Donizetti Variations

Choreography by: George Balanchine

Music by: Gaetano Donizetti

The cheerful 26-minute Donizetti Variations sets a series of effervescent dances to music from the opera Don Sebastien, offering choice but technically challenging roles for two bravura dancers and three supporting trios.

This ballet (originally titled Variations from "Don Sebastian") was created for "Salute to Italy," a 1960 New York City Ballet program celebrating the 100th anniversary of Italy’s unification. Balanchine created this cheerful and sunny work to offset the more somber tone of the other ballets on the program, which included La Sonnambula and Monumentum Pro Gesualdo.

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From Don Sebastian (1843)
November 16, 1960, New York City Ballet, City Center of Music and Drama
Original Cast
Melissa Hayden, Jonathan Watts

26 min.
Costumes by
Karinska, Men's Costumes: Esteban Francés, from Panamerica (from 1971, Karinska)
Set by
David Hays
Lighting by
David Hays (from 1971, Ronald Bates)