Tag Archive: Leonce & Lena

A Big Yawn

“Leonce & Lena”
Stuttgart Ballet
Stuttgart State Opera
Stuttgart, Germany
October 11, 2014

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2014 by Ilona Landgraf

1. D.Camargo and E.Badenes, "Leonce and Lena" by C.Spuck, Stuttgart Ballet Stuttgart Ballet opened its season with a revival of the comedy “Leonce & Lena”, a ballet that Stuttgart’s former resident choreographer Christian Spuck originally created for the Aalto Ballet Essen in 2008. The piece is based on a short, eponymous comedy written by the German author George Büchner in 1836. It’s about the goofy King Peter of the Kingdom Popo aiming to marry his son Leonce, heir to the throne, to Princess Lena of the Kingdom Pipi. “Popo” and “Pipi” are German children’s language and mean “Buttock” and “Urine”. Leonce, being absolutely uninterested in reigning affairs, is unwilling to marry the unknown bride. Stricken by overwhelming boredom he buries his love for his mistress Rosetta, who departs sadly. On the brink of his bride’s arrival, Leonce absconds with his friend Valerio towards beautiful Italy. After half a day’s walk through “a dozen Principalities, half a dozen Grand Duchies and several Kingdoms” they rest at an inn. Princess Lena, for her part, likewise deeply disinclined to the marriage, runs up and away with her governess. As chance would have it, they also turn up at the inn. There, Leonce and Lena naturally fall in love not knowing each other’s real identity. Disguised as automatons the couple returns to King Peter’s court. Monarch Peter, despite lacking his son, is determined to strictly adhere to the original planned wedding. He marries the two automatons as a substitute. Finally Leonce and Lena reveal themselves and become aware of whom they got married to. Deceit, coincidence or providence? Meanwhile Valerio envisions paradise-like conditions in Popo and, above all, a lazy life in the future. (more…)