The Three Musketeers

PBT Company dancers in The Three Musketeers, 2010. Photo by Rich Sofranko.

Choreographer: Andre Prokovsky

Music: Guiseppe Verdi

Costumes and Set Design: Peter Farmer

Lighting: Tony Tucci

World Premiere: Australian Ballet, November 28, 1980

PBT Performance Date: October 2010


Synopsis (from PBT playbill, 2010)

The action takes place in France and England in the year 1625.

Prologue

Cardinal Richelieu, the King's chief minister, seeks to undermine the Queen's influence with the King. Milady, in the Queen's service, is secretly working for the Cardinal. The Queen has fallen in love with the English ambassador, Buckingham, and the Cardinal sees an opportunity to discredit her. D'Artagnan, a young man of good family but no money, travels to Paris, hoping to join the King's Musketeers. The Cardinal's guards, led by Rochefort, mock his poverty. He challenges them, but they attack from behind and leave him lying unconscious.

Act 1

Scene 1 - A Place in Paris

There is constant rivalry between the King's guards (the Musketeers) and Cardinal's regiment. Athos, Porthos, and Aramis are famed Musketeers, inseperable friends and incomparable swordsmen. D'Artagnan, seeking revenge on Rochefort, mistakenly finds himself having to duel with Porthos. Rochefort and his guards arrive and, rather than submit to being arrested for dueling, the three Musketeers decide to fight and escape, particularly when D'Artagnan agrees to join them. The Cardinal's guards are defeated, and the three Musketeers welcome D'Artagnan into their fellowship.

Scene 2 - the Garden of the Louvre

The King gives the Queen a diamond necklace. Buckingham arrives and the Queen sends Constance, her favorite lady-in-waiting, with a note to him. Milady tries to have Constance kidnapped with the incriminating note, but the Musketeers save Constance; the note is safely delivered and D'Artagnan and Constance fall in love.

Scene 3 - The Queen's Apartments

Buckingham arrives secretly at the Queen's apartments. She begs him to leave France so that she will not be compromised and he agrees. She gives him the necklace, her present from the King, as a remembrance. Milady reports this to the Cardinal and is sent to England to find and bring back the necklace in order to discredit the Queen, who will be unable to explain to the King why she gave the necklace to Buckingham. Too late, the Queen realizes her danger, but Constance assures her that the Musketeers will save her honor.

Act II

Scene 1 - Buckingham Palace

Milady discovers Buckingham's hiding place for the necklace. They struggle over it and, although she stabs him, even in death he will not let the necklace out of his grasp. She loosens his hand and manages to steal the necklace before escaping from D'Artagnan and the Musketeers.

Scene 2 - A Tavern on the Road to Paris

At a tavern on the road to Paris, Milady is to deliver the necklace to Rochefort. D'Artagnan, in disguise as Rochefort, tricks her into giving him the necklace.

Scene 3 - The Queen's Apartments

The Queen has to attend a ball and the King, at the Cardinal's suggestion, has asked her to wear the necklace. She and Constance wait, hoping against hope that D'Artagnan will return the necklace in time. D'Artagnan and the three Musketeers have to fight their way through the Cardinal's guards in order to reach her. D'Artagnan manages to elude the guards and return the necklace in time.

Scene 4 - The Ballroom

D'Artagnan is reunited with his beloved Constance.

Finale