Thank you for the question, Ingrid & Hanne Kuhlman
In August Bournonville’s ballet, Napoli, there is one character that can be a little tricky to figure out. The ballet opens up with a scene of the streets of Napoli. A charming, busy, dirty city on the sea in Italy. You meet the two main characters, Teresina & Gennaro. They are very much in love with each other. Teresina’s mother, Veronica, doesn’t want her daughter to marry Gennaro, a poor fisherman. Veronica introduces her daughter to two other possible suitors, Peppo and Giacamo, much wealthier options. Teresina will not have it and begs for her mother’s approval. BUT! Amid all of this, a woman dressed in a blue robe comes on stage and has a short dialogue with Teresina and Gennaro.
This character, in the newest version by Nikolaj Hubbe and Sorella Englund is called the Blue Angel. Originally the Blue Angel was in fact, a Catholic monk. Nikolaj and Sorella wanted to take a step away from having only one form of religion represented and decided to incorporate all religions by having her represent love.
The Blue Angel can ONLY be seen by Teresina and Gennaro. This is because they are the ones fighting for their love. The Blue Angel guides the couple throughout the ballet. You’ll see the Blue Angel in first act, have Teresina give her necklace to Gennaro representing her choice in love.
Later, once Teresina has drowned and Gennaro is on the cusp of committing suicide, the Blue Angel reappears to Gennaro and tells him to search for Teresina in the Blue Grotto. She will not allow him to give up on love.
At the end of the ballet, you’ll see the blue angel cross the stage on the infamous bridge at the couples wedding festivities. She is watching over them. Love prevailed.
In the original version with the Catholic Pilgrim, in first act, you see Teresina give the monk her heart necklace instead of Gennaro. The monk then blesses Teresina and Gennaro and their love. The monk also is the character to stop Gennaro from committing suicide when they learn that Teresina has disappeared.
There is a version on YouTube from 1986, that is of a pretty good filming quality, following closer to the original version, including the pilgrim. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdR2N4u3r5A
There is Nikolaj Hubbe’s and Sorella Englund’s version from 2013 on KGLExtra. This is the version the Royal Danish Ballet currently performs. https://kglteater.dk/xtra/forestillinger/forestilling-napoli/
Hope that helped! Enjoy Napoli. It is a fantastic ballet. 🙂