The Red Poppy
The Red Poppy (Russian: Красный мак) or sometimes The Red Flower (Russian: Красный цветок) is a ballet in three acts and an apotheosis; score written by Reinhold Glière and a scenario by Mikhail Kurilko. This ballet was created in 1927 as the first Soviet ballet with a modern revolutionary theme. Possibly the most famous dance from this ballet is the Sailors Dance, sometimes referred to as the 'Russian' Sailors Dance. It is this selection for which Glière is perhaps best known.
The ballet takes place at a seaport in 1920s-era Kuomintang China. A ship carrying sailors from many lands, including Russia is docked in a Chinese seaport. The captain notices a group of half-starved, overworked coolies being brutally driven to work even harder by their cruel harbormaster. One night while dancing for the sailors aboard the ship, the beautiful Tao-Hoa (Pinyin: Taohua) notices a Russian captain trying to rescue the poor Coolies from the port commander. Impressed by the captain's act of kindness she gives him a red poppy as a symbol of her love. When Tao's employer, Li Shan-Fu learns of this, he is jealous and orders her to kill the captain. She refuses, and is later killed by her employer when a riot breaks out on the dock - thus sacrificing her life for the captain. As she dies, she gives another red poppy flower to a young Chinese girl as a sign of love and freedom.
- Coolies' Dance
- Tao-Hoa's Entrance
- Restaurant Scene
- Malik's Dance
- Boston Waltz
- Scene of European Dance
- Captain's Entrance and Sailors Dance
- Tao-Hoa's Scene
- Variation with Gold Fingers
- Coolies' Victory Dance
- Dance of the Soviet Sailors:Apple
- Introduction - Scene in the Smoking Room* Scene
- Dance of the Chinese Women
- Adagio of Four Goddesses
- Tao-Hoa's Vision
- Procession Scene
- Sword Dance
- The Rose Ship
- Dance in the Restaurant
- Preparation of the Chinese Theatre
- Umbrella Dance
- Puppet Dance
- Chinese Acrobats' Dance
- The Conspiracy
- Scene of Confusion
- Captain's Scene
- Tao-Hoa's Scene: The Departing Ship
- Rebellion Scene
- Death of Tao-Hoa
There have been four main versions:
- 1927 - Choreography by Lev Lashchilin (1st and 3rd Acts) and Vasily Tikhomirov (2nd Act). First performance on 14 June 1927 in the Bolshoi Theatre.
- 1949 - Choreography by Leonid Lavrovsky. Scenario was rewritten by Aleksey Yermolayev. First performance on 30 December 1949 in the Bolshoi Theatre.
- 1957 - Choreography and scenario by Tikhomirov and Kurilko. The ballet was renamed The Red Flower, the number of scenes was increased from 8 to 13 and the first performance was 24 November 1957 in the Bolshoi Theatre.
- 2010 - Choreography by Nikolay Androsov, scenery and costumes by Elena Puliti, conductor Andre Anichanov, musical cooperation from Francesco Sodini, director of production Beppe Menegatti. First performance - 12 February at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
- 2010 - Scenario editing, choreography and scenery by Vladimir Vasiliev, costumes by Maria Vol'skaya, music director and conductor - Anatoly Chepurnoy. First performance - 23 November at Krasnoyarsk Ballet and Opera Theater
- Tao-Hoa (Yekaterina Geltzer (1927), Viktorina Kriger (1927), Galina Ulanova (1949 and 1957), Olga Lepeshinskaya (1949), Alexandra Danilova (1943), Oksana Kucheruk (2010), Gaia Straccamore (2010), Anna Ol (2010) ).
- Soviet Captain (Alexey Bulgakov and Mikhail Dudko (1927), Alexander Radunsky (1949 and 1957), Frederic Franklin (1943), Lukash Abrahamyan (2007), Igor Yebra (2010), Vito Mazzeo (2010), Vyacheslav Kapustin (2010)).
- Ma Lichen, introduced in the staging of 1949. (Yury Kondratov (1949 and 1957), Mikhail Gabovich (1949), Damiano Mongelli (2010)).
- Li Shan-fu (Ivan Smoltsov (1927), Sergey Koren (1949 and 1957), Alexey Yermolayev (1949), Vito Mazzeo (2010), Manuel Paruccini (2010), Ivan Karnaukhov (2010)).
- Nüwa, goddess of fertility, introduced in the staging of 2010 (Carla Fracci)
- Chinese prestidigitator (Asaf Messerer (1927)).
- Harbormaster (Ivan Sidorov (1927), Alexei Bal'va (2010)).
- 1929 in Leningrad by Leningradsky Theatre of opera and ballet and in 1949 and 1958 by Kirov Ballet;
- 1943 in Public Music Hall, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, by Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo;
- 1928 and 1930 in Sverdlovsk;
- 1928, 1949 and 1958 in Saratov;
- 1941 and 1950 in Gorki;
- 1946 in Baku by Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre;
- 1949 in Perm;
- 1950 and 1961 in Kuybyshev;
- 1950 in Novosibirsk;
- 1954 in Bratislava, Slovak National Theatre
- 1962 in Volgograd;
- 2010 in Rome, Italy
- 2010 in Krasnoyarsk
- Film-ballet The Red Poppy produced by Czechoslovak TV in 1955, filmed in Studio Bratislava after performance of the Slovak National Theatre, choreography: R. Tomskij, Bolshoi Theatre Moscow)
- Rome Opera Theater's webpage on the ballet
- Pictures from 2010 Italian production
- Video clip from 2010 Italian production
- Short video clip from 2010 Italian production
- Russian Radio report on the Krasnoyarsk 2010 production