HCA NEWS "The Little Mermaid" at the Copenhagen Opera House

Friday 15 April marks the world premiere of a new full-length Hans Christian Andersen ballet: "The Little Mermaid". The celebrated American-born choreographer and artistic director of the Hamburg Ballet, John Neumeier, has created an entirely new and spectacular rendition of the fairytale.

By awk - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 12 April 2005

John Neumeier was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, but moved to Europe where he received his ballet training in Copenhagen and at the Royal Ballet School in London. He holds a BA in English Literature and Drama from the Marquette University of Wisconsin and has been artistic director of the Hamburg Ballet since 1973. John Neumeier has adapted several of Shakespeare's dramas to the ballet and has also masterminded new renditions of "The Nutcracker" and Homer's "Ulysses", the latter will premiere at the Royal Danish Theatre in the autumn.

Photo: Henrik Stenberg | Copyright © The Royal Danish Theatre
Mogens Boesen, Marie-Pierre Greve, Kevin Haigen and John Neumeier.

This time, John Neumeier has taken on Andersen's famous fairytale about the Little Mermaid who in her yearning for the love of her Prince and her souls immortality suffers the pain of becoming a human. According to John Neumeier, the fairytale is not only a sweeping love story but also a tale of Andersen's life.

"I know of no other story that is so charged with love. The mermaid sacrifices her essence, her whole world, and that is the greatest sacrifice of all. I believe "The Little Mermaid" is very autobiographical. Hans Christian Andersen felt that he came from another world, and that he did not belong to this world - was not the object of love in this world".

"The Little Mermaid" was first published on 7 April 1837 as the third booklet of "Fairytales Told for Children". The fairytale is entirely the work of Andersen but is rooted in the folktale of "Agnete and the Merman".

The Neumeier's ballet "The Little Mermaid" will be performed at the Copenhagen Opera House and will feature original score by the Russian/American pianist and composer Lera Auerbach. Auerbach has formerly worked with John Neumeier on the ballet "Préludes CV", which held its world premiere in Hamburg in June 2003.

Choreograph: John Neumeier
Music: Lera Auerbach
Set and Costume design: John Neumeier
Stage director: John Neumeier
Conductor: Graham Bond  
Mermaid: Marie-Pierre Grev / Susanne Grinder / Yao Wei, Prince Edward: Kenneth Greve / Mads Blangstrup / Kristoffer Sakurai, Merman: Jean-Lucien Massot / Morten Eggert


15 April (Friday) -
16 April (Saturday) - 
18 April (Monday) -
20 April (Wednesday) -
23 April (Saturday) -
27 April (Wednesday) -
28 April (Thursday) -
6 May (Friday) -

Tickets are available from BilletNet
Price: DKK 75 - 550 + fee

The Copenhagen Opera House
1438 Copenhagen K

The Little Mermaid has been created with sponsorship by the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.