Tchaikovsky began work on Swan Lake in August 1875, using material from a domestic ballet of the same name he wrote for his sister’s children in 1871. The score was completed in April 1876, and the ballet was first performed on March 4, 1877, in Moscow.
The scenario, initially in two acts, was fashioned from Russian and/or German folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse.
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