The Fountain of Bakhchisarai

The Fountain of Bakhchisarai

Rostislav Zakharov / Boris Vladimirovich Asafyev
The Fountain of Bakhchisarai
Ballet in three acts

While the Fountain of Tears bubbles before him, Giray, khan of the Tatars, is lost in brooding. Just as the flow from the marble fount cannot be exhausted, his own sorrow will never diminish, either. The story of the Fountain of Bakhchisarai is set in motion by a romance recounting the reason for the khan's gloom. This work is one of the cornerstones of Russian ballet history, and since its premiere has enjoyed unbroken success as a representative of the genre of ballet drama, in which a dramatic performance is closely intertwined with the use of the classical language of dance and character dances. The choreographer of the work, Rotislav Zakharov, was powerfully drawn to Russian literary sources, making Pushkin's poem of the same title an obvious choice for his work, for which Boris Asafyev composed the music. The subject is a truly dramatic one: a story of jealous love. Giray, khan of the tatars has fallen wildly into love with Maria, whom he and his Tatars have abducted and forced into his harem just as she was preparing for her wedding. Zarema, the khan's first wife, does not take kindly to this situation. Tragedy is inevitable...

This work has been an important piece in the Hungarian National Ballet's repertoire since it was first premiered at the Opera House in 1952. This season marks the return of the old favourite.


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