Pinocchio
Polish National Opera and Ballet

Pinocchio

Weinberg
Streamed on Available until Recorded on

Toymaker Gepetto creates a wooden puppet toy named Pinocchio and wishes on a star that he would be a real boy. A kindly Blue Fairy appears and grants his wish bringing Pinocchio to life. With a long nose which grows longer when he lies, Pinocchio learns that he must prove himself worthy in order to make his father's wish come true. 

Originally conceived by Carlo Collodi, the Pinocchio story has seen adaptations over the eras. Here Polish National Ballet presents a danced version to music by Mieczysław Weinberg, the Polish-born Soviet composer Mieczylaw Weinberg, who has the dubious honour of having suffered the fury of anti-Semitism in both its Nazi and Stalinist variants. Until recently better known for his symphonies, Weinberg’s works for stage, such as Die Passagerin, are increasingly seen in European theatres. Pinocchio is based on Buratino, a reworking of the original tale by Alexei Tolstoy, a distant cousin of the famous writer. Inspired by commedia dell’arte, burattino is Italian for 'marionette' and the name of a character of those improvised comedies. Written between 1954 and 1955, Weinberg’s piece was meant for children, despite including allusions to the oppressive Soviet realities that only grown-ups could infer. The ballet is a vibrant, multicoloured story full of humour, lyricism, and references to popular dances (waltz, tarantella). Choreographer Anna Hop presents original story fit for the modern age, to be enjoyed by children of all ages and all thanks to: Weinberg’s playful music, the beauty of dance, the magic of theatrical imagery, and the touching story about the triumph of vulnerability over violence, the pursuit of freedom and the necessity to sometimes lose one’s way to grow as a person.

CAST

Pinocchio 1
Anastasiia Bilokon
Pinocchio 2
Diogo de Oliveira
Pinocchio 3
Vladimir Yaroshenko
Geppetto
Łukasz Tużnik
Cricket
Marko Juusela
The Fox
Kristóf Szabó
The Cat
Karolina Kiermut
Blue Fairy
Evelina Godunova
Green Fairy
Mai Kageyama
White Fairy
Yuka Ebihara
Red Fairy
Yume Okano
Teacher
Joanna Drabik
Theatre Director
Paweł Koncewoj
Candlewick
Ryota Kitai
The Wolf
Marco Esposito
Little Pigs
Wiktoria Kotlińska
Barbara Derleta
Paulina Magier
Conductor
Yana Shtanhei
The Cuckoo
Eugénie Hecquet
Clocks
Cezary Wąsik
Kasper Górczak
Dancers
Polish National Ballet
Polish National Ballet Junior
Students of Roman Turczynowicz Ballet School
Orchestra
Polish National Opera Orchestra
...
Music
Mieczysław Weinberg
Text
Anna Hop after the novel by Carlo Collodi
Music editing
Anna Hop
Marta Kluczyńska
Director and Choreographer
Anna Hop
Conductor
Marta Kluczyńska
Set, Lighting and Multimedia Designer
Małgorzata Szabłowska
Costumes
Katarzyna Rott
Make-up
Lidia Wajdyk-Szmańda
Film director
Ewa Krasucka
Sound director
Emilian Rymarowicz
...

VIDEOS

Trailer

Sneak peek at Pinocchio

The classic story of the toy turned boy in an acclaimed choreographic version by Anna Hop.

Read lessRead more
Behind the scenes

The costumes of Pinocchio

An interview with the costume designer Katarzyna Rott.

Read lessRead more
Behind the scenes

Who was Weinberg?

An introduction to Weinberg's music by conductor Marta Kluczyńska.

Read lessRead more
Behind the scenes

An introduction to Pinocchio

Director and choreographer Anna Hop introduces the creative journey behind Pinocchio, the challenges of merging the score of Weinberg’s Golden Key with Collodi’s narrative and how this story reflects our journey of becoming human.

Read lessRead more

Story

Act I

In a little town under the starry sky, Geppetto is up late in his little house, working. He shares the cottage with the Cricket, who is woken up by the noises and proceeds to wind up the various toys hanging on the walls of the study. After Geppetto finally goes to sleep, the Blue Fairy, White, Green, Red Fairy turn up at Geppetto’s house with their entourage. Seeing how kind and lonely he is, they give life to the wooden puppet he made with so much love. They tell Pinocchio that he will become a real boy if he is truthful and brave, works to become a better person and learns to sacrifice for others.

