Inspired by an Oscar Wilde tale in which a nightingale selflessly transforms itself into a rose, Wheeldon blends movement, music, lighting, and scenery into a vibrant and emotional tableau.
Christopher Wheeldon chose a fable by Oscar Wilde as the inspiration for this ballet, which premiered in 2007. The deeply romantic story, one of several fairy tales that Wilde wrote, tells of a nightingale who sacrifices her life to give a despondent student a red rose for his beloved. The score was commissioned from Bright Sheng, who served as New York City Ballet’s Composer in Residence for 2006-2007. Animations created by James Buckhouse provide the rose-garden setting, and also contribute an all-seeing moon who grieves over the nightingale’s sacrifice.