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“High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince...”
The Australian Ballet returns to bring Oscar Wilde’s vivid imagination to life on stage in this bright and colourful retelling of his lyrical story.
A prince who has lived a carefree life behind his palace walls becomes a magnificent golden statue. From his new vantage point he can see his subjects for the first time, and realises that his city is full of poverty and sadness. Awoken to compassion, he begs his friend the Swallow to take the gold and precious jewels from his statue, fly down into the city and give them to the poor. After a series of colourful adventures, the selfless Prince and the loyal Swallow end up with nothing, but eventually find bliss.
In 2020 Graeme Murphy, who created The Australian Ballet’s acclaimed modern interpretations of Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, turns his flair for transformative storytelling to Wilde’s moving tale.
Murphy’s distinctive choreographic style will animate the golden Prince, his sassy friend the Swallow and the seductive Reed – and will bring a particularly Aussie flavour to Wilde’s happy ending.
This all-Australian premiere will feature a specially commissioned score from the renowned composer Christopher Gordon, who wrote the scores for the films Mao’s Last Dancer and Master and Commander, alongside the work of award-winning artist and director Kim Carpenter, who adapted the story and created the vibrant design for the ballet.
Ablaze with colourful costumes and extravagant sets, The Happy Prince will capture children’s imagination with its vivid spectacle and adults’ attention with its timely message: a kind heart shines brighter than gold.
“Australia’s most brilliant choreographer ... we’ve always basked in the light he casts.” The Daily Telegraph
“Murphy constantly surprises, not just choreographically but also in the way he manipulates classic stories.” The Sydney Morning Herald
Based on the story by Oscar Wilde
Adapted by Kim Carpenter and Graeme Murphy
Choreography Graeme Murphy
Creative Associate Janet Vernon
Composer Christopher Gordon
Set and costume design Kim Carpenter
Lighting design Damien Cooper
Projection design Fabian Astore
The Happy Prince is generously supported by The Robert and Elizabeth Albert Music Fund, The Dame Margaret Scott Fund for Choreographers and the Barry Kay Memorial Scholarship.
We thank Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image for supporting the creation of The Happy Prince.
Recommended for those aged 6 years and older.
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Presented by The Australian Ballet in association with QPAC
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EXTEND YOUR EXPERIENCE
BEHIND THE SCENES
Wednesday, 26 February 2020, 11:30am
Get a privileged, in-theatre view of their training, with commentary by artistic staff, then sit in as their top dancers rehearse.BUY TICKETS
MCALLISTER IN CONVERSATION
Saturday, 29 February 2020, 5pm
Don’t miss this intimate talk, hosted by Artistic Director David McAllister, as he interviews key creatives and principal artists.BUY TICKETS
MUSIC OF THE DANCE
Friday, 28 February 2020, 6pm
Like the dancers on stage, musicians and conductors are powerful storytellers. Music Director and Chief Conductor Nicolette Fraillon chats about our composers and their works; giving you greater insight into the powerful works of art.GET TICKETS