The Winter's Tale

November 10—19, 2017

The Winter's Tale

November 10—19, 2017

About the Ballet

Shakespeare’s fascinating late work The Winter’s Tale has always defied classification. With elements of tragedy, comedy and romance mingling and running up against one another in an often-complicated story of jealousy, love, vindictiveness and redemption, audiences have never been quite sure how to define this moving, mysterious and ultimately tender creation. A “problem” play it may be, but most people are content to simply accept and cherish it for what it is—a great human drama.

Christopher Wheeldon, in his ballet version of the play, shies away from neither the story’s thematic complexities nor the radical and often conflicting shifts in tone that make it the bold and unique work that it is. Working again with designer Bob Crowley and composer Joby Talbot, the same key creative team who gave us the unforgettable Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Mr. Wheeldon embraces the full range of the play’s emotional life, lavishing some of his most inventive and exuberant choreography to date on the rich and captivating characters that populate Shakespeare’s beguiling narrative.

A ballet alert in every scene to the ambiguities and contradictions that both shape and confound our lives, The Winter’s Tale is a profound and searching drama of love and redemption and the spring that lies beneath even the darkest of days.

“★★★★/4 An operatically epic Shakespearean ballet… a spectacular work that will stand the test of time… packed with inventive steps and spectacular scenic effects” Toronto Star

The Winter's Tale Trailer

The Winter's Tale in 100 Seconds by Christopher Wheeldon

Who's Who in The Winter's Tale: Leontes

Who's Who in The Winter's Tale: Hermione

Who's Who in The Winter's Tale: Paulina

Stagecraft Magic: The Winter's Tale Tree

The Winters Tale View Gallery


“With brutal choreography and dramatic intelligence, Christopher Wheeldon has turned Shakespeare’s problem play into a mind-snagging ballet.” —The New Yorker

“It takes us on a great arc of emotion and experience, capturing the play’s themes of death and regeneration, hostility and reconciliation... nothing in Mr. Wheeldon’s [The Winter’s Tale] is unworthy of the great original.” —The New York Times

“Fantastic production” —New York Magazine

“Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale is that rare accomplishment: a brand new story ballet that speaks to today’s audience.” —Dance Magazine

Running Time

  • Act I 50m
  • Intermission 25m
  • Act II 35m
  • Intermission 20m
  • Act III 25m
  • Total (approx) 2h 35m


Leontes, King of Sicilia
Piotr Stanczyk (Nov 10, 15, 18 mat)
Evan McKie (Nov 11, 16 mat, 17)
Guillaume Côté (Nov 12, 18 eve)
Harrison James* (Nov 16 eve, 19)

Hermione, Queen of Sicilia
Hannah Fischer (Nov 10, 15, 18 mat)
Jurgita Dronina (Nov 11, 16 mat, 17)
Heather Ogden (Nov 12, 18 eve)
Sonia Rodriguez (Nov 16 eve, 19)

Perdita, Princess of Sicilia
Jillian Vanstone (Nov 10, 11, 15, 18 mat)
Rui Huang (Nov 12, 16 mat, 17, 18 eve)
Tina Pereira (Nov 16 eve, 19)

Paulina, Head of Queen Hermione’s Household
Xiao Nan Yu (Nov 10, 15, 18 mat)
Svetlana Lunkina (Nov 11, 16 mat, 17)
Greta Hodgkinson* (Nov 12, 18 eve)
Tanya Howard (Nov 16 eve, 19)

Polixenes, King of Bohemia
Harrison James (Nov 10, 15, 18 mat)
Brendan Saye (11, 12, 16 mat, 17, 18 eve)
Félix Paquet (16 eve, 19)

Florizel, Prince of Bohemia
Naoya Ebe (Nov 10, 15, 18 mat)
Francesco Gabriele Frola (Nov 11, 16 mat, 17)
Skylar Campbell (Nov 12, 18 eve)
Dylan Tedaldi (Nov 16 eve, 19)

All casting subject to change.


Christopher Wheeldon

Staged by:
Jacquelin Barrett

Christopher Wheeldon and Joby Talbot

Joby Talbot

Bob Crowley

Lighting Design:
Natasha Katz

Projection Design:
Daniel Brodie

Silk Effects Design:
Basil Twist

Lead philanthropic support for The Winter's Tale is provided by The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Richard M. Ivey, C.C., an anonymous friend of the National Ballet and The Producers' Circle.

The Producers’ Circle: Gail & Mark  Appel, John & Claudine Bailey, Inger Bartlett & Marshal Stearns, David W. Binet, Susanne Boyce & Brendan Mullen, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin & Roger Garland, The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation, Rosamond Ivey, Hal Jackman Foundation, Anna McCowan-Johnson & Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Judy Korthals & Peter Irwin, Judith & Robert Lawrie, Mona & Harvey Levenstein, Jerry & Joan Lozinski, The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., Julie Medland, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Lynda & Jonas Prince, Susan Scace & Arthur Scace, C.M., Q.C., Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan, Sandra Simpson and Noreen Taylor, C.M. & David Staines, C.M., O.Ont.

Running Time

  • Act I 50m
  • Intermission 25m
  • Act II 35m
  • Intermission 20m
  • Act III 25m
  • Total (approx) 2h 35m

The Winter's Tale Trailer

Ballet Talks

The National Ballet invites you to attend the Ballet Talk 45 minutes before every show in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Enhance your experience and learn more about our productions from Lindsay Fischer, Artistic Director, YOU dance/Principal Ballet Master.

Email Newsletter

Be the first to know when casting is announced by signing up for Ballet News.

Sign Up Today