A new full-length ballet based on Oscar Wilde’s story The Happy Prince, choreographed by Graeme Murphy and designed by Kim Carpenter, was to have been one of the centrepieces of The Australian Ballet’s 2019 season. However, Murphy has had to withdraw from creating the work due to a medical issue, The Australian Ballet announced today.

The Happy Prince, Graeme MurphyThe Happy Prince. Photo © Justin Ridler

Telling the touching tale of a golden statue of a prince, who is moved by the suffering he sees in the city, and a swallow who helps him distribute his gold and jewels to the poor, the ballet has been in development since 2015 and features a specially commissioned score by Christopher Gordon, who composed the music for the film Ladies in Black.

The Australian Ballet honoured Murphy last year with a mixed program of his works across his 50-year career called Murphy. Wishing the renowned Australian choreographer a speedy recovery, TAB said that it hoped to present the world premiere of The Happy Prince in its 2020 season.

In its place for 2019, TAB will present its acclaimed production of Cinderella by Alexei Ratmansky in Melbourne (March 19 – 28), and Maina Gielgud’s much-loved production of Giselle in Sydney (May 1 – 18). Casting for the two ballets will be announced shortly.

People holding tickets for The Happy Prince will be notified via email and provided with further information regarding their tickets. Customers can also call TAB’s customer experience team to discuss concerns, issues or refunds on 1300 369 741 or email [email protected]