Fun Facts About American Ballet Theatre’s New Production of The Sleeping Beauty

  • Detroit is one of only a handful of worldwide cities to host this production. Other stops have included Costa Mesa, California – New York City – Washington D.C. La Scala performed the same production in Milan, Italy and Paris, France.
  • The presentation of The Sleeping Beauty at The Detroit Opera House is a co-production of Ann Arbor’s University Musical Society and the Detroit based Michigan Opera Theatre.
  • The Sleeping Beauty premiere celebrated the 75th anniversary of American Ballet Theatre.
  • This elaborate $6 million production features approximately 160 dancing roles, and between 45-50 each of adult supernumeraries and children.
  • The sumptuous Tchaikovsky score will be performed by the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra.
  • Richard Hudson, best known for his spectacular designs for Broadway’s “The Lion King”, designed the 400 sumptuous costumes in The Sleeping Beauty.
  • Fabrics for the costumes were sourced in New York’s garment district and Indian fabric stores.
  • Most of the costumes were produced in New York City, the dance boots crafted in Portland, Oregon and the hats created in Rome, Italy.
  • There are 300 pairs of custom shoes made for this production of The Sleeping Beauty.
  • The costumes feature extraordinary contrasts of color. Vibrant reds are side by side with brilliant shades of orange and contrasting patterns that are layered one upon the other.
  • Detailed decorative elements of the costumes include: wide cuffs, sashes, tassels, braiding, appliques and thousands of buttons!
  • Additionally, there are wide skirts, floppy wide brimmed hats, voluminous sleeves, and trains so long that they have to be carried by tiny pages. It took 10 yards of gold brocade to create the train of the Queen’s Act III gown.
  • There are 210 different wigs in this production…three times as many in a typical American Ballet Theatre production.
  • Selected props and scenery were constructed at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy, which commissioned The Sleeping Beauty with American Ballet Theatre.
  • The elaborate scenic drop curtains in the production denote fanciful Neoclassical interiors, airy rotundas, a formal garden, and an autumnal mountain vista. The drops were constructed in workshops in Milan, Turin and Venice, Italy.