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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Jekyll & Hyde


Finnish National Opera and Ballet / Helsinki / Stage

“Man is not truly one,” writes Dr. Jekyll, “but truly two”—good and evil, grace and disgrace. Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published in 1886. By 1887 it had already found its way to the stage, with Richard Mansfield in the dual role of the idealistic doctor and the violent sociopath. Stevenson’s tale of one man’s struggle with his immoral urges is very much the tale of Victorian England’s larger struggle, its attempt to hide (Hyde!) the id from the super-ego. (It was in 1886 that Sigmund Freud set up his practice in Vienna.) The double role of Jekyll/Hyde is an irresistible challenge, and those who’ve played it include Frederic March, Spencer Tracy, Boris Karloff, David Hemmings, John Malkovich, and Russell Crowe. Now we have a new full-length ballet of the tale, choreographed by Val Caniparoli. —L.J.

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Finnish National Opera and Ballet Helsinginkatu 58, PL 176 00251 Helsinki
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