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MCB Program IILa Valse, Nine Sinatra Songs, Aurora’s Wedding


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#16 cahill

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 09:07 AM

Thank you all for the informative and detailed posts. I will not get to see this performance and of the three pieces I have only seen the Sinatra songs when the Company was on tour. Regarding, Aurora's Wedding, how much of your overall assessment was the choreography as compared to the technique?

I am hoping to see the next program. According to the website Program III has been changed and they will now be performing Seranade! Looking forward to that!

#17 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 10:09 AM

The Concept of Monarchy Is Dead in Miami: The casting of the King and Queen seemed to be based on the principle: "Who's not doing anything tonight? Preferably someone under 20." This was part of a pattern of ignoring the regal, hierarchical assumptions that are at the heart of the ballet. I know that Act III all about Aurora, but it didn't make sense that almost every ignored the King and Queen, turning their backs on them literally for most of the Act. Even Aurora didn't seem to know who they were.


bart, it seems like we were at the same performance, only that you were in West Palm Beach and me in Miami. That's exactly what happened when i went. The Queen seemed to me more like the 16 y.o Queen's maid-in-training wearing the Queen's dress for the night, and Aurora looked more like her older sister...I also saw some strange mannerisms on the Queen's hands movements..(something defininterly borrowed from Swan Lake's territory, and not particulary from Siegfried's mom.)

Is Aurora's Wedding a Tragedy? So you might think based on the facial expressions -- and the complete absence of smiles -- of one of the Auroras. Think Camille or Mimi at the end of their lives. Or possibly Marie Antoinette or Suor Angelica ascending the steps to the guillotine.


:P that's sooooooooo true, bart.

#18 bart

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 03:14 PM

Regarding, Aurora's Wedding, how much of your overall assessment was the choreography as compared to the technique?

To be honest, I don't have enough viewing experience or knowledge to answer that. My friend was under the impression that some of the solo choreography had been changed. (Certainly there was some kind of cut-and-paste with the score, but I can't tell you what specifically.) I will ask her and report back.

I am hoping to see the next program. According to the website Program III has been changed and they will now be performing Seranade! Looking forward to that!

I didn't know about the change. Thanks, cahill, for telling us. After I read your post I went to the website: they still have Villella's "Fox Trot" ballet on the program listing, but have changed the floating-headline on the home page to reflect the new program. Now it's All-Balanchine :clapping: :D : Bourree Fantasque, Pas de Dix, and Serenade.

Marketing has come up with "French Glamour, Russian Elegance, An American Classic" umbrella slogan -- not too different from the way Jewels was marketed, but in a different order. Serenade is identified as "Balanchine's first American ballet."

("Fox Trot" was part of Villella's Neighborhood Ballroom -- consisting of 4 short ballets evoking the Waltz, Quick-Step, Fox-Trot, and Mambo. It's actually a very entertaining and beautifully danced full-evening piece and quite popular with the audience. MCB last did it in down here in the spring of 2003) The unity is provided by a male Poet and his female Muse, who appear in all four ballets, each set in a different period. It's an audience pleaser in the good sense of that phrase.).


The Queen seemed to me more like the 16 y.o Queen's maid-in-training wearing the Queen's dress for the night, and Aurora looked more like her older sister...I also saw some strange mannerisms on the Queen's hands movements..(something defininterly borrowed from Swan Lake's territory, and not particulary from Siegfried's mom.)

Chasing away flies? :P

Cristian, possibly you and I were among the few actually watching the royal parents, what with the great set, the rich costumes, and so many people on the stage.

#19 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 07:09 PM

Now it's All-Balanchine Bourree Fantasque, Pas de Dix, and Serenade.


:D Lovely. I've enjoyed tremendously all the Balanchine fest that MCB brings every season. They're all first timers to me, and it's such a thrill every time a "new one" comes out..."Serenade" is one of the pieces that i've always wanted to see, since it seems to fit in my so called "old fashioned" taste, because yes, i SO love the visual impact of a white romantic tutu in a ballerina's body :wub: .. What do you think?

"Fox Trot" was part of Villella's Neighborhood Ballroom -- consisting of 4 short ballets evoking the Waltz, Quick-Step, Fox-Trot, and Mambo. It's actually a very entertaining and beautifully danced full-evening piece and quite popular with the audience. MCB last did it in down here in the spring of 2003) The unity is provided by a male Poet and his female Muse, who appear in all four ballets, each set in a different period. It's an audience pleaser in the good sense of that phrase.


