Barenboim is unexpectedly ‘charmed’ by Jacqueline du Pré ballet

Barenboim is unexpectedly ‘charmed’ by Jacqueline du Pré ballet


norman lebrecht

February 17, 2020

The Cellist, a ballet on the life of Jacqueline Du Pré, opens tonight at the Royal Opera House.

In the past, Du Pré’s husband Daniel Barenboim was outraged by prurient intrusions into their life together.

But, according to the choreographer Cathy Marston ‘he was both charming and charmed by the idea’.

She tells the FT: ‘When I first had the idea I met Daniel Barenboim to ask his advice, and to find out whether it was something that he wanted…. He was both charming and charmed by the idea.’

Marston focuses on Jackie’s relatinship with the cello, rather than with other people. ‘I didn’t want to make judgments about the decisions that Daniel made, because I can understand everyone’s perspective on that. And what a difficult position he was in at the time. No, that’s a different ballet, a different story…’

Read on here.



  • Charles says:

    Until it is seen, who knows what it will be like. But the idea does make me queasy, especially as MS ended up limiting her movement and ability to express herself. And there are plenty of ballets who have used real people’s lives and turned out to be disasters, such as the Princess Diana ballet in recent times.

    Also, will it involve ballerinas pretending to play the cello in a pas de deux?

  • Gustavo says:

    Prince Charming

    Ridicule is nothing to be scared of.

  • Mike Gibb says:

    Meanwhile in Toronto, Tapestry Opera’s Jacqueline receives its world premiere on Wednesday:
    Jacqueline dives into the real-life struggle between celebrity virtuosic cellist Jacqueline du Pré and the multiple sclerosis that ravaged her body, mind, and talent, robbing her of her identity, her breathtaking musical gift, and her life.
    This intimate piece for soprano and cello brings two contemporary virtuosi to the stage: celebrated American soprano Marnie Breckenridge as Jacqueline, and renowned cellist (and former du Pré protégé) Matt Haimovitz playing du Pré’s only constant companion, her cello.