Ondine, the heart-rending tale of doomed romance between a beautiful water nymph and a handsome nobleman.

Dreda Blow, Javier Torres & Hannah Bateman in Ondine. Photo Martin Bell.

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As a child, water sprite Ondine is rescued from the shore and raised as a daughter by the fisherman who saved her. Regardless of her mortal upbringing she maintains the mysterious allure and eternal youthfulness of her species.

Years later when nobleman Brand stumbles upon Ondine he is mesmerised by her, and she by him. Despite his betrothal to the mortal Beatrice his attraction to Ondine is too strong to resist. When forced to choose between them he marries the breathtakingly ethereal nymph and swears his eternal loyalty to her.

Through their union Ondine develops a soul and is transformed from sprite to woman, opening her heart to the joy and pain of human emotion. Nevertheless, in time Brand grows fearful of the alien and otherworldly creature he has married and finds himself again drawn to Beatrice.  However, he knows that should he break the bond between mortal and water sprite, nature decrees that a watery grave will seek him out.

Featuring the original music by Hans Werner Henze, book now for Northern Ballet’s only performances of this beautifully tragic adult fairytale about love and broken promises.



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Running time 2 hours 35 minutes


  • Choreography David Nixon OBE
  • Set & costume Design Jerome Kaplan
  • Lighting Olivier Oudiou
  • Video creative Tanguy Alanou
  • Music Hans Werner Henze
    • by arrangement with Schott Music Ltd