Mr. Worldly Wise

Mr. Worldly Wise
World premiere date
Premiere location place
London, United Kingdom
Commissioner
Principals

Mister Worldy-Wise.......Irek Mukhamedov
Mistress Truth-on-Toe....Darcey Bussell
Master Bring-the-Bag.....Tetsuya Kumakawa

Chorus

Christina McDermott, Sarah Wildor, Zenaida Yanowsky

Peter Abegglen, Liu Shi Ning, Michael Nunn

Ensemble

Natalie Bowhill, Chloe Davies, Michelle Davis, Mara Galeazzi, Natalie McCann, Laura Morera, Nicole Ransley, Gillian Revie, Rachael Whitbread

Ricardo Cervera, Matthew Dibble, Hubert Essakow, Bennet Gartside, Jonathan Howells, Alastair Marriott, Iñaki Urlezaga, Thomas Whitehead

Total number of dancers
30
Runtime
01:27:32
Other program information

Conductor: Paul Murphy
Piano: Philip Gammon
Singers: Rodney Gibson, Patricia Cameron, Susan Felver, Andrea Hazell, Sian Meiner, Allison Rayner, Catherine Richardson, Donaldson Bell, Jonathan Coad, Neil Griffiths, Edward Parry, Philip Slane
Violin: John Brown, Yasuo Ichinose
Cello: George Ives
Bass: John Bakewell

Mr. Worldly Wise was commissioned by Sir Anthony Dowell, artistic director of London’s Royal Ballet. The work featured company stars Irek Mukhamedov, Tetsuya Kumakawa and Darcey Bussell in the principal roles. The soloists and ensemble completed a world-class cast. Sets and costumes designed and executed by David Roger, create a surreal environment for Tharp’s first three-act ballet.

The plot combines biographical details from the life of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini and the allegory "Pilgrim’s Progress." The ballet’s title character, danced by Mukhamedov, is ill-tempered, burdened by pride and the heavy expectations that come with success. He lugs a bag behind him - a representation of his spiritual burden. When the bag is opened, Kumakawa emerges from it, Mukhamedov’s protégé.

Bussell enters and leads the two men into a dream, filled with a host of fanciful characters. When Mukhamedov emerges from the vision, he is transformed – humbled, gentrified and at peace.

  • image
    Wildor and Abegglen perform in Act III. © Bill Cooper
  • image
    Members of the Royal Ballet in Act III. © Bill Cooper
  • image
    Bull and Benjamin in Act II. © Bill Cooper
  • image
    Bussell performs in Act II. © Bill Cooper
  • image
    Mukhamedov in Act I. ©Leslie E. Spatt
  • image
    Ensemble dancers in Act I. ©Bill Cooper
  • image
    Members of the Royal Ballet in Act I. ©Bill Cooper
Video Description

Royal Ballet dancers in dress rehearsal.

Full music program

ACT I

Kyrie, Petite Messe solennelle (1863)        
Overture, Bianca e Faliero, ossia Il consiglio dei tre (1819)
Overture, Eduardo e Cristina (1819)          
Duetto buffo di due gatti (wrongly attributed to Rossini)
La Foi, Trois choeurs religieux (1844)          
Overture (part), Guillaume Tell (1829)

ACT II

Prelude fugasse, Album de chaumiere          
Prelude semipastorale, Album de chateau
Tanrantelle pur sang (avec Traversee de la procession) , Album de chateau
Sicilienne, Quelques Riens pour album          
Les Raisins, Quatre Mendiants
Specimen de mon temps, Album de chateau

ACT III

La passeggiata, Album italiano          
Moderato, Menuetto from Sonata no.3, Sonate a quattro (c1804)
Prelude inoffensif, Album de chaumiere         
L’ultimo ricordo, Album italiano
Overture, Ermione (1819)

EPILOGUE

Kyrie, Petite Messe solennelle (1863)

 

Mr. Worldly Wise | The Royal Ballet
Covent Garden
London, United Kingdom
Mr. Worldly Wise | The Royal Ballet
Sadler's Wells
London, United Kingdom
Mr. Worldly Wise | The Royal Ballet
Covent Garden
London, United Kingdom
Mr. Worldly Wise | The Royal Ballet
Covent Garden
London, United Kingdom
Mr. Worldly Wise (premiere) | The Royal Ballet
Covent Garden
London, United Kingdom