You know..?, yesterday i saw part of a rehearsal, (again, thru the MCB studio glass windows while biking around the beach), and there were Catoya and Panteado doing what i suppose is part of "Fox Trot". Let me tell you, all i wrote about their non-chemistry performance in "AW", i saw the total opposite there. They were having the time of their life while rehearsing, laughing all the way thru and having so much fun...! They looked a totally different couple from that one on the stage. Originally i even though that maybe there were not used to each other or...you know, not too much mutual empathy, but yesterday i could tell that they actually enjoy each other a lot!.....so why did they looked so awkward together in the infamous "AW" disaster...?...it's beyond my comprehension...


The Queen seemed to me more like the 16 y.o Queen's maid-in-training wearing the Queen's dress for the night, and Aurora looked more like her older sister...I also saw some strange mannerisms on the Queen's hands movements..(something defininterly borrowed from Swan Lake's territory, and not particulary from Siegfried's mom.)

Chasing away flies? :P

That poor girl/Queen looked so awkward... :clapping:


Cristian, possibly you and I were among the few actually watching the royal parents, what with the great set, the rich costumes, and so many people on the stage.


Well, it was hard not to look at the royal father, since half of his mustache was unglued and hanging during the whole thing, bart!!!! :blink:

#20 bart

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 08:05 AM

You know..?, yesterday i saw part of a rehearsal, (again, thru the MCB studio glass windows while biking around the beach), and there were Catoya and Panteado doing what i suppose is part of "Fox Trot". Let me tell you, all i wrote about their non-chemistry performance in "AW", i saw the total opposite there. They were having the time of their life while rehearsing, laughing all the way thru and having so much fun...! They looked a totally different couple from that one on the stage.

That was probably a rehearsal of a jazz performance -- Lounge 2200, using jazz of the 1950s-60s -- scheduled for MCB's Open Barre series at the studio, 3 performances, Fri., Feb. 8, 7pm; Sat. Feb. 9, 5pm and 8pm. The promotional material has a very sultry photo of both of them (head and shoulder shot). The choreography is by Rafi Maldonado, head of the MCB School jazz department, and I'm told it is very "hot."

I can't get down there that weekend, but call the box office. They still had tickets last time I checked. It's bleacher seating in their studio. All the seats are great, and it's a very friendly event, with lots of dancers in attendance.

It really is a miracle, the kind of freedom and joy that Sarabia seems to bring out in his ballerinas. I really hope Catoya/Sarabia become a regular partnership, and that MCB is clever enough to promote their skill and chemistry for all it's worth.

About the King's moustache (and Louis XIV wig). I think that look was intentional, because the same thing happened in the performances I saw in West Palm. It reminded me instantly of a book from my childhood, Nursery Friends from France. (We've disscussed this elsewhere; it's part of the Book House for Children series that several of us grew up with long ago.) A very silly King Dagobert gets everything wrong: rabbits chase HIM when he goes hunting!. One illustration has him with exactly the same wig, at exactly the same angle, as the King in MCB's production:

King Dagobert, I hear,
Put his wig on over one ear.
Said Eloi, the friar:
"Oh, my King and Sire,"
Now your wig looks queer --
'Twas made wrong, I fear!"
The King said: "So I see!
What but a new wig can help me?"



#21 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 11:46 AM

You know..?, yesterday i saw part of a rehearsal, (again, thru the MCB studio glass windows while biking around the beach), and there were Catoya and Panteado doing what i suppose is part of "Fox Trot". Let me tell you, all i wrote about their non-chemistry performance in "AW", i saw the total opposite there. They were having the time of their life while rehearsing, laughing all the way thru and having so much fun...! They looked a totally different couple from that one on the stage.

That was probably a rehearsal of a jazz performance -- Lounge 2200, using jazz of the 1950s-60s -- scheduled for MCB's Open Barre series at the studio, 3 performances, Fri., Feb. 8, 7pm; Sat. Feb. 9, 5pm and 8pm. The promotional material has a very sultry photo of both of them (head and shoulder shot). The choreography is by Rafi Maldonado, head of the MCB School jazz department, and I'm told it is very "hot."


Well, yes...there was a lot of pelvic movements...very hot indeed..(being Catoya and Panteado colombian and brazilian indistinctly, you can imagine... :flowers: )

I can't get down there that weekend, but call the box office. They still had tickets last time I checked. It's bleacher seating in their studio. All the seats are great, and it's a very friendly event, with lots of dancers in attendance.


