November 20 – 24, 2024


November 20 – 24, 2024


A haunting world of love, deceit and forgiveness awaits with Giselle, one of classical ballet’s most breathtaking works. This quintessential Romantic ballet achieves heights of emotion and psychological drama befitting its status as “the ballerina’s Hamlet” and gives full expression to the redemptive power of love. The National Ballet of Canada performs Sir Peter Wright’s celebrated staging, which distills every note of Adolphe Adam’s score into exquisite movement and emotion.

Giselle Trailer

The Story

Giselle is a young country girl courted by two suitors: Hilarion, a local man, and Albrecht, a nobleman disguised as a villager. Giselle is enamoured with Albrecht, unaware that he is already engaged to be wed. When Hilarion reveals Albrecht’s identity, Giselle is grief-stricken and takes her own life. She is then summoned from the grave by the Wilis, the spirits of betrayed women who seek revenge on men by dancing them to death. But the purity of Giselle’s love saves the remorseful Albrecht from this fate.

Read Full Synopsis

Fast Facts
Watch and Explore Giselle View Gallery
The Choreographer

Sir Peter Wright was a dancer, choreographer and Artistic Director and his interpretations of legacy ballets such as The Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Giselle and The Nutcracker are in the repertoires of top companies around the world. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1985 and awarded a knighthood in 1993.

The Score

French composer Adolphe Adam created the score for Giselle in 1841. Working in the Romantic tradition, the music is moody and melodic with distinct themes or leitmotifs that tell the story. Act I is light and endearing in its evocation of first love. Act II provides a contrast with the melancholy and drama of loss.


“★★★★/4 Dazzling” – Toronto Star

“The National Ballet of Canada’s Giselle is a timeless masterpiece, worthy of returning to again and again. It is pure classical dancing at its finest.” – National Post

“The National Ballet’s Giselle is an absolute triumph… with remarkable dancing and acting that brought the classic Romantic era ballet to life.” – Ludwig Van Toronto

“An iconic touchstone for any classical company” – Dance View Times


Casting will be announced on our eNewsletter, Ballet News, and on social media and will be posted here approximately two weeks prior to the opening. Please note, casting is always subject to change.


Choreography and Production:
Sir Peter Wright after the choreography of Jean Coralli and Marius Petipa (Based on the book by Vernoy de Saint-Georges,Gautier and Coralli)

Adolphe Adam, arranged by Joseph Horovitz

Set and Costume Design:
Desmond Heeley

Lighting Design:
Gil Wechsler

Premiere: Paris Opéra Ballet, Paris, France, June 28, 1841 

The National Ballet of Canada Premiere: O’Keefe Centre (now Meridian Hall), Toronto, April 16, 1970 

Giselle was produced as a memorial to the late William P. Walker and was made possible through the courtesy of many generous friends of the National Ballet.

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