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Malcolm Arnold

Publisher: Novello & Co

Solitaire (Ballet) (1956)
Work Notes
Settings of English Dances and Sarabande & Polka. Original choreography by Kenneth MacMillan. First performed at Sadler's Wells, London, in June 1956.
Alfred Lengnick & Co Ltd
Sub Category
Year Composed
26 Minutes
Programme Note
Malcolm Arnold Solitaire (Ballet) (1956)
Solitaire (Ballet)

English Dances; Set II, no.3
English Dances; Set I, no.1
English Dances; Set I, no.2
English Dances; Set I, no.3
English Dances; Set I, no.4
English Dances; Set II, no.2
English Dances; Set II, no.1
English Dances; Set II, no.4
English Dances; Set II, no.3 (reprise)

Solitaire is danced to Malcolm Arnold’s Eight English Dances (1951) and two specially composed sequences, the Sarabande and the popular Polka.

Solitaire is the first Macmillan ballet to enter London City Ballet’s repertoire and received its London City Ballet premiere at Buxton Opera House on 10 April 1996.

  • Ensemble
    London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Bryden Thomson
  • Ensemble
    Munich Symphony Orchestra
    Douglas Bostock
  • Ensemble
    London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Sir Malcolm Arnold
  • Ensemble
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    Bryden Thomson
  • 29 SEP 2013
  • 18 JAN 2009
    Oakland, CA
    Oakland Youth Orchestra
    Bryan Nies, conductor
  • 10 FEB 2007
    Acropol Theatre, Athens, Greece
    SO PE Hellas

    Other Dates:
    11,13-18,20-25 February - Acropol Theatre, Athens, Greece
  • 09 SEP 2006
    Kanihoken Hall, Japan
    Tokyo New Philharmonic Orchestra

    Other Dates:
    10 September - Kanihoken Hall, Japan
  • 05 OCT 2005
    Birmingham Hippodrome
    Birmingham Royal Ballet

    Other Dates:
    6-8 October - Birmingham Hippodrome
    18,19 October - Sunderland Empire Theatre
    25,26 October - Sadler's Wells Theatre
    1,2 November - Plymouth Theatre Royal
    8,9 November - Edinburgh Festival Theatre
  • 05 OCT 2005
    Hippodrome, Birmingham
    Birmingham Royal Ballet / Royal Ballet Sinfonia

    Other Dates:
    6-8,18 October - Empire, Sunderland
    19,25 October - Sadler's Wells, London

MacMillan's Solitaire was created in 1956 for Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, an offshoot of the Royal Ballet which later moved north and became Birmingham Royal Ballet. A champion of narrative ballet, MacMillan knew how to tell a tale without over-egging the pudding. There are no exaggerated facial expressions, no melodrama, just a simple tale of a young girl desperate for company. Malcolm Arnold's beautiful score played by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia was worth the ticket alone.
Kelly Apter, The Scotsman,11/10/2005
Anyone interested in the early years of British ballet will want to see Birmingham Royal Ballet’s “English” mixed bill. Three enduring ballets by three important choreographers showcase the vitality and imagination of an era that defined our national ballet. For the heritage hungry this touring triple bill is tailor made. We start with Solitaire (1956), Kenneth MacMillan’s “kind of game for one”. Malcolm Arnold’s wonderful English Dances encourage the insouciance of MacMillan’s snappy choreographic frolic, and every child who has ever been left out on the playground or had an imaginary friend will be able to identify with its portrait of the young outsider.
Debra Craine, The Times,10/27/2005
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