Ballet by John Neumeier


  Benjamin Britten
Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings
op. 31
  John Neumeier


World Premiere
The Hamburg Ballet, Hamburg, July 1, 2001


Original Cast
  Joëlle Boulogne
Lloyd Riggins



Seven other men and one woman provide the cast of Neumeier's last creation, Voice of the Night, given on a three-part bill he calls The Britten Evening. For his own contribution he has taken the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. Lloyd Riggins plays the lead, responding to the six disparate songs in varied ways, surrounded by six enigmatic chaps wearing only white underpants (dream figures, maybe) and visited by Joelle Boulogne in two guises drawn from the poems, as Blake's sick rose and Ben Jonson's "Queen and huntress, chaste and fair".
Doubtless one could read allusions to Britten himself in all this, but that's not a path to follow here. The action has its own fluency despite having as its most memorable aspects moments of rest, unexpected lifts and various involved linkings, as well as Boulogne's mysterious exit, apparently flying out through a window. These are night thoughts that might come to one unable to sleep.
John Percival, The Independent

Riigins - Ensemble


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