Leigh Witchel

Ballet Talk on Tour!

46 posts in this topic

A few of us had noted programs in both Paris and London that seemed very interesting, and thought it might be fun to turn it into a get-together for Ballet Talkers if there is interest.

Here are the performances I’m intending to see:

April 20 (matinee and/or evening) – POB school show. http://www.operadeparis.fr/Saison-2007-200...cle.asp?Id=1132. Interesting to me for the Leo Staats Soir de Fête – once a POB staple, now not often seen.

April 21 – Nureyev/Balanchine/Forsythe http://www.operadeparis.fr/Saison-2007-200...cle.asp?Id=1131. Raymond, 4 Ts and Artifact Suite. I was deeply impressed with Artifact (a lot said from someone who’s ambivalent about Forsythe) when SFB did it – I would like to see how POB does it.

On April 22, there is either the same program at the Opera or Sleeping Beauty in London. My choice is personal; if Ansanelli is dancing Aurora, I’m going to London. If she isn’t, I’ll stay in Paris another day.

April 23, 25 – London – Serenade/New Brandstrup Ballet/Homage to the Queen. http://info.royaloperahouse.org/AfcStyle/D...llet20078%2Epdf

There is also another Beauty on April 26.

Nuts and Bolts:

This isn’t a group tour – we’re not traveling together, rather meeting at the destinations, so we can do things together but you also can come and go as you please. Make your own travel arrangements; I’m happy to offer advice as long as you realize I’m not a travel agent but I’m happy to share whatever bargain hunting tips I can offer (Priceline, Priceline, Priceline!)

I think it would be great to schedule one or two meals together in both London and Paris, and I hope some of the local contingents in both cities will join us (and suggest good places to eat).

I will most likely be getting press tickets but if enough people go it may make sense to purchase tickets as a group for savings.

Schedule:

I’m hemmed in to this schedule by the Kirov season at City Center, but feel free to arrive in Paris earlier or stay longer in London as suits you.

West Coasters – be forewarned this is around the time of the New Works Festival at SFB and the Laugh out Loud Festival at PNB. Check your calendars.

Who’d like to join us?

Preliminary attendees

Leigh Witchel

Helene

Estelle (at least in Paris)

Share this post


Link to post

Well, I'll be around Ox, but am tempted to come to Paris as an old friend has relocated there. Leigh, I'll be in touch! I'm hesitant to say a full yes right now because it might be a busy time work-wise.

Share this post


Link to post

You know I'd join you in a heart beat. But in MAY, Leigh; May; I'll be there MAY 1st! Aaagh!

Giannina

Share this post


Link to post

Well, Giannina, that's term time, so I'll be here and no doubt making trips to London quite often!

Seriously, there's quite a few London regulars on these boards... so you just gotta let us know!

Share this post


Link to post

My sister and I are also planning to make this trip, though we're intending to hit London first in order to get to Ghent for Dialogues of the Carmelites before heading to Paris.

Share this post


Link to post

Wonderful - I hope your schedule works out!

To answer some people who wrote to me off-board, please do not worry about being unable to commit yet. Schedules change and this is quite far out. Think of this more as an invitation to save those dates with further concrete planning to be done in the months ahead.

I think I'll be in London again in May as well Giannina :wink:

Share this post


Link to post

To bump this topic briefly, the Royal Ballet has given advance casting to friends and 4/22 is not Ansanelli, so I'm projecting another day in Paris (rah) and going to London on 4/23

Share this post


Link to post

Well, I'll be in Paris, and will attend the school performance on april 20th If I can get tickets. For London, I think I will make my mind according to availability of these eurostar tickets sold as" nasty prices" tickets.

Share this post


Link to post

Oh I forgot about the Paris leg of this... need to investigate; it coincides rather closely with some key term dates... hmmm..... Leigh, you're such a bad (good) influence!