I missed it last time for lack of information. :angry2: (I was also attending the Roland Petit Gala at the Carnival that same night), but i'll go this time for sure.

It really is a miracle, the kind of freedom and joy that Sarabia seems to bring out in his ballerinas. I really hope Catoya/Sarabia become a regular partnership, and that MCB is clever enough to promote their skill and chemistry for all it's worth.


Let me tell you..i must confess i miss the cuban "star system". I would only pray that they realize the bennefits of getting a little bit of it at MCB and start selling some names (even knowing that Villela comes from the total opposite Balanchine-oriented vision.

About the King's moustache (and Louis XIV wig). I think that look was intentional, because the same thing happened in the performances I saw in West Palm. It reminded me instantly of a book from my childhood, Nursery Friends from France. (We've disscussed this elsewhere; it's part of the Book House for Children series that several of us grew up with long ago.) A very silly King Dagobert gets everything wrong: rabbits chase HIM when he goes hunting!. One illustration has him with exactly the same wig, at exactly the same angle, as the King in MCB's production:

King Dagobert, I hear,
Put his wig on over one ear.
Said Eloi, the friar:
"Oh, my King and Sire,"
Now your wig looks queer --
'Twas made wrong, I fear!"
The King said: "So I see!
What but a new wig can help me?"


Do you think it was intentional...? :yahoo: Well, now i'm even more confused with the mix of some dancers "guillotin faces" vs. the "comic-silly" feeling.

#22 Jack Reed

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 04:05 PM

I wrote the following comments Saturday, 26th January, but I haven't been able to post them before, so they read a little out of sequence with where the discussion has gone in the meantime:

Friday evening, 25th January 2008, in the AuRene Theatre of the Broward County Center for the Performing Arts, Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Seay's performance of Lilac Fairy made the whole staging of Aurora's Wedding worthwhile for me; and of course we got with it Catoya's and Penteado's Blue Bird, although much of this suffered from the slowish tempos remarked on here already. The second theme in the adagio (which the girl dances) was in pretty good tempo, though, and I have on good authority that the variation was quite fast enough from her point of view; throughout, her dancing was superbly clear and shapely phrased, if maybe a tad routine, so that if I had never seen her dance before I would have been left eager to see her again in something where nothing seemed held back in tempo.

But Seay's grandeur and fullness, her supple, nuanced and detailed phrasing, and her depth of implication, made her the ruler of this scene in both the classic and contemporary uses of the term. It was as though the other roles were clearly and sharply drawn and colored on paper but hers had also been artfully and realistically shaded so that it stood out three-dimensionally from the plane of the material it was drawn on. Like Sugar Plum in The Land of Sweets, Seay's dancing showed us that this was her realm, so that her elevation at the end made sense this way even without, this time, the context of the narrative which normally preceeds it in the full-length production.

Wu's Aurora was aptly bright and clear and very well received. (By "apt" I have in mind that her Aurora is a young newlywed, simple and naive, in contrast to Lilac, who is ageless and wise.)

Concerning the quality of the music, I'm not totally in agreement with others' comments above. Some numbers are pretty generic but Bluebird is something of a hit for me. (Part of the reason may be that I first encountered it not in the theatre but in a recording of just that pas de deux, arranged for a war-time reduced orchestra and conducted with characteristic vigor by the arranger, the well-known Tchaikovsky enthusiast, Igor Stravinsky.) Having referred to Nutcracker, though, I'll add that I think that's the real masterpiece among the three well-known Tchaikovsky ballet scores, not least in the specific "directions" for the choreographer the composer supplies in the Party scene. (I think no other choreographer hears these directions as well as Balanchine does, but that's another story.)

Concerning MCB's mounting this act at all, although I also see, as others here have, that it doesn't look like these dancers' native language (except for Seay, who can and usually does put something on and wear it as though it were custom-made for her, whether the result is "authentic" or not -- example: Diamonds, on Program I), I think it's justified on several grounds.

For one, recalling the story that keeps coming up of one dancer or another saying to Balanchine, "Oh, Mr. B., I don't think I'm ready for this," and Balanchine replying, "That's why you must do it, dear! That's how you get ready!", isn't it worth the attempt for what the dancers can get out of it? Granted, I think I've seen greater successes, like Ballet Imperial, which, Villella told us, he was told by "one of the New York critics" the company was not ready for, but which, with Catoya, was spectacular. We can, and really should, still make valid comments about the results, of course, but the choice of repertory is not exclusively about us; it's about the dancers' development, too.

