stream. On the bridge, the corregidor again attempts to embrace the girl. In the process of pushing him away, the miller’s wife pushes him off the bridge into the stream. She laughs at him but helps the corregidor out of the water. But the old fool takes up the chase again. The miller’s wife takes a gun from the house and, threatening the corregidor with buckshot, flees over the bridge away from the village. The corregidor stands in front of the miller’s house alone, his clothes still dripping from the dunking he got in the stream. He takes off his outer garments and his three-cornered hat, lays them out to dry, and goes into the house to sleep. Dawn comes. The miller has escaped the corregidor’s henchmen and returns home. In front of his house, he sees the corregidor’s clothes and the three-cornered hat! Then he observes the corregidor himself, walking around in one of his own nightshirts! The miller decides there is only one thing to do. He will pursue the corregidor’s wife, who is also young and beautiful! On the walls of his house he draws a caricature of the corregidor and leaves.

Now the poor corregidor is attacked by his own soldiers, who don’t recognize him in the miller’s nightshirt. He curses them, and the village folk come to see what the trouble is. The miller and his wife who have found each other outside the town come in. Their friends are told what the corregidor has tried to do, and in anger all the people rise up against the governor and his cohorts. The intruders are routed, and all dance triumphantly, led by the miller ad his wife. A dummy representing the defeated corregidor is thrown higher and higher into the air by the crowd.

Choreographer on his Ballet

It so happened that the famous composer, Manuel de Falla, a mild mannered little man who, in his dark suit and felt hat, might easily have passed for a university professor, invited us to go to a small theatre in Barcelona to see a performance of a one act farce by Gregorio Martinez Sierra, El Corregidor §е la Molinera, for which he had written the music.

One evening, at our favourite cafЁ¦, the Novedades, we noticed a small, dark young dancer whose elegant movements and compelling intensity singled him out from the rest of the group. When he had finished dancing Diaghilev invited him to join us at our table. He introduced himself as Felix Fernandez Garcia. We made a habit of going every night to see him dance, and were more and more impressed by his exquisite flamenco style, the precision and rhythm of his movements, and by his perfect control.

Under Felix’s guidance I had begun to grasp the fundamental grammar of the Spanish folk dances, and I was now able to see how they might be given a more sophisticated choreographic treatment. To help me in my work Diaghilev arranged for us to take a trip through Spain to study the infinite variety of native peasant dances. With Falla and Felix as our tutors, Diaghilev and I were eager and receptive students. During the whole of that hot, dry, Spanish summer we travelled at a leisurely pace, visiting Saragossa, Toledo, Salamanca, Burgos, Seville, Cordoba and Granada. We were §С §г§аngenial foursome, united by our interest in Spanish culture and music. Our days were spent sightseeing in monasteries, museums and cathedrals, our evenings in cafЁ¦s watching the local dancers and discussing plans for our ballet.

Felix, of course, was a great asset on this tripЎ­ He was able to arrange several special performances for us, and we spent many late nights listening to selected groups of singers, guitarists and dancers doing the jota, the tarruca or the fandango.

It was easy to see that Falla was fascinated by Felix’s dancing, and by much of the music which he heard on our trip. He paid strict attention to detail, and was §г§аntinually writing down passages of music in the notebook which he habitually carried. He told me that he wanted the dances in the ballet to develop naturally from the story and that he planned to create the whole score anew, enlarging it with new themes, but basing it on his original inspiration, and simplifying it through clear and logical construction.

An excerpt from the book My Life in Ballet.

  • Characters and performers

    Les Presages

    Ballet in one act
    to music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony

    The world premiere took place on April 13, 1933, at Opera de Monte Carlo.
    The ballet was staged for Rene Blum and Colonel de Basil Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo.

    Choreographer on his Ballet

    Ever since my visit to Sicily I had been pondering over the problem of how one could create a correct ballet interpretation of a symphonic work. I had often listened to Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, and I felt now that its theme of man and his destiny could provide me with the right material on which to base my experiment. But I knew that my work ought not to be simply an abstract interpretation in visual form.

    For the first time I dispensed with the traditional formula of male and female partnering and the usual balanced interplay between men and women dancers. I decided to avoid all symmetrical compositions and to render the flow of the music by fluctuating lines, and forms both static and mobile. I deliberately chose to follow the movements of the symphony in a logical evolution of choreographic phrases, successively amplifying and regrouping themselves into new shapes and patterns.

    I conceived the production in four sections: first, life, with its ambitions and temptations; then passion, and the contest between sacred and profane love; thirdly, frivolity; and lastly, the culmination of man’s destiny through conflict. In choreographing these I drew my inspiration from the ancient ruins of Selinus, Agrigento and Paestum. It was the mass and volume of these structures which offered a challenge. I was interested too in their contrasted blending of rounded and angular forms. In constructing Les Presages, as I named this ballet, I endeavoured to establish the equilibrium between curved and straight lines that I had seen in so many classical buildings.

    An excerpt from the book My Life in Ballet.

  • Characters and performers

    Gaite Parisienne

    Ballet in one act
    to music by Jacques Offenbach

    Libretto by Leonide Massine and Etienne de Beaumont Music arranged by Manuel Rosenthal

    The world premiere took place on April 5, 1938, at Opera de Monte Carlo.
    The ballet was staged for Rene Blum Ballet de Monte Carlo.

    Choreographer on his Ballet

    While I was in Paris auditioning dancers at the ballet schools of Preobrajenska and Egorova I went to see Comte Etienne de Beaumont, who told me that he was interested in the idea of doing a ballet in the style of Winterhalter’s paintings to music by Offenbach. He had obtained from Offenbach’s nephew the manuscript’ scores of one hundred and five operettas, and from these we finally chose enough music to last for about half an hour. We then set about creating the new ballet, which we called Gaite Parisienne.

    Having decided to set the scene in Tortoni’s, a famous cafe in Paris during the Second Empire, I contrived a light hearted episode in which a quarrel between a Baron and an Officer over a Flower Girl involves all the customers, including a visiting Peruvian, a role which I danced myself, making him an absurd yet sympathetic character who arrives on the scene with the intention of conquering Paris. Carrying two carpetbags, full of jewellery, I bounded on to the stage with jerky staccato movements which fitted the music and served to express the naive high spirits of the ebullient salesman. The Flower Girl and the Glove Seller, conveying admirably the frivolous mood of the whole production, with its cancan and the final farandole which whirls everyone away, leaving the Peruvian to set off in search of fresh adventures.

    While searching the antique shops of the Boulevard Raspail in search of furniture and objets d’art of the period with which to set the ballet, Beaumont and I found a faded roll of wallpaper with an elaborate ostrich feather design, which we bought and had copied for the top border on the backdrop. We were lucky also in finding a number of gilt bentwood chairs of the period for the cafe.

  • Characters and performers

    Schedule for Le Tricorne. Les Presages. Gaite Parisienne. (Ballet in one act) 2022

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