Share this post


Link to post

A bump because the London booking period for these programs opens on December 5. If you know you are going; I'd buy tickets early - choice seating sells out promptly. The best bargain for the able bodied is standing in the Stalls Circle, but it really means standing.

Could some of the Londoners chime in on the ins and outs of buying tickets?

Nuts and bolts -

Flights -

Obviously people will come from different places; I only have checked NYC fares. Unfortunately, fares jump up for shoulder season rates at the end of March. Right now NYC-PAR; LON-NYC runs no less than $620 for Air India and $710 for Continental. It will probably fluctuate some and there may be a sale, but it probably won't drop precipitously.

A word of caution on hotels -

I have not had bad stays in either city, but my main desires are a bright uncluttered room, Internet access and a fitness center and I'm more than willing to sacrifice local flavor and character and stay in a soulless chain to get it. Hence, Priceline. In Europe, independent hotels vary wildly in quality from wonderful to fleabag. The more you know the better off you are and price usually denotes quality. I've gotten great deals on Priceline but you have to know what you are doing.

Right now, I will recommend using Booking.org or a hotel website directly to make a booking that is cancelable without penalty that leaves you free to change your plans or find a better deal.

I did a quick peek on Hotwire from 4/23-7 to get a sense of rates. They're not rock-bottom (my guess is that they'll go down) - around $145 for 3 star hotels, $170 for 4 star (that's really not luxurious, more like comfortable chain such as the Hilton or Millennium). Those rates will be lower on Priceline.

Paris Hotels are less expensive (3* hotels around $100) but they could possibly be small independent hotels that I would be cautious about booking opaquely. The range of possible quality is great.

Getting from Paris to London -

I think the Eurostar is the best combination of price and city-to-city convenience; non-flexible tickets are $98 right now.

More as we get closer.

Share this post


Link to post

I should have checked to see if it was possible to get an early morning (6am-ish) flight from NYC to Paris before I bought a ticket to "Wozzeck," but I'm going to have to give up either the Kirov Balanchine program on the 18th or the opera, and I'm tending toward skipping the Kirov and heading straight to Europe from the West Coast, since I'll be seeing 4-5 ballet performances over the next week. (There's also the opening night of ENO's "The Merry Widow" on 24 April. Decisions, decisions...)

Share this post


Link to post

The whole thing sounds quite lovely and I wish you all the best of luck.

Share this post


Link to post

It gets worse -- I thought the school performance was on Sunday, 20 April in the afternoon. But it's actually the same time as Wozzeck. It's closing night for both :)

Share this post


Link to post

Hey!

You didn't hallucinate that Helene. They deleted the Sunday performances, and I have the same problem with the Kirov.

I'm going to look seriously at the calendar tonight. Maybe we need to juggle dates.

Share this post


Link to post

Very disappointing.

Sleeping Beauty plays in London on 29 March (1:30pm), then the 3, 8, 10, 16, 18 of April, and May 5 (mat), 9, 10 (mat), 14.

The Nureyev/Balanchine/Forsythe Program plays on April 4, 5, 8, 11, 15, 17, 21-24, 27-29 and on May 3, 4 (mat), 6, 8-9.

The Serenade/Brandstrup/Homage to the Queen program plays 23, 25, 29 April, and May 1, 6, 8.

The POB School Performances are on 12-14 April, and 19 April.

It is possible to do SB, POB Triple Bill, POB School:

Any of the following:

SB: 10 April

Nureyev/Balanchine/Forsythe: 11 April

POB School: 12-14

Nureyev/Balanchine/Forsythe: 15 April

SB: 16 April

(I dont know when you're heading back for the Kirov)

or:

RB Triple Bill: 1 May

POB Triple Bill: 3, 4 May (mat)

Back to London: SB 5 May (mat) and Triple Bill 6 May

There's no way to get in all four without overlapping the Kirov in NYC.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm thinking regretfully about forgoing the school performance and seeing them in Washington DC, especially if they are bringing Soir de Fete in June for the Proteges program.

