THE LEGENDS OF SYLVIA

Meet the legends of
Greek mythology

From mighty gods and goddesses to brave heroes and fantastical creatures, Sylvia explores the depths of Greek mythology and the characters from our favourite legends.

Zeus swings his lightning bolts, Artemis quarrels with her arrogant twin Apollo, Psyche makes mischief as she grapples with the goddess Aphrodite and her loving son Eros. And Sylvia, a brave nymph, falls in love with a mortal shepherd …

Meet the legends of Sylvia.

 

Banner image: Artists of Houston Ballet. Photography Amitava Sarkar

THE HEROINES

  • Artemis

    Artemis

    Artemis, goddess of the hunt, leads her hunting party with fierce strength and stubborn pride. Her friendship with Orion, who becomes immortalised among the stars as a constellation, brings out her softer side and challenges her strict rules.

  • Sylvia

    Sylvia

    Sylvia is a sword-wielding nymph under the command of the goddess Artemis. She grapples with her position in the hunting party and unwittingly falls in love with a mortal Shepherd, an act strictly forbidden by her leader.

  • Psyche

    Psyche

    Psyche is a young mortal girl who enrages Aphrodite for surpassing her divine beauty. The wrath of a goddess is nothing, however, compared to her own dangerous curiosity, which causes grave trouble with Eros, the god of love.

KEEP AN EYE ON EROS

Eros is an essential character in Sylvia, not only as the lover of Psyche, but as an anchor to tie the three intertwining storylines together. Read our hints on where Eros will pop up in each act below.

ACT I

Eros teases Artemis and Orion, so Artemis shoots an arrow at him. Meanwhile, Apollo tricks Artemis into killing Orion, because he is jealous of their bond, leaving her devastated.

Aphrodite asks Eros to kill Psyche for being more beautiful than her, but instead he falls in love with her. However, when Psyche betrays Eros’ trust, he leaves her.

Eros casts a spell on Sylvia to make her fall in love with the first person she sees. He guides her to look at a nearby Shepherd, beginning their love story.

 

ACT II

In her plan to get Eros back, Psyche opens Prosperina’s box, despite being warned not to do so, and dies. Eros knows that only an Olympian can bring her back to life and begs Sylvia to call on Artemis for help.

When Artemis arrives, she is furious with Sylvia for running away with the Shepherd. Eros then admits to casting a love spell on her and removes it. Sylvia returns to the army, leaving the Shepherd heartbroken. Artemis then brings Psyche back to life.

 

ACT III

At a celebration for Eros and Psyche, Zeus turns Psyche into a Demi-God. Sylvia, realising that she is still in love with the Shepherd, chooses to spend her life with him. Eros transforms the Shepherd into a Demi-God as well. Finally, Zeus allows Artemis to be reunited with Orion in the stars, bringing this epic ballet to a close.

 

Photo credits: Houston Ballet's Karina González / Artists of Houston Ballet / Houston Ballet's Chun Wai Chan and Jessica Collado / Artists of Houston Ballet / Artists of Houston Ballet / Artists of Houston Ballet / Houston Ballet’s Connor Walsh and Karina González / Artists of Houston Ballet. All photography Amitava Sarkar.

See more of Jérôme Kaplan's costume designs

SYLVIA'S STUNNING DESIGNS

EXPLORE

Colour coding

The leading ladies of Sylvia are symbolised on-stage with their own distinct colour, expertly designed by Jérôme Kaplan who uses costumes and lighting to differentiate between characters and story lines.

Artemis is represented on-stage with shades of blue through her striking armour and Orion’s hunting outfit.

Sylvia is symbolised on-stage with the colour white through her own pristine garments and the toga of the Shepherd she falls in love with.

Psyche lights up the stage with pink tones with her flowing dress and floral motifs.

Artists of Houston Ballet / Houston Ballet’s Karina González / Houston Ballet’s Melody Mennite. All photography Amitava Sarkar