Mayerling is a ballet created in 1978 by Kenneth MacMillan for the Royal Ballet, London.

In Wiener Staatsballet Mayerling was produced in 2009/10.

In June 2010 danced:

Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria – Gregor Hatala.

His wife, Princess Stéphanie of Belgium – Natalie Kusch.




Mayerling was first produced for the Royal Ballet in 1978, by the British choreographer Sir Kenneth Macmillan, with a scenario written by Gillian Freeman, scenery and costume designs by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting design by David Hersey. Music for the ballet was composed by Franz Liszt, and was compiled from existing works arranged and orchestrated by John Lanchbery who also conducted the orchestra during the ballet's first season. The ballet was dedicated to the Royal Ballet's founder choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton, and premiered at the Royal Opera House, London, on 14th February 1978. The Royal Opera House collections have archive information from twelve performances of this ballet, including the premiere and subsequent revivals.

mayeringIn 1886 Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, only son of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and Empress Elisabeth of Bavaria and heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, acquired the manor and transformed it into a hunting lodge. It was in this hunting lodge that, on January 30, 1889, he was found dead with his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera, apparently as a result of suicide. Exactly what happened is clouded in mystery.

After the deaths of Prince Rudolf and Baroness Vetsera, the Emperor Franz Joseph, who wanted to found a new church, had the building turned into a convent which was settled by nuns of the Discalced Carmelite Order. Visitors should view the statue of the Madonna in the Lady Chapel of the church. It has the face of the Empress Elisabeth and has a dagger in the Immaculate Heart. The position of the main cross in the chapel is supposed to be where the bed of Rudolf and his lover Mary Vetsera was situated.

Today the lodge is a museum and tourist attraction in Austria. Prayers are still said daily by the nuns for the repose of the soul of Crown Prince Rudolf.

Synopsis of the ballet:

Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria is forced into a marriage of state with Princess Stéphanie of Belgium; Countess Marie Larisch von Moennich, the mistress of whom he is tiring, introduces him to the very young — but hardly inexperienced — Baroness Mary Vetsera, who becomes his next mistress; they make a suicide pact. The Emperor, Franz Joseph, has a mistress, Katharina Schratt, whom the Empress Elisabeth officially acknowledges, giving her the post of "reader" — and giving a portrait of Schratt to the Emperor as an anniversary present; only his mother, the Archduchess Sophie objects. The Empress, known as "Sisi" since childhood (or "Sissi" as it is Anglicised), has a lover, the British Colonel "Bay" Middleton; only her son, Prince Rudolf, objects. Rudolf in turn has a former mistress, Larisch; a new mistress, Vetsera; and a "regular" mistress, that is to say, a commoner, Mitzi Caspar, variously described as an actress and as a high class prostitute; to all of whom the Emperor objects. Mitzi is a police informer and conducting an affair at the same time with the chief of police — which leaves Bratfisch, Rudolf's loyal private cab driver and a popular entertainer – apparently at a "notorious tavern". The ballet is framed with scenes of the Baroness Vetsera's uncles bearing her corpse to her final resting place, Heiligenkreuz Abbey.





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