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Daphnis and Chloë did not have a particularly smooth inception, as noted in these introductory notes published when Birmingham Royal Ballet first performed the ballet in 2007:
The piece had a particularly complicated birth, with creative input being offered by Sergei Diaghilev, choreographer Mikhail Fokine, and composer Maurice Ravel. Although all had already established names for themselves, they still had much to prove, and while the three shared an overall unified vision, the keenness of each to bring their own elements resulted in regular conflict.
Even upon the completion of the work, Diaghilev staged it rarely, and often without the choir for whom Ravel had written considerable parts in his score. Ravel and Fokine, however, always thought favourably of the final work, and the choreographer continued to stage the work over the next 20 years. In addition to the ballet performances, Ravel went on to create two popular concert suites from the score, excerpts of which were included in the Royal Ballet Sinfonia’s Evening of Music and Dance at the end of March 2007.
Frederick Ashton’s Daphnis and Chloë, with sets and costumes by John Craxton, opened at the Royal Opera House on 4 April 1951, with Margot Fonteyn as Chloë, Michael Somes as Daphnis, Violetta Elvin as Lykanion and John Field as Dorkon. A new production, with designs by Martyn Bainbridge, opened on 10 November 1994, with Trinidad Sevillano, Stuart Cassidy, Benazir Hussein and Adam Cooper.