Reopening of the Bolshoi Theatre28 October 2011
Posted 29 October 2011 - 05:14 AM
Posted 29 October 2011 - 08:24 AM
Also, I did not feel, with the exception occasionally in Swan Lake, that the camera was doing the performers any favors...
Posted 29 October 2011 - 08:09 PM
Posted 29 October 2011 - 09:29 PM
'That one, by the way, will have its premiere on Nov. 18 and happens to star an American dancer, David Hallberg.'
Halberg of course is big news. But surely it's also news, BIG news, that this is a new production by GRIGOROVITCH.
Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:17 AM
Posted 30 October 2011 - 05:47 AM
Posted 30 October 2011 - 12:57 PM
There were of course a few who were nervous, but on the whole - well done. Zakharova's Odette was surprisingly quite dainty and tentative (nerves?), but that's to be expected. The Bolshoi swans were in the same vain during the entire white pdd. Moreover, the last line of swans on stage right were not in line nor in sync during the arabesque voyages passes. Ivan Vasiliev and the male corps woke up the proceedings with the excerpt from "Spartacus," as did Natalia Osipova in "Flames of Paris."
Re nerves, this is the first time they've been back on their actual home stage in six years. Also, much was made in the run up to the reopening of the new stage that has been upgraded, not only acoustically for the opera, but for ballet specifications. There is a new specially engineered floor and surface, that reportedly has more give and bounce to it, in addition to other engineering upgrades, that make the stage easier on the dancers feet and backs . I think that everyone (singers and dancers), were simultaneously, proud, nervous, and humbled to be apart of this historic occaision. This was a once in a lifetime/career event, and they all rose to the challenge.
I agree with earlier posters that there were alot of moments of dead air, and the flow of stage-traffic was somewhat erratic in strategic spots during the program. These episodes occurred after the huge chorus sections. The high tech backdrops, especially of the, eh hem, previous curtain, (the hammer and sickle & "CCCP") were OTT in some spots. This was particularly jarring during the 18th century themed "champagne party" chorus of Prokofiev's "Betrothal in a Monastery." Also, the powdered wigged and bearded tenor/goblet-xylophonist was the hit of that excerpt. Additionally, one backdrop went straight from afternoon to night then afternoon again in the space of one aria. Okay, we get it: The Bolshoi Theatre can now execute the same state of the art stage tricks and special effects that other modern opera houses can.
The cream of Russia and the world's cultural elite were present; however, very few looked "happy" to be there. This was particularly true of the Schedrins (Maya Plisetskaya and husband Rodion). President Medvedev's opening remarks seemed as if he were speaking extemporaneously,as if he composed it in the limo - at the last minute. It seems to me that he could/should have put more thought into it due to the occaision. But hey, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address made the same first impression when it was first presented.
I also loved the time capsle snippets of Bolshoi greats who are now no longer with us: Lepeshniskaya, Ulanova, Semyonova . . . pics and the comments of conductors, long since passsed on. Of all of these, Maximova was the hardest for me to deal with. The documentary also included Plisetskaya, Vasiliev, Pviako and others.
The strangest interim moment, was the revolving street block with pedestrians. My second nominee for most interesting stagecraft, was the Tchaikovsky quartet of "Nature and Love." Throughout the entire piece, I was waiting for one of the back curtains to come down in front of The Four Sopranos. In fact, at the very beginning of the piece, one of the divas looked up to make sure she didn't get clobbered. Kudos to the prima donna who delivered Liza's powerful aria In "Queen of Spades" (Angela Gheorghiu) with songbook - that was unusual and gutsy, given that everyone else memorized their arias. Also, the revered ushers of the Theatre were given Soviet style rhythmic applause while placing baskets of roses on the stage. However, the grand finale took the cake for Best Biting Nails/Dangerous Moment in the Theatre of 2011: A rip roaring rendition of Tchaikovsky's "Coronation March," during which the entire Bolshoi company and staff march down a steep full-stage mountain of a staircase. They all made it down safely, thank God!
The Music Corner: The Bolshoi Orchestra was in magnificent form! Brava!
Ballet In Cinema Trivia: Sometimes when you attend a live performance, there is always that person who sits either next to you, or behind you, or close enough where you can hear them humming every note. Well, this morning there was an elderly couple in the movie theatre who felt the need to comment on each and every moment - from the red carpet to the final credits. Charming .
Brava Bolshoi !
Edited by Cygnet, 31 October 2011 - 06:52 AM.
Posted 30 October 2011 - 04:48 PM
Natalia, that is... worse. Did they just not have the budget for new designs? Virsaladze's were very dated (as much of his semi abstract Grigorovich designs for the classics are), but this seems almost a waste, especially for a ballet that really should be at the center of a Russian company. I wonder what, if any, odd little changes he'll make in the staging. Still, as you say, with the cast I am looking forward to seeing it.
Posted 30 October 2011 - 05:00 PM
Posted 31 October 2011 - 04:06 AM
Yes, the segment with the revolving stage, constantly moving back-and-forth between facade of the Bolshoi to the stage-door entrance on the side, was odd, to say the least. ITA on that huge, treacherous staircase...even bigger than the large staircase in Posokhov's Cinderella for the Bolshoi 3-4 yrs ago.
Posted 02 November 2011 - 06:48 AM
CLARIFICATION on the Nureyev POB Sleeping Beauty, as it relates to the La Scala and Bolshoi designs: As a friend in Italy reminded me, the current ca-1996/97 staging of Nureyev's SB at the POB was preceded by an earlier edition, with different sets/costumes, in Feb/March 1989. The current POB designs were slightly altered by the same designers for the 2000 La Scala edition -- prettier costumes, I'm told. Hence, there's a small chance that the sets & costumes for the Bolshoi-Grigorovich SB might be slightly different, too? Regardless, Russian-TV news reports on rehearsals of the new SB show what appear to be a very, very similar (if not identical) set and fairy costumes for the Prologue.
A minute or so into this Russian-TV report: http://www.vesti.ru/...html?vid=363622
Also seen in a still photo in this AFP article; photo can be clicked and magnified: http://www.google.co...3dc86e84df8.611
Posted 02 November 2011 - 06:56 AM
That is a lot to wrap my head around.
Posted 02 November 2011 - 07:05 AM
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