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Ballet in three acts by Frederick Ashton
freely adapted from Friedrich de la Motte-Fouqué
Edition: Performance material

Product Details


Palemon, unhappily in love with Beatrice, one day meets the nymph Undine. Her charms attract him and he follows her through the forest and on to the sea. Tirrenio, king of the water, cannot suffer the unhealthy connection between human and water-being and summons tritons and nymphs to separate Palemon and Undine with every magical means. Palemon’s sincerity and unshakeability soothe the spirits, however. A hermit blesses their betrothal in the presence of Tirrenio and his followers. Beatrice and her friends, who have followed Palemon, are led astray by the tritons so that they do not disturb the betrothal ceremony. In a small harbour, Undine and Palemon board a sailing ship. Beatrice approaches. She is in despair because she has lost Palemon to Undine, but the two lovers console her and invite her to follow them on board. Out at sea, Undine conjures up wind and wave: Palemon is terrified by her magical powers. Beatrice uses this moment to win back Palemon. Undine, helpless and in despair has to accept that she has lost her love and returns sadly to her element. Tirrenio, enraged by this break of faith, unleashes a storm which Palemon, Beatrice and the sailors only just manage to survive. On the eve of his marriage to Beatrice, Undine appears to Palemon in a dream. Only the start of the wedding ceremony brings him back to reality. The guests enter; among them is Tirrenio disguised as an envoy of a Mediterranean power and accompanied by a crowd of masked Neapolitans who excite the guests with ever wilder dances. At a sign from Tirrenio, the dancers lower their masks and reveal their true nature: they are spirits and tritons who now drive out the confused and terrified guests. Beatrice tries in vain to draw Palemon along with her; he remains behind alone. Undine emerges from the garden in floods of tears. Palemon kisses her and falls down dead. The sea breaks through into the hall and Undine returns to her realm. 

"The old tale of Knight Huldbrand’s love for a witch or nymph or phantom, a creation called Ondine, provides the thread that runs all the way through this fairytale, conceived in the tradition of the 19th-century narrative ballet. Sumptuous group scenes, and dances of great effect, divertissements and ensembles alternate with solo dances, “Pas de deux” and “Pas de trois” for Palemon, his terrestrial fiancée and the unearthly, fatal protagonist."

Orchestral Cast

2 (2. auch Picc.) · 1 · Engl. Hr. · 1 · Bassklar. · 2 (2. auch Kfg.) - 4 · 3 · 2 · 1 - P. S. (Vibr. · Gl. · Trgl. · hg. Beck. · Beckenpaar · 2 Tamt. · 2 Tomt. · Schellentr. · Mil. Tr. · gr. Tr.) (3 Spieler) - Git. · 2 Hfn. · Cel. (auch Klav.) - Str. -
Hinter der Bühne: Gl.


Tirrenio, König des Wassers - Undine, eine Nymphe, seine Tochter - Palemon, der untreue Ritter - Beatrice, verlobt mit Palemon - Ein Eremit - Ballettkorps: Tritonen, Nymphen, Jäger, Gäste, neapolitanische Masken, Fischer, Seeleute, Volk, Diener

More Information

Ballet in three acts by Frederick Ashton
freely adapted from Friedrich de la Motte-Fouqué
Performance material
Schott Music
Year of composition:
1956 - 1957
110 ′
World Premiere:
October 27, 1958 · London (UK)
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Dame Margot Fonteyn, Undine · Conductor: Hans Werner Henze
Set desing: Lila De Nobili · Choreography: Frederick Ashton · The Royal Ballet
Commissioned work :
Auftragswerk des Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Technical Details

Product number:
LS 2140-01

Preview/Media Contents



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