Ballet fantastique in one act
Music by Nikolai Krotkov

World Première
23rd November [O.S. 11th November] 1890
Imperial Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg

Original 1890 Cast
The Pink Nenuphar
Carlotta Brianza

The tutor Jodocus and his pupil Franz go off one evening to the marsh to watch a rare water lily – the Pink Nenuphar – opening. The youth is enchanted by the flower. Noticing the uninvited guests, the flowers scatter in fright. In the clumps of reeds, the pink bloom of the Nenuphar becomes the prey of Karl and his companions, students hunting for insects. Franz manages to help the Nenuphar hide. The remaining flowers bewitch the old tutor and the students with their dances. Stupefied by the scent of the blooms, they collapse on the ground. The beautiful Nenuphar warns the enamored Franz that their touching will be the death of him. But in his passion, Franz is unable to loosen his embrace and part from the water lily. Engrossed with it, he disappears into the depths of the water.

Pavel Gerdt as Franz (1890)
Pavel Gerdt as Franz (1890)