Premiered at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre, January 1898, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Composed by Alexander Glazunov
Choreographed by Marius Petipa
Guests and friends are already gathering for Raymonda’s birthday celebration. Raymonda is a beautiful young noblewoman. She enters picking up that flowers that her friends have strewn for her.
The handsome young knight and suitor, Jean de Brienne, presents Raymonda with a silk scarf as a gift. Later, an unexpected visitor Abderakhman, a Saracen Knight, arrives. He is taken with Raymonda’s beauty and offers her rich presents and a necklace. There is obvious tension between the two men as they both desire Raymonda’s affections.
Soon, the guests depart leaving only Raymonda and her close friends. Raymonda admires her gifts, the scarf from Jean de Brienne and necklace from Abderakhman. Finally, she falls asleep.
In a Dream
Bathed in moonlight, the White Lady, who is thought to be an ancestor of the family and a patron saint, appears to Raymonda, as she is sleeping, and reveals a vision of Jean de Brienne. The two dance until he suddenly disappears and is replaced by a vision of Abderakhman. They too begin to dance.
Exhausted Raymonda tries to stop the dance with Abderakhman to no avail. The White Lady separates them and Raymonda faints. Raymonda awakens with her gifts in hand.
Jean de Brienne and Abderakhman are still vying for the hand of Raymonda. When she chooses Jean de Brienne, Abderakhman challenges Jean de Brienne to a duel. Jean de Brienne wounds Abderakhman. Raymonda and Jean de Brienne are then married to the joy and approval of all.