Russia Theatre Ballet La Légende de Joseph

La Légende de Joseph

Mikhail Fokine’s mimodrama-ballet La Légende de Joseph opened Sergei Diaghilev’s sixth Saison Russe in Paris in 1914. The Austrian composer Richard Strauss composed the music at the request of Diaghilev and also helped to write the libretto. The ballet premiered at the Théâtre de l’Opéra in 1914. La Légende de Joseph was based on Claude Debussy’s uncompleted ballet La Festin, originally planned by Alexander Benois in 1912. Léon Bakst designed the costumes in 1913 in the style of the Italian Renaissance, while the golden hall of Potiphar’s palace was the work of Spanish artist José-Maria Sert. The fantastic combinations of red, green, orange, lilac and black caught the imagination of the French public; expatriate Russian critic André Levinson recalled: “Paris was drunk with Bakst.”

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