Libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint Georges and Joseph Mazilier as revised by Yuri Slonimsky and Pyotr Gusev
Choreography by Jules Perrot, Pyotr Gusev, Marius Petipa as revised by Farukh Ruzimatov
Stage director: Farukh Ruzimatov
Conductor: Karen Durgarian
Dances with original choreography: Georgi Kovtun
Set and costume design: Valery Levental
Lighting design: Alexander Kibitkin
Stage director assistants: Evgeniya Kostyleva, Irina Ivanova, Evgeny Popov
Dedicated to the memory of Valery Levental
2 hours 5 minutes
Breathtaking plot, adventures of sea pirates and sweet bliss of eastern harems has made Le Corsaire one of the most precious ballets of the romantic age. In Farukh Ruzimatov’s two-act version based on Marius Petipa’s classic choreography a lot of attention is paid to dramatic elements which makes the production attractive for audience of all ages.
A ship of corsairs has sunk in a severe storm.
Scene 1. Ashore.
Only three corsairs survived: Conrad, the leader of the corsairs, and his faithful friends Ali and Birbanto.
Young Greek girls are dancing and amusing themselves on the shore. Among them are two friends —Medora and a Turkish girl Gulnara. The girls see the corsairs thrown out by the sea and hide them from ferocious Turkish soldiers who are entitled to execute corsairs immediately on site. But capturing the girls is more to liking of cunning Isaac Lankedem, who has brought the soldiers. The maidens are merchandise to him and the slave trader with a view to making a good haul sends them to the city market along with languishing Palestinian beauties and wild Algerian lads.
Conrad, however, hoping to save Medora, who charmed him at first sight, disguises himself as a merchant and rushes to her rescue.
Scene 2. Market.
Hustle and bustle of the oriental market. Gulnara is among Lankedem’s slaves and Seid Pasha, the ruler of the island, is purchasing her for his harem. Medora is doomed to share Gulnara’s destiny. Some strangers appear in the midst of the bargain willing to take part in it. No one, however, can come near Seid Pasha in wealth. Suddenly the strangers throw off their burnouses — turns out they are the corsairs.
Conrad leads Medora away. Ali captures Lankedem. Birbanto and others escape having taken along the gold, the draperies, the arms, and the slaves. Seid Pasha is at a loss.
Scene 3. Grotto.
Amorous Conrad shows Medora his possessions. The corsairs are by his side with their loot and emancipated slave girls. Wild Algerian lads are welcomed to the fellowship of buccaneers. Conrad’s loyal friend Ali keeps an eye on captive Lankedem.
On Medora’s request Conrad sets the captive girls free. Birbanto, however, objects: the jewels and women rightfully belong to him as well. Conrad is surprised with his friend’s defiance. Though the leader of the corsairs’ authority gains the upper hand, Birbanto nurses a grudge.
Cunning Lankedem, using the opportunity, instigates Birbanto to take vengeance on Conrad. He suggests putting the leader of corsairs to sleep and bringing Medora back to Seid Pasha. In the meanwhile Conrad is bound up with beautiful Medora. Lankedem, unnoticed by the lovers, pours sleeping potion into their wine. Unsuspecting Medora offers a drink to Conrad. He drops on the spot. Medora cries for help but instead falls into hands of insidious Birbanto, who orders to send the beauty back to the harem.
Conrad heavily awakes from sleep. Having realized that Medora was taken he asks Birbanto to explain what happened. Birbanto dodges persuading the friend of his loyalty. Conrad once again rushes to save his beloved.
Scene 4. Palace.
Seid Pasha is delighted with Gulnara’s naughtiness. Flirting with Pasha the Turkish girl, however, is not going to caress the old man.
Lankedem arrives with captive Medora. Gulnara leads the girls away to her chamber. Eunuchs announce the arrival of pilgrims. After a prayer the pilgrims accept Seid Pasha’s invitation to feast their eyes on dances of the girls of his harem where Medora and Gulnara are the true jewels — they are like two roses in in a splendid garden.
In the meantime Birbanto and Lankedem expose the pilgrims. Those are corsairs in disguise!
Conrad and Ali jump on traitor Birbanto and Lankedem. A fight is starting and Seid Pasha escapes disgracefully. Guileful Birbanto and Lankedem are defeated.
Gulnara thanks Ali for saving her and puts herself in his safe hands. Reunited Conrad and Medora are now ready to start a new happy life.