Here's what I'm thinking now:

4/23 London Serenade/New Brandstrup/Homage

4/24 same

4/25 London no performance

4/26 Paris - Mats Ek new work

4/27 Balanchine/Forsythe/Nureyev mixed bill

4/28 Paris same

4/29 London Sleeping Beauty (Ansanelli)

4/30 home

(5/1 start all over again and head to SF for new works. . .)

Share this post


Link to post

Has anyone else booked their RB tickets? I've booked the 23rd.... I've also booked both Sleeping Beauty's on the 26th... but might change these IF I can get to Paris... It's during term time and I don't know yet what my work schedule is going to be at the time... so I'm going to have to hold out... If need be, is it possible to get day tickets for POB?

Share this post


Link to post

I wonder if the change of schedule at the Paris Opera has something to do with the technician's strikes: many performances have been cancelled, and it probably costed quite a lot of money...

Leigh, it unfortunately sounds unlikely that we can meet (we have to be in Lyon on April 26 for a wedding and a baptism, so if we can go to Paris it will probably be around the 19th or the 12th...) :blink:

Share this post


Link to post

Here's the latest for me. Apologies for the changes - they wouldn't have happened if POB hadn't altered its schedule.

4/23 London Serenade/New Brandstrup/Homage

4/24 same

4/25 Ghent - Royal Ballet of Flanders Stravinsky Triple Bill

4/26 Paris - Mats Ek new work

4/27 Balanchine/Forsythe/Nureyev mixed bill

4/28 Paris same

4/29 London Sleeping Beauty (Ansanelli)

4/30 home

(5/1 start all over again and head to SF for new works. . .)

I have not yet bought my ticket, but will soon. I know Helene is also going, with small variations in schedule (an extra night in Ghent, etc.)

Sorry to make you all crazy and I hope some of you can join or meet us.

The scary thing is that's 10 nights at the theater in 12 days (including SF). Packing is going to be a feat of genius.

Share this post


Link to post

My schedule is:

4/23: London-Serenade/New Brandstrup/Homage

4/24: Antwerp-La Sonnambula

4/25-4/26: Ghent-Stravinsky Triple Bill

4/27: Paris-Triple Bill (matinee), Le Prisonnier (evening)

4/28: Paris-Triple Bill

4/29: London-Sleeping Beauty

4/30: Home

5/1: not to SF :excl:

Share this post


Link to post

Alea Jacta est.

I've bought my transatlantic ticket, and will buy the intraeurope train tickets in a few days.

Tip for anyone planning train travel - the one-way prices at http://www.thalys.com - the main site for the Thalys train - are far more (double) the prices on the Belgian Rail site (http://www.b-rail.be) where a Thalys one way ticket Brussels-Paris is 25 Euros if purchased well in advance.

Anyone got good tips on getting Eurostar tickets cheaper?

Estelle, I'm so sorry our schedules don't mesh.

Share this post


Link to post

Leigh,

The cheapest Eurostar tickets are the ones sold in France as "Nasty price tickets". It's 77 euros for both your first ticket and your return tickets. These tickets can't be refunded, and you can't change them.

Here's a link to the french website where you can buy them. I can't the site in English on my computer, I don't know why..

http://www.eurostar.com/FR/fr/leisure/late.../NastyPrice.jsp

Share this post


Link to post

My flights are arranged, and I've been able to order tickets through various websites with one exception: Paris Opera Ballet for the 27 April matinee. I already have a ticket in hand for the 28 April performance. When I ordered them, neither matinee (27 Apr/4 May) were available through the website. Lately, the 4 May matinee has been added to the list.

I hope that there is a 27 Apr matinee, and that it hasn't been cancelled or re-scheduled like the school performance.

Share this post


Link to post

I hope that BT on Tour will be able to send someone for Alexandra Ansanelli's Juliet on June 12th. Given her proclivity for drama and abandonment, she can be expected to go right to the edge with this role. I just hope Watson is ready for it!

Share this post


Link to post