Rediscovered Prokofiev Score to Premiere as Ballet at Covent Garden

Classic Arts News   Rediscovered Prokofiev Score to Premiere as Ballet at Covent Garden
 
A never-completed and unperformed film score by Sergei Prokofiev, unused for 70 years and largely forgotten, has been rediscovered in London and will have its world premiere there next spring as a dance work performed by the Royal Ballet.

In 1936 Prokofiev was working on music for a filmed version of the Pushkin novella The Queen of Spades (also the source for Tchaikovsky's opera) by director Mikhail Romm. When the production was cancelled, the composer stopped work on the score and never picked it up again.

As reported in The Sunday Times of London yesterday, the Danish choreographer Kim Brandstrup read of the existence of the unfinished work in a scholarly article and found that there was a photocopy in a library at the University of London. After looking at the score, Brandstrup decided that it could make a good dance piece and contacted the Royal Ballet. British composer Michael Berkeley was commissioned to assemble Prokofiev's incomplete fragments of music and compose whatever connective material was necessary to make a viable work.

According to the newspaper, Prokofiev's estate was skeptical of allowing disparate bits of an unfinished film score to be combined and completed by another composer and adapted to another medium, though the executors are reportedly pleased with the result.

That work, as yet untitled, is scheduled to premiere during the Royal Ballet's spring 2008 season. According to the Times, among the dancers to participate are company stars Carlos Acosta, Zenaida Yanovsky and Alina Cojocaru.

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