We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore. This exciting production is happening way, way over the rainbow on the other side of the world.
The Royal New Zealand Ballet is readying its world premiere of Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia’s fantastical production of The Wizard of Oz based on the story by L. Frank Baum. But the music will not be from those familiar movie songs that we grew up with such as Over the Rainbow, We're Off to See the Wizard, If I Only Had a Brain/Heart/the Nerve. Ventriglia will use works by Francis Poulenc which have been arranged by RNZB’s pianist Michael Pansters. The designs are by Gianluca Falaschi, and boy, are they ever WOW!
From the RNZB press release:
“There’s tutus for the porcelain world, Munchkins in 1930s style bathing suits, bare-chested flying monkeys, butterfly-gowned good witch, exaggerated bustle and black corset for the wicked witch and of course loads of green sequins, red glitter and gingham,” says Francesco Ventriglia.
AD Ventriglia first created this ballet in 2013 for Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence but it never was performed. He has expanded it for the RNZB which will premiere it in Wellington on May 4th followed by an eight city tour through New Zealand.
Look as these stage designs from the RNZB website (click to enlarge):
Hopefully, we’ll get some reports from NZ to share with everyone. It's a shame that some of our big-budget U.S. critics can't seem to get on a plane to go to the other side of the world to see and report on productions like this one and the co-production with Queensland Ballet of Scarlett's A Midsummer Night's Dream.