And then there's the audience's development. At the end of his pre-performance talk, Villella asked for questions and got a statement from the from of the balcony, where a man who said he'd been watching the company for 23 years wanted to thank Villella for taking the repertory away from Balanchine toward other choreographers. It used to be nearly all Balanchine, he said. *sigh* I'm sorry if this sounds condescending, but some people just don't seem to know what they're missing. But south Florida doesn't get to see -- who would you pick for Sleeping Beauty? The Kirov? Okay. Or Tharp's dancers doing some of her dances? Or Taylor's showing his? So, even if not so successful from dancers apparently born and bred to other dancing, this kind of programming serves yet another cause, IMO.

I had come to Florida in the hope I might get to see Seay reprise her Girl in White in La Valse, and she was scheduled to do that, but owing to injury to Guerra, her partner, they were replaced by Tricia Albertson with Didier Bramaz. The ballet went well enough, indeed Croce calls it "indestructible" and "dancer-proof", although the implications Seay showed us in the past were not so large with Albertson this time. I gather that Guerra's injury, a ligament associated with a rotator cuff, as we were told over the public address system, may even heal without surgical intervention; how long before he's back dancing remains to be seen.

With Guerra out, Nine Sinatra Songs became Seven; the last four of the duets were pretty effective, with Albertson and Daniel Sarabia's sharply pointed-up "Somethin' Stupid" not only effective in itself but a good set-up for "All the Way" with Seay and -- after a long absence -- Mikhail Nikitine. These two were far and away the most elegant couple of the evening up to that point, I thought. Patricia Delgado and Alexandre Dufaur also gave an energized performance of "Forget Domani", leading aptly to a performance of "That's Life" with Katia Carranza and Renato Penteado which, however didn't always realize the reckless abandon it's sometimes had, and the usually heart-stopping bit, with the girl hurling herself across the stage at her partner, who puts on his jacket after she's launched, like a missile, on her way, then to catch her on his hip in the nick of time, IIRC, didn't quite come off that way, Penteado's jacket not cooperating with the maneuver, which leaves no margin for error, and he discarded the garment by the wing when he could. Otherwise, the two danced with much of the requisite crisp snap. (The jacket trick went more smoothly in later performances.)

#23 papeetepatrick

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 06:07 PM

Concerning the quality of the music, I'm not totally in agreement with others' comments above. Some numbers are pretty generic but Bluebird is something of a hit for me. (Part of the reason may be that I first encountered it not in the theatre but in a recording of just that pas de deux, arranged for a war-time reduced orchestra and conducted with characteristic vigor by the arranger, the well-known Tchaikovsky enthusiast, Igor Stravinsky.) Having referred to Nutcracker, though, I'll add that I think that's the real masterpiece among the three well-known Tchaikovsky ballet scores, not least in the specific "directions" for the choreographer the composer supplies in the Party secene.


Enjoyed this report as well as the others, but disagree on the 3 great Tchaikovsky scores. I love all 3, but think 'Sleeping Beauty' is the greatest, followed probably by 'Swan Lake'. I was startled at the Miami Herald reviewer calling this 'some of Tchaikowsky's 'least charming music'. I wonder what he thinks charm is, if this isn't it. Also love the Black Swan Music as it begins in that Champagne-like Waltz in most versions (I remember Nureyev in one that used only other music), as well as many other parts of 'Swan Lake'. Love 'Nutcracker' too, but it doesn't have any 'adult entertainment' music in it. No fairy in it is like the Lilac Fairy because that probably would be going toward some aspects of the celestial that children don't dwell on in their contemplation of these ethereal beings, at least Christmasy ones. I've looked at Russian scores from 1950 for both 'Swan Lake' and 'Sleeping Beauty', and used them while watching productions on tape--there are all sorts of re-arranging and re-ordering, of course, but only the Snowflake music do I find really transporting in 'Nutcracker', and that's mostly a simple tune repeated over and over (fortunately, it's lovely enough to get away with this without becoming boring.) Last night I watched 'Pique Dame' with the Kirov/Gergiev. After watching some more of his DVD's with the Kirov, I'll do a post on some of the operas and perhaps some of the recordings, because the sound was simply sumptuous, and Tchaikovsky's genius seems only to enthrall more with each new piece gotten under one's belt (I am only now getting to know Tchaikovsky's operas.) Hearing Gergiev's miracles with the Kirov Orchestra will make it all the more wonderful to hear them in April when Kirov comes to City Center. Hardly the Mariinsky, I daresay, yet I am sure it's going to be the best ballet conducting I will have ever heard. There are DVD's of Glinka's Ruslan and Ludmila, and also Mazeppa, I believe, probably Eugene Onegin as well, I'm going to get hold of some of all of these.

