Music by Igor Stravinsky
Choreography by George Balanchine
Staged by Karin von Aroldingen and Richard Tanner
Lighting by Ronald Bates
World Premiere: Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, Theatre Sarah Bernhardt, Paris, 6/12/28
Original Cast: Serge Lifar (Apollo), Alice Nikitina (Terpsichore), Lubov Tchernicheva (Polyhymnia), Felia Dubrovska (Calliope), Dora Vadimova, Henriette Maicherska (Deeses), Sophie Orlova (Leto)
ABT Premiere: Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 4/27/37
Scenery and costumes by Stewart Chaney
Cast: Lew Christensen (Apollo), Elise Reiman (Terpsichore), Holly Howard (Polyhymnia), Daphne Vane (Calliope)
Apollo, a Greek god of varied characteristics, was born on the island of Delos. His father was Zeus and his mother was Leto. Among his god-like attributes, he was the god of song and music and none could surpass him in music, not even Pan. He received the lyre from Hermes, the seven strings of which were said to be connected to the seven Greek vowels. As the leader of the Muses, he was called Musagetes.
Apollo is a ballet without a plot, only a simple program:
Scene 1 - The Birth of Apollo
Scene 2 - Three Muses appear and they all dance with Apollo and he with them. He then presents each of them with the symbol appropriate to her art. To Calliope, the Muse of poetry, he presents a tablet; to Polyhymnia, the Muse of mime, a mask that symbolizes silence and the power of gesture; and to Terpsichore, Muse of dance and song, he gives a Iyre, the instrument that accompanies these arts. All the Muses are pleased and each dances a solo utilizing her gift. Apollo performs a solo and then is joined by the Muses. The end of the ballet depicts the ascent of Apollo to Mount Olympus.