News

Principal Dancer Xiao Nan Yu Bids Farewell in The Merry Widow

June 3, 2019

Principal Casting Announced

Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced the principal casting for The Merry Widow which concludes the 2018/19 season June 19 – 23, 2019 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Principal Dancer Xiao Nan Yu will retire from the stage at the end of the season performing the title role of Hanna Galwari. #TheMerryWidowNBC

One of the company’s most acclaimed artists, Ms. Yu bids farewell after 22 years with the National Ballet. Renowned for luminous performances in such classical and contemporary works as Onegin, The Winter’s Tale, Swan Lake, Giselle, Serenade and The Four Temperaments, Ms. Yu will dance on opening night June 19 with her final performance taking place on June 22 at 7:30 pm, where she will be honoured by the entire company.

Xiao Nan Yu’s Biography >

Performing with Ms. Yu on opening night will be Principal Dancers Guillaume Côté as Count Danilo Danilowitch, Jillian Vanstone as Valencienne and Naoya Ebe who makes his debut as Camille de Rosillon.

Making her debut this season as Hanna Glawari is Principal Dancer Sonia Rodriguez. Returning to the title role are Principal Dancers Greta Hodgkinson and Heather Ogden. Principal Dancers Evan McKie, Harrison James and Piotr Stanczyk make their debuts as Count Danilo Danilowitch. First Soloists Chelsy Meiss and Tina Pereira and Second Soloist Miyoko Koyasu will debut as Valencienne. Making their debuts as Camille de Rosillon are Principal Dancer Skylar Campbell, First Soloist Jack Bertinshaw and Second Soloist Félix Paquet.

The 2018/19 season marks the 20th anniversary of Principal Dancer Piotr Stanczyk with the National Ballet and will be celebrated at the performance on June 20 in which Mr. Stanczyk will perform the role of Count Danilo Danilowitch.

Piotr Stanczyk’s Biography >

Based on Franz Lehár’s 1905 operetta of the same name, The Merry Widow is choreographed by Ronald Hynd and evokes Paris at the turn of the 19th century. Popular ballet at its finest, the work features sets and costumes designed by Desmond Heeley and lighting by Michael J. Whitfield.

Principal Casting:
Hanna Glawari  
Xiao Nan Yu (June 19, 22 at 7:30 pm)
Heather Ogden (June 20, 22 at 2:00 pm)
Sonia Rodriguez* (June 20 at 7:30 pm)
Greta Hodgkinson (June 21 at 7:30 pm/June 23 at 2:00 pm)

Count Danilo Danilowitch  
Guillaume Côté (June 19, 22 at 7:30 pm)
Harrison James* (June 20, 22 at 2:00 pm)
Piotr Stanczyk* (June 20 at 7:30 pm)
Evan McKie* (June 21 at 7:30 pm/June 23 at 2:00 pm)
 
Valencienne 
Jillian Vanstone (June 19, 22 at 7:30 pm)
Miyoko Koyasu* (June 20, 22 at 2:00 pm)
Tina Pereira* (June 20 at 7:30 pm)
Chelsy Meiss* (June 21 at 7:30 pm/June 23 at 2:00 pm)

Camille de Rosillon
Naoya Ebe* (June 19, 22 at 7:30 pm)
Jack Bertinshaw* (June 20, 22 at 2:00 pm)
Skylar Campbell* (June 20 at 7:30 pm)
Félix Paquet* (June 21 at 7:30 pm/June 23 at 2:00 pm)

* Debut        

All casting subject to change.

More information about The Merry Widow >


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The Merry Widow entered the repertoire through the generosity of The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada, joined by the Rotary Club of Toronto.

Skylar Campbell is sponsored through Dancers First by Tricia Younger.

Guillaume Côté is sponsored through Dancers First by Emmanuelle Gattuso, C.M. and Allan Slaight, C.M.

Naoya Ebe is sponsored through Dancers First by Gretchen Ross.

Harrison James is sponsored through Dancers First by Lucy White.

Heather Ogden is sponsored through Dancers First by Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin.

Jillian Vanstone is sponsored through Dancers First by George & Kathy Dembroski.

Chelsy Meiss is sponsored through Dancers First by Diana St. B. Weatherall.

Tina Pereira is sponsored through Dancers First by The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C.

Félix Paquet is sponsored through Dancers First by Stephen Delaney & Robyn McCallum.

The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the City of Toronto through the Economic Development & Culture Department; the Government of Canada – Department of Canadian Heritage, through the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism; and the Government of Ontario through The Honourable Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Contact Information

media@national.ballet.ca