NOTE: Five Empire ballets are described in Cyril Beaumont Complete Book of Ballets -- The Press, Les Papillons, Cinderella, The Débutante and The Dryad, all of which date from the years 1898-1908. The scenarios printed below are representative of an earlier period and have been selected to represent the work of Katti Lanner, Leopold Wenzel and C. Wilhelm. Orfeo, Versailles, Faust and Monte Cristo show the more serious aspect of the Empire ballet; the fifth, Round the Town, is an example of the up-to-date style.
Mythological Ballet Divertissement in two tableaux. Designed by C. Wilhelm. The Ballet invented and produced by Katti Lanner. Music specially composed by Leopold Wenzel. The scenery by Telbin. First performed at the Empire Theatre, London, on May 25, 1891.
|Melita||Bettina de Sortis|
|Pluto||Mr. J. Cazaly|
|The Spirit of Fascination||Adelina Rossi|
A sacred grove before the temple of Hymen. A golden afternoon. On raising the curtain groups of girls are seen, some picking flowers and weaving garlands, whilst others are dancing to the music of lyres, played by the pupils of Orfeo.
Melita enters with a quantity of flowers, which she distributes amongst her friends. The dance is interrupted by Orfeo, who emerges from the Temple, playing on his lyre a hymn which he has composed to the honour of Hymen. His friends and pupils listen in admiration to the divine melody.
Orfeo enquires after Eurydice. The maidens announce her approach. Eurydice enters, Orfeo meets and embraces her, and then presents her to his friends as his bride. Various wayfarers pass by, amongst them Pluto, disguised as a mortal. He pauses on his way and draws near to the group, casting insolent glances of admiration on Eurydice. Orfeo resents this, and interposes to shield his betrothed from Pluto's