World premiere of ballet Scheherazade and Her Tales on April 8

World premiere of ballet Scheherazade and Her Tales will take place at the Latvian Nation Opera on April 8, 2016. New production is created by music director and conductor Mārtiņš Ozoliņš, conductor Jānis Liepiņš, choreographer Leo Mujic, set designer Dinka Jericevič, costume designer Manuela Paladin Šabanović, and light Designer Aleksandar Čavlek. Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Zoltán Kodály, and classical Turkish music is used in the production.

Cast of Scheherazade and Her Tales includes Ieva Rācene, Alise Prudāne, Baiba Kokina, Viktorija Jansone, Elza Leimane-Martinova, Jolanta Lubēja, Laine Paiķe, Iļana Puhova, Raimonds Martinovs, Ringolds Žigis, Arturs Sokolovs, Sergejs Neikšins, Andris Pudāns, Viktors Seiko, Zigmārs Kirilko a.o.

Shahriyar, the Sultan of ancient Persia, is left bitter after being betrayed by an unfaithful wife. For this reason, each night he marries an innocent virgin, only to have her beheaded the following morning. This pattern continues until he meets his vizier’s oldest daughter, Scheherazade, who is able to conquer and soften the sultan’s hardened heart with her stories and myths... This legend has also captured the heart of dancer, choreographer and teacher Leo Mujic, who has worked with well-known ballet companies and theatres in Germany, Austria, the United States, Hungary, Croatia, Sanremo and Australia. His previous productions in Riga include Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet (in collaboration with Valentina Turcu).

‘When I was creating Scheherazade and Her Tales, I wanted to maintain the basic idea Rimsky-Korsakov had when he talked about a personal approach to the themes, the freedom of interpretation and the respect for abstraction. Apart from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s beautiful music, the question I asked myself was: what are the reasons for performing this ballet today? 

I wanted to emphasize the essence of a narrative ballet, which is formed by characters and their relationships. To do that, every character I created gained one characteristic so that when combined, the figures that rise from the sand and pave their journey to the Silk Road, forming a complete entity.

This ballet is not only about the stories everyone knows Scheherazade told; I'm interested in the untold story of her destiny. Within that, I want to explore the position of women in society, in the Middle East, by following her heart, mind, wishes and desires,’ says Leo Mujic.

Next performances on April 9, 27, and May 29.

Production is supported by “Skonto Būve” and State Culture Capital Foundation.