Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky and Bohuslav Martinu
Electronic music produced by the studio of the Technical University of West Berlin (Fritz Winckel and Rüdiger Rüfer)
Choreography by Sir Kenneth MacMillan
Production realized by Deborah MacMillan
Scenery and costumes by Bob Crowley
Lighting by John B. Read
Act I. In the countryside, August, 1914: The Imperial family are at a picnic with their guests, who include the Tsarina's great friend Madame Vyrubova, Rasputin, and a group of naval officers. The party ends as the Tsar receives the news of the outbreak of war
Act II. Petrograd, March, 1917: Despite rapidly growing unrest, the Tsar is giving a ball to celebrate the coming-out of his youngest daughter, Anastasia. He has invited his favorite ballerina -- with whom he had a liaison before his marriage -- to dance for his guests. Anastasia is puzzled by the apparent relationships between certain members of the court. The ball is interrupted by an outburst of revolutionary activity
Act III. Some years later: For the woman who believes she is Anastasia past and present intermingle. She relives incidents from the years since the massacre of the Tsar and his family at Ekaterinburg: her rescue by two brothers; the birth of her child; her marriage; the death of her husband; the disappearance of her child; her attempted suicide, and confrontations over the years with relatives of the Imperial family who deny her identity as the Grand Duchess Anastasia.
HISTORICAL NOTE: Tsar Nicholas II came to the throne of Russia in 1894 at the age of 26. His wife, Alexandra bore him four daughters - Olga, Tatiana, Marie, Anastasia -- and one son, the Tsarevitch Alexei, who was a haemophiliac. The Tsarina believed implicity in Rasputin's power to treat her son's bleeding.
In March, 1917, the Tsar abdicated as a result of the outbreak of revolutionary activity, and following the Bolshevik "October" revolution of that year the Imperial family was imprisioned. On the night of July 16/17, 1918, the Tsar and his family were murdered by Bolshevik forces at Ekaterinburg
. It was in 1920 that Anna Anderson, a woman patient in a Berlin hospital was recognized as one of the daughters of the Tsar. Until her death Anna Anderson endeavored to prove her identity as the Grand Duchess Anastasia.
MUSICAL NOTE: Kenneth MacMillan originally mounted Anastasia in a one-act version for the Ballet of the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, in 1967. Set to a specially composed introductory electronic score followed by Bohuslav Martinu's Fantasies Symphoniques, it forms the third act of the full-length version and depicts Anastasia's fantasy world after the Russian revolution.
In developing the ballet MacMillan saw in Tchaikovsky's music a parallel with the period reflected in the Tsarist regime. In Act I the music is the Symphony No. 1, opus 13 ("Winter Dreams"), and in Act II the music is the Symphony No. 3, opus 29 ("The Polish").
Anastasia in its one act form was given its American Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California on March 12, 1985, danced by Cynthia Gregory in the title role.
The full-length three-act version of Anastasia, with scenery, costumes and projections by Barry Kay, was given its World Premiere at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London on July 22, 1971, danced by Derek Rencher (Tsar Nicholas II), Svetlana Beriosova (Tsarina Alexandra Fedorovna), Marilyn Trounson (Tsarevitch Alexi), Vergie Derman (Grand Duchess Olga), Jennifer Penney (Grand Duchess Tatiana), Lesley Collier (Grand Duchess Marie), Lynn Seymour (Grand Duchess Anastasia), Adrian Grater (Rasputin), Gerd Larsen (Anna Vyrubova), and Leslie Edwards (Tsar's aide-de-camp).
Anastasia received its United States Premiere by The Royal Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on May 5, 1972, danced by Derek Rencher (Tsar), Svetlana Beriosova (Tsarina), Susan Lockwood (Tsarevitch Alexei), Vergie Derman (Grand Duchess Olga), Jennifer Penney (Grand Duchess Tatiana), Lesley Collier (Grand Duchess Marie), Lynn Seymour (Grand Duchess Anastasia), Adrian Grater (Rasputin), Gerd Larsen (Anna Vyrubova), Leslie Edwards (Tsar's aide-de-camp).
A new production, with scenery and costumes by Bob Crowley received its first performance by The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on May 2, 1996, danced by Christopher Sanders (Tsar Nicholas II), Elizabeth McGorian (Tsarina Alexandra Fedorovna), Adam Blyde (Tsarevitch Alexei), Christina McDermott (Grand Duchess Olga), Nicola Roberts (Grand Duchess Tatiana), Belinda Hatley (Grand Duchess Maria), Viviana Durante (Grand Duchess Anastasia), William Tuckett (Rasputin), Sandra Conley (Anna Vyrubova), David Drew (Tsar's aide-de-camp). This production of Anastasia will be given its American Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on June 3, 1999 danced by Viviana Durante in the title role.