Michigan Opera Theatre

Experience the most romantic ballet duets at the Detroit Opera House

Stepfanie Romine
for Michigan Opera Theatre

Dinner and a movie is a classic combination for date night, but on Valentine’s Day, why not give it an even more romantic twist? This year, surprise your sweetheart with tickets to dinner and a live performance — specifically, ballet with “Alessandra Ferri: Art of the Pas de Deux.”

Alessandra Ferri, prima ballerina assoluta and Herman Cornejo, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre.

On Saturday, February 16 (Valentine’s Weekend), Michigan Opera Theatre will present Ferri, considered one of the best dancers in her generation, in a romantic program with ballet stars from American Ballet Theatre, English National Ballet and Boston Ballet, among others.

The performance will include a series of classic and contemporary pas de deux, a dance for two, including works from Swan Lake, La Sylphide and The Dying Swan. Considered to be the pièce de résistance in many ballets, the pas de deux is designed to highlight themes of love, romance and affection. (Read: It’s a ballet program specially curated for date night!).

MOT is also offering a pre-performance dinner, “Ballet with Your Beloved,” a gourmet, multi-course experience featuring small plates in the Detroit Opera House’s intimate Black Box Theatre.

“Being a ballerina is my DNA,” said prima ballerina assoluta Alessandra Ferri.

Ferri holds the title prima ballerina assoluta¸ “absolute first principal ballerina,” a rare honor bestowed to the best in a generation. The honor was first given in the 1800s, yet only 11 women have received the honor since then, by ballet companies and governments. In other words: Ferri is the best of the best, no hyperbole.

“Ballet is not my job, it’s not my life,” Ferri has said. “Being a ballerina is my DNA.”

Born in Milan, Italy, in 1963, Ferri studied at the renowned La Scala Theatre Ballet School in her hometown and at London’s Royal Ballet School. She joined the Royal Ballet in 1980, eventually becoming a principal dancer at only 19 years old. In 1985, she was invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join American Ballet Theatre. She was later deemed a prima ballerina assoluta by La Scala Ballet, where she danced until retiring in 2007, only to return to the stage in 2013.

After decades of performing iconic leading roles with the world’s best dancers and choreographers, Ferri remains enamored of dance, in every cell of her being.

“I haven’t lost touch with the magic of when I dance, so I’m never bored of it,” she said. “I have total openness and courage and can be totally myself on stage.”

Pique your interest with this short video featuring Ferri.

The evening will also feature some of ballet’s leading stars, including:

  • Herman Cornejo, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre since 2003.
  • Jeffrey Cirio, lead principal with English National Ballet.
  • Marcelo Gomes, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre since 2002.
  • Kate Honea, a principal dancer and assistant ballet mistress at The Sarasota Ballet of Florida.
  • Ricardo Graziano, a principal dancer with The Sarasota Ballet and the company’s resident choreographer.
  • Misa Kuranaga, a principal dancer with Boston Ballet since 2009.
  • Oksana Maslova, a Pennsylvania Ballet principal dancer.

If you go:

Alessandra Ferri: Art of the Pas de Deux

When: Saturday, February 16, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.

Single tickets are on sale now, and they can be purchased online, by calling 313-237-7464 or in person at the Detroit Opera House. Complete season information is also available.

Ballet with Your Beloved - Performance Night Dinner: A romantic small plate dining experience before Alessandra Ferri: Art of the Pas de Deux at the Detroit Opera House. Creative cocktail attire is suggested.

The menu

  • Beet and Corn Polenta Cake: layered with spinach and cream cheese, red pepper coulis and smoked salmon rosé.
  • Fresh Jumbo Gulf Shrimp Sautéed to Order: tossed in a white wine, lemon and crab butter sauce. Accented with asparagus tips, crumbled applewood smoked bacon and savory rolls with citrus butter.
  • Chargrilled Filet of Beef Tenderloin with Zip Sauce: with a Yukon gold potato tower accented with Gorgonzola cream.
  • Moroccan Chickpea Cake with Lemongrass and Coconut Reduction: with pea, arugula and mint salad and sliced baguettes.
  • Opera Cakes: layers of sponge cake, coffee buttercream and chocolate ganache topped with chocolate mirror glaze.

When: Saturday, February 16, 2019. The seated dinner starts at 5 p.m., with the performance to follow at 7:30.

Cost: $125 per person (includes complimentary valet parking); seating is limited, so don’t wait to get tickets. Performance tickets are sold separately.

Reserve your tickets online, or R.S.V.P. to Christy Gray at 313-237-5307 or cgray@motopera.org.