Music theatre Ballet 1956

Maratona

Dance drama by Luchino Visconti

One set

Year of composition 1956
Duration 50 minutes

Dedicated to Jean Babilée

World premiere

World premiere 24. September 1957

Berliner Festwochen

Städtische Oper Berlin
Production Luchino Visconti
Choreography Dick Sanders
Stage design Renzo Vespignani
Conductor Richard Kraus

Comment

Visconti and I drafted this piece for Jean Babilée and his Parisian company “Les Ballets Jean Babilée” after Horace McCoy’s often filmed novel “They shoot horses, don’t they?” in 1956, but due to various organizational problems the world première did not take place until a year later in Berlin. This work is an attempt at neo-realistic dance and musical theatre using also rock ’n’ roll music, Latin American dance and Italian pop music, whereas a pointedly classical tonality oriented towards the baroque prevail in the orchestra. The “modern” dance music on stage – partly live, partly from tapes or records – can and should be freely varied by the respective groups on the basis of the melodic and harmonic material, and be adapted to the dance style of the time, following Harald Banter’s model prestented in the score.

Hans Werner Henze

Cast

Gianniballerino
Celestina ballerinahis girlfriend
Margotballerinaa girl
ballerina a film actress
attorespeaker ad lib.
corpo di ballo 2 bookmakers
dancing couples
audience 

Instrumentation

1 Flautoanche Ottavino
1 Oboe
1 Corno inglese
1 Clarinetto
1 Clarinetto basso
1 Fagotto
2 Corni
2 Trombe
1 Trombone
Timpani
Arpa
Archi

 

Banda jazz (può essere variata a piacere)

1 Flauto
1 Sassofono contralto
1 Sassofono tenore
1 Tromba jazz
1 Trombone jazz
PercussionePiatti sospesi
Tamtam
Tamburo piccolo
(con la corda)
Tomtom
Tamburo jazz
Bongos
Grancassa (adoperata col piede),
Maracas
Tubo
[per 3]
Pianoforte
1 Contrabbasso