Some of the courtier and crowd and gaming table scenes in 'Pique Dame' actually reminded me of some of the pomp scenes in the 3rd Act of Sleeping Beauty, and some of the dancing with Cupid and Hymen (that gilded ballet dancer is there in this production) was light and lilting, echoing the Garland Waltz a bit.

#24 bart

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 07:56 AM

Jack, thanks for that report. (I knew you'd be there.) Sorry to hear about Guerra's injury; he has become an extremely reliable partner in all sorts of ballets and for many of the principal women, and one I now enjoy watching very much.

I'm glad to read your thoughts on Seay's performance as Lilac Fairy. She certainly is a dancer of grace and impressive technique, and her phrasing and nuance (as you say) are exceptional.

This is just my own personal feeling, but I keep waiting for Seay to break through the reserve, the holding back, that I feel in the way she approaches her roles. I recall seeing her actually do that a few times over the past fewyears: in the "All the Way" pdd from this program's Nine Sinatra Songs, partnered by Nikitine; in Diamonds at the start of this season, with Sarabia. She was also very expressive in in two roles which making "holdling back emotionally" part of the role: Caroline in Lilac Garden and Myrtha in Giselle.

When Seay breaks through her emotional reserve, she is marvellous to behold.

#25 Jack Reed

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 02:34 PM

Edward Villella maintained the same proportions in the time he spent discussing the three ballets of Program II in Fort Lauderdale as bart noted above:

A critic in West Palm Beach asked, by way of objection, Why three different ballets? Because we have the ability and because we give you a choice. Ravel, Sinatra, and Tchaikovsky make a spectrum. Critics? There are stupid critics and informed critics.

[Maybe Villella would have been happier with the review by Guillermo Perez in the 16th January Sun-Sentinel. Perez found the program united by a ballroom-glamour theme. Glamour, three ways.]

In La Valse, Villella found reference to Poe's Masque of the Red Death and remarked that abstract ballets make you think.

[I think Croce says that anyone who thinks Balanchine doesn't tell stories should look at [i]La Valse[/i]. Do these two disagree, then? No, I don't think so.]

[When the curtain rises, there are three women on stage.] Who are these three women we see in their 1940's Dior look? They kneel and read their hands [like books]. They know more than we do, and, knowing, they will guide us through the ballet. They are harbingers. Couples arrive, content with their situation. [The first two waltz couples.] Balanchine introduces another woman, not so frivolous; undulating: She goes away and comes back. Trying to leave, she's pulled back by her man. Romantic? Or something else? As she looks at her man with curiosity, the three harbingers return one by one and inform him, beyond what he got from his partner. [Prophecy. I seem to recall the three on the right, inclining their bodies toward him, with their working foot back. Anybody else remember this bit? I don't know whether this is exactly what Villella meant, though.] This man does a double air tour, puts the back of his hand to his forehead and exits, as though he's got the idea.

The Lady in White arrives -- goes forward, and is pulled back. She tells the man [raised forearm and hands, head turned away], No, you are not the man I seek. But they dance a beautiful pas de deux, ending back to back, arms linked, suggesting a less positive resolution than he might have wished.

In Part Two, a frenzied beginning... A grand ball, or a darkness within a grand ball; the corps suggest both frivolity and darkness. Frenzy builds and suddenly stops. The figure seen before [at the end of Part I] appears again, with an assistant. [The figure and The Lady in White] dance together. He gives her [black gifts]. He dances her to death.

Balanchine told his story as poetry, so we can enter, looking, and participate. Every gesture has three or four meanings, from three or four points of view.

Is Death the man she came to dance with? Is this the death of an era? One level of Dante's Hell. "There's a story here, guys, if you want to participate."

[During the question period after Villella's remarks on Saturday evening, I put my hand up.] Q: You speak of three harbingers, not two, not four. V: Maybe the three fates? Or, one knows the past, one the present, one the future.

[There's something about three-ness. Two could be buddies, a pair; four, two pair. With three there's an odd one out, more tension, they're not, as we say, paired off, each matched with another, a more settled arrangement.]

