The Pharaoh’s Daughter

A real curiosity, Petipa’s first major ballet success as ballet master of the Maryinsky in St. Petersburg in 1862 was based on a story by Theophile Gautier; initially hugely popular it disappeared from the repertoire for 100 years.  It has been reinvented for the Bolshoi Ballet by Pierre Lacotte and will be transmitted live this coming Sunday afternoon at the Phoenix.   It promises to be a splendid piece of 19th century style oriental hokum with sumptuous decor and cheerful music by Cesar Pugni, as well as some spectacular dancing…


Young Englishman Lord Wilson is travelling through Egypt with his servant, John Bull. At the foot of a pyramid they meet a caravan of Arab merchants, who kindly invite them into their tent.

Suddenly a powerful storm breaks. The travellers and merchants are forced to take shelter inside the nearest pyramid. The caretaker asks his uninvited guests to keep quiet, as Aspicia, the daughter of one of Egypt’s most powerful pharaohs, lies in a tomb nearby. Settling down in a corner, the merchants light their opium pipes, and Lord Wilson also asks for a chibouk. He falls asleep and begins to have fantastical dreams.

The pharaoh’s daughter, Aspicia, comes to life and lays her hand over his heart. Lord Wilson is instantly transported into the past, where he becomes Ta-Hor, an ancient Egyptian. Ta-Hor and Aspicia fall in love, but she is betrothed to a Nubian king…

Broadcast live from the Bolshoi Ballet Theatre. Libretto by Jean-Henry Saint-Georges and Maurice Petipa based on a story by Theophile Gautier. New version by Pierre Lacotte. Choreography by Pierre Lacotte. Conducted by Pavel Klinichev.

Sunday 25 November

Duration: 175 minutes

Book online or call the Box Office:
0871 902 5736 (10p a minute from a landline)