The Australian Ballet

The Dream / Marguerite and Armand

A pair of dancers in colourful costume, one held in the air by the other.

Dimity Azoury and Callum Linnane
Photo Simon Eeles

One night, two magical ballets

  • Sydney / Warrang

    November 2023

  • Duration

    120 mins / 1 Interval

An enchanting romance, and a tragic love affair, be inspired by two of literatures greatest love stories.

The final production in our diamond anniversary season, celebrates The Australian Ballet’s milestone with a double bill by Sir Fredrick Ashton.

A ballerina’s headshot, elegantly holding her hand to her face in green floral costume.

Dimity Azoury
Photo Simon Eeles

A male dancer in green floral costume featuring a crown, reaching on hand towards the viewer.

Callum Linnane
Photo Simon Eeles

The Dream

Journey into the magical realm of Fairyland with The Dream.

The whimsical, romantic ballet inspired by William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream beloved tale of unrequited love, mistaken identity and magical mayhem to new heights with mischievous fairies and dancing donkeys.

Set in an enchanted wood, Sir Frederick Ashton’s ballet captures the play’s themes of love and magic, exploring a poetic space of imagination away from the ‘everyday world.’ Set to Felix Mendelssohn’s tender score, The Dream features vivid characters and a storyline transporting audiences to a realm where the human meets the supernatural.

Brett Chynoweth brings magic to every role he dances, and his Puck is pure ballet wizardry, featuring his trademark buoyancy, precision, and theatrical spark.

★★★★ | Syd­ney Morn­ing Herald 

Marguerite and Armand

Be swept up in the intensity of this unforgettable ballet.

Created in 1963, Frederick Ashton's Marguerite and Armand was inspired and made famous by the legendary partnership of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. This tragic tale of the courtesan Marguerite, and her young lover Armand, is a semi-autobiographical account of author Alexandre Dumas fils forbidden romance.

Framed through a series of flashbacks, Marguerite and Armand is a passionate affair that pulses with emotional intensity. Inspired by Nureyev and Fonteyn’s unlikely yet iconic partnership, Frederick Ashton created these roles from the passion they embodied when dancing together.

Accompanied by Franz Liszt’s dramatic score, The Australian Ballet is delighted to be adding this powerful ballet to our repertoire.

Always a gifted theatrical talent, Harris’ artistic maturity and sincerity carry this tragic, restrained story with heartfelt elegance and warmth.

★★★★ | Syd­ney Morn­ing Herald 

...a sense of aesthetic decadence that is rivalled only by the Grand Opera traditions of the 19th century

★★★★☆ | ArtsHub

Hallberg on Ashton

DMA Hallberg on Ashton

David's insight

"Ashton played an integral role in shaping the repertoire of The Australian Ballet, so it seems appropriate to welcome Marguerite and Armand to the repertoire. Made famous by Fonteyn and Nureyev, this ballet will showcase the depth of the title roles through the dancers of this company."

Synopsis and cast sheet

Select the location below to view synopsis and cast sheet

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Amy Harris and Callum Linnane
Photo Simon Eeles

MA portrait 12

Amy Harris and Callum Linnane
Photo Simon Eeles

Ako Kondo dancers across stage in a light costume, elegantly standing en pointe with her arms extended, others dancers move behind her on stage.

Ako Kondo and Artists of The Australian Ballet
Photo Daniel Boud

Australian Ballet artist Brett Chynoweth sits on stage in green tights and exposed chest.

Brett Chynoweth
Photo Daniel Boud

Sixteen artists of The Australian Ballet surround a single dancer, all wearing teal green costumes with small wings.

Artists of The Australian Ballet
Photo Daniel Boud

A dancer in donkey costume moves across the stage en pointe.

Luke Marchant
Photo Daniel Boud

Amy Harris leans back on the floor with her legs extended behind her, Nathan Brook holds her in close embrace.

Amy Harris and Nathan Brook
Photo Daniel Boud

Timothy Coleman in long black formal coat reaches his hand gently to Amy Harris's face, she sits on a green velvet couch with bright white dress.

Amy Harris and Timothy Coleman
Photo Daniel Boud

Amy Harris stands en pointe, her arms extended apart, wearing a long bright red dress.

Amy Harris
Photo Daniel Boud

Two dancers on stage in light white costume, their arms extended away from each other, a lone green velvet couch sits in the background.

Amy Harris and Nathan Brook
Photo Daniel Boud

Two dancers, a male in blue costume and ballerina in red, the ballerina being held up as she leans backwards.

10 reasons to see The Dream/Marguerite and Armand

Discover the fascinating history behind Frederick Ashton’s majestic choreography as The Australian Ballet prepares to bring two classic tales to Sydney Opera House this November.

Read more

Production credits

Marguerite and Armand

Choreography Frederick Ashton
Staged by
Grant Coyle
Music
Franz Liszt orchestrated by Dudley Simpson
Scenery and costume design
Cecil Beaton
Original lighting design
John B Read
Lighting reproduced in 2023 by
Simon Bennison
Production supervision
Doug Nicholson
Scenery and costumes courtesy of
The Sarasota Ballet (Iain Webb, Director)
Solo piano
Andrew Dunlop

The Dream

Choreography Frederick Ashton
Staged by
Christopher Carr
Benesh choreologist
Grant Coyle
Music
Felix Mendelssohn orchestrated by John Lanchbery
Scenery and costume design
David Walker
Original lighting design
John B Read
Lighting reproduced in 2023 by
Simon Bennison
Scenery and costumes courtesy of
Ballet West (Adam Sklute, Artistic Director)
With
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs

Music

Sydney

With Opera Australia Orchestra

Marguerite and Armand is generously supported by The Margaret Ellen Pidgeon Fund and The Maina Gielgud Fund.

The Dream is generously supported by The Arthur and Roma Norcott Fund and The Frank and Thora Pearce Fund.

We thank our production partner

Season 2023