An African forest; morning. At the back, a high crag; below and to the left of it, the opening of a cave. A small stream flows along the crag till it merges in a natural basic bordered with rushes and reeds. Two naiads appear for an instant and vanish; a moment later they can be seen bathing in the pool. Royal hunt: Hunting calls resound far off in the depths of the forest. The frightened naiads hide in the reeds. Tyrian huntsman pass, with dogs on leashes. Young Ascanius gallops across the stage on horseback. The sky darkens; it begins to rain. The storm grows....It becomes a tempest, with sheets of rain, hail, lightning, and thunder. Repeated horn calls are heard amid the tumult of the elements. The huntsman scatter in different directions. Finally, Dido and Aeneas appear, she dressed as Diana the huntress, bow in hand and quiver on shoulder, he in semi-military dress. Both are on foot. They enter the cave. Immediately the nymphs of the forest appear, with disheveled hair, on top of the crag, and run back and forth, shouting and gesticulating wildly. In the midst of their yells, one word can from time to time be heard: Italy. The stream swells and becomes a foaming torrent. Several other waterfalls form at different points on the crag and mingle their noise with the noise of the storm. Satyrs and sylvans, with fauns, perform grotesque dances in the darkness. A tree is struck by lightning, shatters, and catches fire. The wreckage of the tree falls on the stage. The satyrs, fauns, and sylvans pick up the flaming branches and dance with them in their hands, then disappear with the nymphs of the forest. The storm passes. The clouds lift.Well, okay, then. I am not expecting to see all of this on the War Memorial stage (please, no horses), but I assume the above is one of the ballet sequences.
Thursday, June 04, 2015
The stage directions for the Royal Hunt & Storm, Act Four, First Tableau, Les Troyens: