Adam, A. / Lavrovszkij Leonyid

 Romantic Ballet in two Acts
Opera House | 19:00-21:20



On his way home after hunting Hilarion the forester stops happily in front of his beloved Giselle's cottage. He hangs a few pheasants on a nail by the door as a present. Count Albert arrives. Having changed into plain clothes in the hunting lodge he runs back to the clearing happily. He knocks at the door of the cottage and hides. Giselle steps out of the house. Not finding anyone, she is about to go back. Now Albert steps forward. Giselle is happy to meet him. Albert asks her for a kiss but the girl turns away shyly, picks a daisy so that the petals may tell him if she loves him or not. Hilarion returns from the wood to catch sight of the obvious couple having a good time. He goes up to Giselle and asks her to tell him definitely if she returns his love. The girl refuses him. The rejected lover scans the stranger with suspicion: he seems to have met him somewhere... Girl arrives at the clearing coming home from the village. Giselle is happy to introduce her lover to them. Albert and Giselle start dancing in rising spirits. Giselle's mother puts an end to the amusement. The horn of hunters is heard. Albert flies to the wood in apprehension. Hilarion is approaching the hunting lodge in ill suspicion. He is shocked to perceive the splendid sword left behind. Now he knows who the owner is. He hides the sword and hides himself in the cottage. The duke and his daughter Bathilde, Albert's fiancée arrive with their suite. Giselle charms everybody with her beauty and modesty Bathilde asks her kindly if she has got a fiancé. Giselle nods assent. "I am engaged as well", says the duchess. Both of them are thinking of Albert. Giselle invites Bathilde and her father to her mother's house. The duke leaves his silver horn with the squire to give the scattered company a signal to gather. The squire hangs the horn onto the wall of the house. The clearing is populated again with gay company. Hilarion rushes in to put an end to the high mood. He separates Giselle form Albert and asks her publicly if she loves the young man. The girl answers that she does. Hilarion brings forth the hidden sword triumphantly to reveal Albert's identity Albert drags it out of Hilarion's hand and strikes at him passionately Hilarion tries to take revenge on him by blowing the silver horn. The disguised count is about to fly but it is too late, as the duke and Bathilde are leaving the house. Albert reverently kisses the hand his fiancée hooks out to him provokingly Giselle rushes between them desperately to separate their hands but Bathilde shows her the count's engagement ring. The girl expects an answer from Albert, who bends his head without saving a word. Giselle understands the situation. She starts a raging dance. Tortured by happy memories she goes on dancing until she dies of heartbreak. 




In the moonlit cemetery, Hilarion accuses himself for the girl's death. Bell tolls midnight. Suddenly marsh-fire lights flash up over the tombs. The forester flees in terrible fear. The villis take over power now. The revenge of a group of ghosts of abandoned fiancées falls upon men who happen to turn up. The queen of the villis appears from the dark. She evokes the spirit of the new inhabitant of her realm Giselle with a myrtle bough, the symbol of her power. Giselle rises from her tomb and Myrtha initiates her a villi. A mortal is approaching. The group of villis disappears suddenly. Albert arrives, broken with pain. He covers Giselle's tomb with lilies. Angry villis populate the cemetery again. They got hold of Hilarion, now he has to pay for Giselle's death. They drive him mad with their fearful dizzy dance and chase him into the pond to die. Then they pass judgement on Albert, Giselle, however, opposes Myrtha's power and the myrth bough strikes towards the couple standing on the tomb. The bough breaks in two: the power of love is greater than that of death. There is nothing left for Myrtha but to order Albert to dance until exhaustion. The young man gains strength from Giselle's presence. The Bell tolls and the first rays of the rising sun put an end to the villis' nightly power. Albert has survived but on seeing Giselle turned into a villi fall back into her grave he falls on his knees on the tomb inconsolably. 



Photo by Attila Juhász