Regarding Nine Sinatra Songs: Are these different couples? Or the same one at different stages of life, slices of a single life? [One of the performers said afterward, It's like Lincoln Road. there's a bunch of separate parties in different restaurants and then at the end they all come outside. Like montage in film? I asked. Like montage. (Lincoln road, BTW, is a pedestrians-only strip a few blocks from MCB's studios in Miami Beach with lots of restaurants, shops, bars, and a small theatre.)] At the end, they all dance in a similar style and relationship. [Hmm. I also saw reprises of their earlier dances. It's like Tharp to put together the apparently unrelated.]

As bart said, Villella didn't spend much time on "Sinatra" and "Aurora", but he said that Aurora's Wedding was where La Valse came from. You have to respect and lean upon what has gone before.

Over the four performances, there were more questions and answers:

Q: Next season? V: A new work of about forty minutes length, and we'll close next year with a reprise of Don Quixote.

Q: Bring back Stravinsky's Firebird? V: I'd consider reviving that, but Jerome Robbins also contributed, and that makes the rights issue more complicated.

Q: Is the music for La Valse Ravel's reflection on World War I and the Austrian aspect? V: That's a good possibility.

Q: Will we get all nine Sinatra Songs today [Sunday afternoon]? V: One less. We have nine injuries. Carlos Guerra tore his shoulder, and his cover has a foot injury. It's like the [Miami] Dolphins. You play with your first team when you can.

Q: Will there be an orchestra for The Nutcracker? V: Money! It's fifty-fifty, tickets and contributions.

That's about all the account of Villella's remarks my notes and memory will support at this point. Others who also heard his remarks in other venues feel free to add or correct.

#26 Paul Parish

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 05:54 PM

Papeetepatrick, I agree with you about Tchaikovsky's music; something awful must have happened in Miami, since the music is so noble (in the words of balanchine) and if it's well played, it's and so beautiful, and unmisunderstandable, . Stravinsky admired Sleeping Beauty above all ballets, and died listening to the Pathetique Symphony.

Tchaikovsky's operas are fantastic things too -- here's a good entry-place: Fritz Wunderlich singing Lensky's aria, the one that comes before the duel, when he knows that something awful is coming and how did this come to pass? So noble, so beautiful.


wonder what you'll think.

#27 Helene

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 08:41 PM

I call you one Fritz Wunderlich (lovely) and raise you one Leonid Sobinov, from 1910:



And Stanislavski called him the greatest actor on the Russian stage.

Another Tchaikovsky heartbreaker, this one from "Pique Dame" sung by Dmitri Hvorostovsky:



(I can't find a Pavel Lisitsian on YouTube.)

Ironically, the most beautiful aria for a man in each opera is not sung by the lead male in either opera.

Also from Eugene Onegin, Gremin's Aria, sung by the great Mark Reizen at age 90 (with subtitles):



#28 Paul Parish

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 12:25 AM

seems like Puccini learned everything from the middle section of Lensky's aria....

Wonderful, Helene -- thank you so much,. I'd never heard Sobinov before. Really moving.
and also -- especially -- Gremin's aria. Such integrity in the performance.

#29 richard53dog

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 06:35 AM

Another Tchaikovsky heartbreaker, this one from "Pique Dame" sung by Dmitri Hvorostovsky:




Ironically, the most beautiful aria for a man in each opera is not sung by the lead male in either opera.



The Queen of Spades aria is an absolute beauty and you wonder how Lisa could have turned Yeletsky down. But I guess
she was fated to cast her lot with Gherman.

Oh well, if the characters were just a bit sensible, there would have been no story to turn into operas.

Same thing with Eugene Onegin. Couldn't Onegin have been a bit less snobbish?

Sorry I'm taking this a bit more :off topic:

#30 bart

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 07:09 AM

Jack, I'm so glad you report on Villella's Q&A in Fort Lauderdale. His opening comments seem very much as in West Palm. But the level of questions/comments from the audience here is, alas, much more basic. Eg, almost every time someone raises his/her hand to saw: "I saw you in Prodigal Son." "I loved you in Prodigal Son." "Will you be reviving [X Ballet by Jimmy de Gamonet}?" "What is Iliana Lopez doing?"

Based on what Villella said about La Valse both in WPB and FL, his take on the story element in Balanchine ballets seems to be that they raise questions more than provide answers. It's a deeper level of story-telling than our average "story ballet," and one which is especially relevant to mysterious or ambiguous pieces llike La Valse, but also to more abstract pieces llike Agon.

Glad to hear they will be reviving Don Q next season. The comic nature of the piece -- and the athleticism -- make it a better fit for the MCB dancers than Sleeping Beauty. It would be wonderful, though, if someone worked with them to develop a bit more of the Russian style and expression.


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