The Sacrifices to Cupid

Grand Ballet in one act
Music by Ludwig Minkus

World Première
3rd August [O.S. 22nd July] 1886
Peterhof Palace, Saint Petersburg

Original 1886 Cast
Chloë
Eugenia Sokolova

Imperial Mariinsky Theatre première
7th December [O.S. 25th November] 1886

Plot
A ballet with a pastoral, allegorical plot in the 18th century manner, where the main protagonists are Venus, Cupid, Chloë and numerous shepherdesses.

Olga Preobrazhenskaya as Chloë, Olga Leonova as Venus, Varvara Rykhliakova as Lisa, Zinaida Georgievskaya as Hymen, Nikolai Legat as Hylas and Sophia Repina as Cupid in Ivanov's revival (1893)
Olga Preobrazhenskaya as Chloë, Olga Leonova as Venus, Varvara Rykhliakova as Lisa, Zinaida Georgievskaya as Hymen, Nikolai Legat as Hylas and Sophia Repina as Cupid in Ivanov’s revival (1893)

History
The Sacrifices to Cupid was the final ballet composed by Ludwig Minkus as Ballet Composer of the Imperial Theatres before the post was abolished by Ivan Vsevolozsky in 1886. It is possible that the ballet was a recreation of one of Charles Didelot’s many allegorical ballets based on Greek-Roman mythology, or rather that Didelot’s ballets were what inspired Petipa to create this ballet.

The Sacrifices to Cupid premièred on the 3rd August [O.S. 22nd July] 1886 at Peterhof Palace in Saint Petersburg in honour of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna. The ballet later premièred at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre four months later on the 7th December [O.S. 25th November]. It was in the role of Chloë that Eugenia Sokolova gave her farewell benefit performance after twenty years on the stage.

In 1893, The Sacrifices to Cupid was staged in a revival by Lev Ivanov, which premièred on the 8th October [O.S. 26th September] at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre with Olga Preobrazhenskaya as Chloë.

Olga Preobrazhenskaya as Chloë (1893)
Olga Preobrazhenskaya as Chloe (1893)

 

Sources

  • Letellier, Robert Ignatius (2008) The Ballets of Ludwig MinkusCambridge Scholars Publishing