A new day is dawning. Pinocchio takes his first clumsy steps, waking Geppetto up. When he realises the disturbance was caused by Pinocchio, he helps the puppet set himself free from his strings. Helped by the Cricket, Geppetto looks after the wooden boy and teaches him about life, but Pinocchio is a wilful student and an unruly child. Finally, Geppetto hands Pinocchio an alphabet book and an apple and sends him off to school.

Pinocchio arrives in a big city, where he meets the Fox and the Cat, a pair of pickpockets who roam the city to rob the passers-by and draw up a plan to sell the wooden boy to a theatre company. Pinocchio notices theatre posters around the city and considers skipping classes but ultimately turns up at school. Pinocchio’s teacher is strict and his classmates sneer at the new pupil. The Fox and the Cat come to cheer Pinocchio up. They shower him with praises and convince to take part in a talent show at the theatre. Tempted by the prospect of fame and popularity, the wooden boy swaps his book for a ticket to the talent show and enters the contest.

The crowd claps and throws coins at him in appreciation of his dance. The theatre director hires Pinocchio and pays the Fox and the Cat for bringing a new star to the company. Pinocchio becomes the audience’s favourite, yet the theatre director takes almost all the money Pinocchio earns for himself and pays his star performer next to nothing. Soon, Pinocchio is exhausted by his workload and suffers an injury. The colourful fairies and their entourage materialise by Pinocchio’s side to treat his injury. Asked if he has traded his book for the talent show ticket, the wooden boy says he did not. As he lies, his nose grows. The Green Fairy explains to Pinocchio that he should have never chosen a short and ephemeral career over knowledge, while the Blue Fairy helps him out of his predicament.

On his way back home, Pinocchio meets the Fox and the Cat, who convince him to follow them to the Field of Miracles, where he buries the few coins he earned at the theatre to grow a tree that produces money instead of fruit.

Act II

Pinocchio wakes up in the Field of Miracles. He sees butterflies made of banknotes, money-producing trees, and Geppetto gathering in the produce. The Cricket is on a desert island together with the Three Pigs. Pinocchio is handed an acting award. The vision is interrupted by Candlewick. It was just a beautiful dream. The Field of Miracles is empty. The Fox and the Cat sneak away with a bag full of spoils. Shattered, Pinocchio heads to the Funfair together with Candlewick and his donkey friends. While the group indulges in wild merrymaking, Pinocchio and Candlewick turn into donkeys. The Cricket finds his friend at the Funfair and tries to talk sense into him. Aiming at a target, Pinocchio unintentionally shoots the Cricket.

A procession of White Rabbits takes the Cricket away. Devastated, Pinocchio stays behind alone. He makes a wish and blows a dandelion. The seeds whirl in the air and turn into the fairies and their entourage. The fairies help the wooden boy get rid of his donkey ears and tail but cannot heal his guilty conscience. Pinocchio recognises his mistake. The White Fairy tells Pinocchio that everyone deserves a second chance and he should try and forgive himself.

Pinocchio returns home to find it empty. The boy finds a letter in which Geppetto explains that he went to look for his missing son. While crossing a sea, he was caught up in a storm and swallowed by a whale. Pinocchio cries floods of tears and is washed into the sea, where he meets different sea creatures and is reunited with the Cricket, before they are both swallowed by a ginormous whale. Inside the whale’s stomach, Pinocchio and the Cricket spot a light glimmering in the distance: it is Geppetto! Their joy does not last long. Geppetto is gravely ill. To escape the whale’s belly , Pinocchio makes a campfire. Irritated by the fire and smoke, the huge creature sneezes and blows Pinocchio, Geppetto, and the Cricket out.

Back at home, Pinocchio and the Cricket look after the ailing Geppetto. Despite their best efforts, the man passes away. The fairies appear at the cottage together with the procession of White Rabbits. Pinocchio begs the Blue Fairy to revive Geppetto instead of turning him into a real boy. The fairy accepts Pinocchio’s sacrifice and brings his father back to life. Pinocchio has learnt the real value of things in life. As a reward, the Blue Fairy turns him into a human being. To celebrate, Pinocchio hosts a party for everyone he met during his journey.