Ballet in Two Acts after William Shakespeare

Choreography by John Cranko
Music by Kurt-Heinz Stolze after Domenico Scarlatti
Produced and Staged by Reid Anderson and Jane Bourne
Scenery and Costumes by Susan Benson
Lighting by Robert Thomson

Act 1 - 57:00
Act 2 - 53:00

The Taming of the Shrew, with scenery and costumes by Elizabeth Dalton, was given its World Premiere by the Stuttgart Ballet at the Wuerttemberg Opera House, Stuttgart on March 16, 1969, danced by Marcia Haydée (Katherina), Richard Cragun (Petruchio), Suzanne Hanke (Bianca), Heinz Clauss (Lucentio), John Neumeier (Hortensio), and Egon Madsen (Gremio).

The Taming of the Shrew received its United States Premiere by the Stuttgart Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, on June 12, 1969, danced by the same cast.

This production was given its premiere performance by The National Ballet of Canada on February 13, 1992 at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto, danced by Karen Kain (Katherina), Serge Lavoie (Petruchio), Margaret Illmann (Bianca), Raymond Smith (Lucentio), Jeremy Ransom (Hortensio), and Tomas Schramek (Gremio).

The Taming of the Shrew
was given its American Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on June 9, 2000, danced by Alessandra Ferri (Katherina) and Julio Bocca (Petruchio).

Act I, Scene 1 - Outside Baptista’s House - Three suitors (the cockscomb Hortensio, the silly student Lucentio, and the old roué Gremio) arrive to serenade Baptista’s pretty, younger daughter Bianca. Her older sister Katherina interrupts the idyllic scene. Baptista declares that Bianca shall not marry until Kate is wed. The rumpus awakens a crowd of neighbors whom Kate sends packing.
Scene 2 - A Tavern - The three thwarted suitors nurse their battle scars from this affray. Petruchio, a gentleman of more generosity than means, arrives tipsy and is stripped of his last penny by two ladies of the streets. The others offer to introduce him to an heiress. To their delight, he accepts.
Scene 3 - Baptista’s House - Petruchio arrives and asks for Kate’s hand. After a stormy courtship she agrees. Meanwhile Bianca’s suitors, in disguise, press their claims under the pretense of giving music, singing, and dancing lessons. She favors Lucentio.
Scene 4 - A Street - Neighbors on their way to Kate’s wedding find the matter a huge joke. Bianca’s suitors gleefully join them.
Scene 5 - Baptista’s House - Petruchio arrives late and behaves outrageously at the wedding. After the ceremony he carries off the bride without waiting for the feast.

Act II, Scene 1 - A Country Road - The newly-weds travel through a storm towards Petruchio’s house.
Scene 2 - Petruchio’s Kitchen - Kate arrives hungry and soaked through. Petruchio prevents her from eating under the pretext that the food is not good enough. She refuses to go to bed with him and spends a hard, cold night on the kitchen floor.
Scene 3 - Carnival - Lucentio, bribing the two ladies of the streets to wear cloaks and masks like Bianca’s, tricks his two rivals into marrying them.
Scene 4 - Petruchio’s House - Still cold and starving Kate is further provoked by Petruchio’s mocking and trickery. Eventually she capitulates and they admit that they love each other.
Scene 5 - A Country Road - Traveling to Bianca’s wedding, Petruchio indulges in some more whims but Kate has learnt how to humor him.
Scene 6 - Bianca’s Wedding - Bianca, like the wives of Gremio and Hortensio, treats her husband disdainfully, but Kate shows them how a wife is expected to behave. Left alone, she and Petruchio revel in their new-found love.

Copyright 2003 Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
All rights reserved.