I love the ballet. And Tschikovsky. So I guess there's really no way that going to see Swan Lake would go badly.
I had never see a real live opera before this. So, I was very excited about Swan Lake. There is nothing like listening to classical music live, especially in the Staatoper. I really am getting quite spoiled here. We get to go to the opera twice a week. Sometimes three times a week. And I love it. The opera house here is so elegant and classy. But anyway, back to Swan Lake.
I got a REALLY good box seat. It was the second row back. But I could still see the entire stage. Which was great, since this was a ballet after all. But my favorite part was being so close that I could hear the slap of the ballet slippers as they hit the stage floor. Ballerinas are so intense! I think it's an underappreciated talent. I know I certainly couldn't dance on my toes like that. So from what I'd been exposed to before of Tschikovsky, his stories are very sad. That was very much so the case with this ballet.
The story is pretty simple. The prince is hunting and finds Odette and her friends who are under a spell, and will remain swans unless Odette can find a man who will swear his love for her. The prince promises to do so. But later, when at a ball where the prince must announce who he will marry, the evil magican shows up with his daughter (who looks like Odette) and tricks the prince into swearing his love for the wrong swan. When the prince realizes what he's done, he rushes to the lake to console Odette. The wizard meets them there, and they all battle it out. The magican starts up a big storm, and when the prince tries swimming out to the lake so he can reach Odette, he drowns. And dies. And the ballet just ends.
It was quite abrupt. And we all walked out a little depressed. It was like watching Eugene Onegin all over again. But I think that's one of the reasons I like operas and ballets so much. They often don't have happy endings. Life doesn't either. Usually the prince drowns. That's what happened to the Babenburgs.
Though the ending was sad, I really enjoyed it. Especially because it was Tschikovsky.