Dancers Stephanie Greenwald and Matthew Donnell in Donizetti Variations. Photographer Steve Wilson.
Dancers Stephanie Greenwald and Matthew Donnell in Donizetti Variations. Photographer Steve Wilson.

Choreography: George Balanchine
Music: Gaetano Donizetti

This ballet, originally named “Variations from Don Sebastian,” was created in 1960 for Salute to Italy, a New York City Ballet program celebrating the 100th anniversary of Italy’s unification. It is set to the ballet music from Donizetti’s opera Don Sebastian de Portugal.

Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848), the Italian composer, wrote more than 65 operas, besides sacred and chamber music, working with extreme rapidity for the greatest voices of his time. His works celebrated the beauties of bel canto singing, had great theatrical flair, and displayed ornate melodies and lyrical phrasing.


World Premiere: November 16, 1960, New York City Ballet, New York

Kansas City Ballet Premiere: February 1998


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