The nine horses (and nine riders) participating in the grand Horse Ballet that concludes the opera have been meeting over the past few weeks, and it's all starting to take splendid shape! The horses have been learning to be comfortable near each other, and the riders, to watch like a hawk for where their partners and team-mates are in the arena. We've also collected measurements (and spare hats) from everybody, to prepare costumes...and even tried out the first items (much sparkle!).
In early-17th-century operas, scenes are often structured using "ritornelli" (a "little return"), which are short bits of music that are repeated between solos and small ensemble numbers. Our Horse Ballet follows a similar structure, and you will see smaller groups of horses perform short cameo sections, with all the horses joining in to a repeated chorus and of course the grand finale!
Three of the grey horses practising their fancy moves: