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Classical Ballet Gala in Honor of Centenary of Dyagilev`s Russian Seasons. "Le Tricorne"
World famous Bolshoi Ballet and Opera theatre (established 1776) - Small Stage

Schedule for Gala in Honor of Centenary of Dyagilev`s Russian Seasons. "Le Tricorne" 2022

Balletmaster: Lorca Massine
Choreography: Leonide Massine
Music Director: Alexander Titov
Designer: Pablo Picasso

Orchestra: Bolshoi Theatre Symphony Orchestra

Le Tricorne

Ballet in one act
Manuel de Falla

Libretto by Gregorio Martinez Sierra after the story El sombrer de tres picos by Pedro Antonio de Alarcon

The world premiere took place on July 22, 1919, at the Alhambra Theatre, London.
The ballet was staged for the Russian Ballet of Serge Diaghilev.


A village. The miller stands before his house, whistling to a blackbird who sits in a cage. The miller’s wife comes out of the house and teases her husband. He chases her and they embrace.

The couple go to the well to draw eater. While the miller is busy at the well, a dandy passes by and blows Kisses to his wife, who responds flirtatiously. The miller looks up and sees this exchange and chases the dandy off. He is not angry with his wife. He is delighted that other men find her as beautiful as he does. They are very much in love.

Now the governor of the province, the corregidor, enters with an escort. A doddering old fool, he looks absurd in his finery among the simple folk of the village. He wears a three-cornered hat, symbol of his class and position.

Almost immediately, the corregidor eyes the miller’s wife and decides that she must be his. The miller’s wife is polite to him, but no more. He passes on. Noting that his wife is getting all the attention, the miller decides that he’d better give another girl some favor. He playfully flirts with one of the lovely girls of the village, Now that both husband and wife have cause to be jealous, they are amused at each other and embrace.

The miller goes into the house. His wife, remaining outside, dances a brilliant fandango. The corregidor as come back and secretly watches her. Soon he approaches her and tries to make advances. The woman eludes him cleverly and flees. The old man, however, purses her. The miller has watched this scene from inside the house and runs out to help his wife. The corregidor can run no more and falls to the ground exhausted. The miller and his wife pick him up, dust him off, and try to act as if it were all an accident, but the corregidor, furious with them, suggests that this is only the beginning of what they may expect of him. The husband and wife dance together.

Evening falls. The village folk come to the miller’s house to join in a festival with the happy couple. The miller gives them wine and then dances alone a farruca, which everyone applauds. The escorts of the corregidor enter. The men arrest the miller and take him off. Abandoned by her friends, the miller’s wife is alone.

The corregidor is back again, seeking her favor now with real determination. The miller’s wife throws him to the ground as he clumsily holds her. He rises with difficulty and pursues her to the village bridge, which crosses a running stream. On the bridge, the corregidor again attempts to embrace the girl. In the process of pushing him away, the miller’s wife pushes him off the bridge into the stream. She laughs at him but helps the corregidor out of the water. But the old fool takes up the chase again. The miller’s wife takes a gun from the house and, threatening the corregidor with buckshot, flees over the bridge away from the village. The corregidor stands in front of the miller’s house alone, his clothes still dripping from the dunking he got in the stream. He takes off his outer garments and his three-cornered hat, lays them out to dry, and goes into the house to sleep. Dawn comes. The miller has escaped the corregidor’s henchmen and returns home. In front of his house, he sees the corregidor’s clothes and the three-cornered hat! Then he observes the corregidor himself, walking around in one of his own nightshirts! The miller decides there is only one thing to do. He will pursue the corregidor’s wife, who is also young and beautiful! On the walls of his house he draws a caricature of the corregidor and leaves.

Now the poor corregidor is attacked by his own soldiers, who don’t recognize him in the miller’s nightshirt. He curses them, and the village folk come to see what the trouble is. The miller and his wife who have found each other outside the town come in. Their friends are told what the corregidor has tried to do, and in anger all the people rise up against the governor and his cohorts. The intruders are routed, and all dance triumphantly, led by the miller ad his wife. A dummy representing the defeated corregidor is thrown higher and higher into the air by the crowd.

Choreographer on his Ballet

It so happened that the famous composer, Manuel de Falla, a mild mannered little man who, in his dark suit and felt hat, might easily have passed for a university professor, invited us to go to a small theatre in Barcelona to see a performance of a one act farce by Gregorio Martinez Sierra, El Corregidor §е la Molinera, for which he had written the music.

One evening, at our favourite cafЁ¦, the Novedades, we noticed a small, dark young dancer whose elegant movements and compelling intensity singled him out from the rest of the group. When he had finished dancing Diaghilev invited him to join us at our table. He introduced himself as Felix Fernandez Garcia. We made a habit of going every night to see him dance, and were more and more impressed by his exquisite flamenco style, the precision and rhythm of his movements, and by his perfect control.

Under Felix’s guidance I had begun to grasp the fundamental grammar of the Spanish folk dances, and I was now able to see how they might be given a more sophisticated choreographic treatment. To help me in my work Diaghilev arranged for us to take a trip through Spain to study the infinite variety of native peasant dances. With Falla and Felix as our tutors, Diaghilev and I were eager and receptive students. During the whole of that hot, dry, Spanish summer we travelled at a leisurely pace, visiting Saragossa, Toledo, Salamanca, Burgos, Seville, Cordoba and Granada. We were §С §г§аngenial foursome, united by our interest in Spanish culture and music. Our days were spent sightseeing in monasteries, museums and cathedrals, our evenings in cafЁ¦s watching the local dancers and discussing plans for our ballet.

Felix, of course, was a great asset on this tripЎ­ He was able to arrange several special performances for us, and we spent many late nights listening to selected groups of singers, guitarists and dancers doing the jota, the tarruca or the fandango.

It was easy to see that Falla was fascinated by Felix’s dancing, and by much of the music which he heard on our trip. He paid strict attention to detail, and was §г§аntinually writing down passages of music in the notebook which he habitually carried. He told me that he wanted the dances in the ballet to develop naturally from the story and that he planned to create the whole score anew, enlarging it with new themes, but basing it on his original inspiration, and simplifying it through clear and logical construction.

An excerpt from the book My Life in Ballet.

  • Characters and performers

    Schedule for Gala in Honor of Centenary of Dyagilev`s Russian Seasons. "Le Tricorne" 2022

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