A scene from the 2016 Colorado Ballet production of "Swan Lake."

(Photo: Terry Shapiro)

"Swan Lake" is one of the world's most performed ballets -- and that would shock the composer of the ballet's music. 

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's masterful score got lost at the premiere in 1877, amidst criticism of the staging, the choreography and the dancers themselves. 

A scene from Colorado Ballet's production of "Swan Lake."

(Photo: Allen Birnbach)

Colorado Ballet's new production of "Swan Lake" opened Friday at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver. It runs through Oct. 23. 

Adam Flatt, the music director of the new production, told CPR Classical about how Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" theme perfectly sets up what happens onstage.

"The gloom and the drama of the story ... and the setting -- the misty, dark blue lake -- these are all in that one very famous theme," he said. "It's absolutely inspired music."

Flatt and Artistic Director Gill Boggs talked with CPR Classical about the haunting story, the challenging choreography and why Tchaikovsky's score still resonates today. Click the audio link above to listen.