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Raymonda-1898 - premiere reports


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#46 Paul Parish

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 11:18 PM

Thank you, Leonid. Kolpakova is fabulous in this. You are quite right, she was brilliant.

My only complaint is that her right foot does not point very well, and when she throws it out in a quick extension, the leg looks shortened by the almost flexed foot. It points by the time she gets there, but it started offwrong. In a dancer of her many perfections, it's kind of a drag....





Does Raymonda "usually" do entrechat-quatres to pointe? These are STUNNING, and i don't think I've ever seen them before. I THINK they're usually just changements to pointe.



They are stunning and, at least on Youtube, Novikova made them seem perfectly light and easy.


Watch the 43 year old Irina Kolpakhova execute the same steps.




#47 Natalia

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 05:06 AM

Just back to DC after an unexpected overnight stop at JFK due to weather and cancelation of last leg of my journey...but this was all worth it.

I need a little rest and time to unpack (ha-ha) but, with regard to the 2nd performance, it was a triumph for La Scala's own prima, Marta Romagna, who was quite technically capable and charming, if a bit tentative in the A1 Scarf solo and A2 'Trumpet variation.' Her line is leaner and, in some ways, more 'poetic' than Novikova's, although the latter is the undisputed queen. Eris Nezha provided elegant support as her Jean de Brienne. As at the opener, the corps de ballet and children were extraordinarily fine.

Edited to add: Special kudos to Claudio Coviello as the troubador in blue/yellow, Beranger (Nikolai Legat's role in 1898), who dances an impressive "mini solo" of high cabrioles and entrechats within the coda of the A2 Pas de Six. Kudos, too, to the uncredited (!) four gents who dance the A3 male pas de quatre...which, incidentally, in this original 1898 version is LONGER than what we know, as the 'extra' bars of Glazunov's music are included, adding about 10 seconds of prolonged entrechats-six. The impression is that we are seeing four 'bluebirds' from Sleeping Beauty, dancing simultaneously!

Yes, the 'trumpet guys' were still there for the Apotheosis but were placed in a more artistic-looking arrangement...rather than as 'ducks in a row.'

The La Scala web now has posted gorgeous photos of the premiere performance:
http://www.teatroall..._cnt_19487.html

Now for the BEST news: La Scala has announced the LIVE TELECAST on October 27, which happens to be the 4th and final performance of the first-cast duo of Novikova/Vogel. "Plan accordingly." :)

#48 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 06:39 AM

The La Scala web now has posted gorgeous photos of the premiere performance:
http://www.teatroall..._cnt_19487.html


My envy to your experience has already turned from its originally green to black, Natasha. One question regarding the Act III Grand Pas. Did Vikharev retain the choreography of the Adagio, specifically the traveling shoulder lifts for Raymonda and her ladies-in-waiting in couronne to the oboe musc...? (I've always found this particular moment of the choreography fascinating...very mysterious and dramatc...)

#49 Natalia

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 08:46 AM

YES he did, cubanmiamiboy...and the La Scala troupe pulled it off beautifully at both performances. But these aren't the only shoulder lifts in the 1898 version! The A2 Pas d'Action (i.e., the Pas de Six Adagio of Ray, Abder, Henriette, Clemence, and B&B) also includes shoulder lifts...but only when Raymonda is being partnered by the two troubadors, B&B! She refuses to be lifted by the saracen. This adagio also includes a moment in which Henriette & Clemence are lifted high in swan-lifts while, again, Raymonda is not lifted by Abder. Also, the climactic moment of this adagio -- the moment in which, in the Kirov version, Raymonda is lifted high in a swan-lift by B&B and 'dropped' into the waiting arms of Abderakhman -- does not happen...at least not as 'high' and dramatically as in 20th-C versions. Just think about it...WHY would Raymonda's friends want to drop her into the arms of a stranger to whom she is obviously not attracted?

As I said in the longer report, above, EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE with Petipa. This is no longer a nonsensical plot. Oh...and having read the ENTIRE 160-page souvenir programme on the plane ride back to the USA -- Italian but I get about 90% of it, due to my native Spanish & French -- I now know that the "Valkyries" in the A1, sc2 Dream Scene are really "Celestial Maidens" who protect the 12 knights...each Celestial Maiden crowns a knight with laurel wreath and presents him with a golden palm. Similarly, Raymonda crowns Jean and presents him with a golden palm during the A1,sc2 Dream Adagio.

The Dream Adagio, by the way, is a pas de trois of sorts: Jean, Raymonda...and the Corps...with the Corps being almost the most prominent. To think that the Dream Adagio has, during the 20th-C, been severely pared down into an intimate duo for Jean & Raymonda! To me, in retrospect, the grandest "Petipa Moment" of this production is not the Grand Pas Classique Hongroise of A3 but the corps' movements and symbolism in this A1 Dream Adagio, immediately followed by the Valse Fantastique. This suite now ranks right up with the 'Jardin Anime' suite from Corsaire, to these eyes. Bravo, Petipa!

Gosh, I could go on and on. My brain is going 100mph, swimming with ideas and memories of those two magical performances. I wish that I could "chat" with everyone who is interested and we could discuss this. I promise to get to my private emails and PMs later this weekend, after I get past the jet lag. :)

#50 Natalia

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 09:13 AM

....I always thought the quick introduction of Aberakham's retinue in the first scene that Petipa had added to the score seemed unecesary, and to ruin some of the surprise (though perhaps he felt he had to telegraph the moment to his audience).

As for the apotheosis, that sounds exactly what it was in the original production--the Joust depicted as a painting, not a tableux vivant, which seems strange to me, considering Sleeping Beauty's apotheosis. ....



Thanks for explaining the Apotheosis situation, Eric. The 160-page programme includes Pavel Gerzhenson's detailed comparison, scene by scene, of the 1898 Imperial Mariinsky and 1948 Soviet Kirov versions. The ONLY spot that he did not explain/compare is the Apotheosis.

re. Vikharev/Gerzhenson's decision -- and it was their decision -- to cut Abder's short appearance in A1/sci, even though Petipa included it in 1898, Gerzhenson says that it adds nothing to the story and that it was created at the last minute by Petipa/Glazunov "...so that the audience could see 'the Tsar's First Soloist' early during the night..." So it was just to give Pavel Gerdt a few early minutes of 'play time'! [Gerzhenson also laments, more than once, the 'masculinization' of the ballet Raymonda in the 20th C and aims some punches at the POB-Nureyev version, e.g., "...to think that one well-known version gives Abderakhman music that was written by Glazunov for Raymonda!" He said that anyone who masculinizes a Petipa ballet does not know Petipa, for whom 'ballet was woman' in the way that Balanchine stated it many years later.]

#51 Natalia

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 01:45 PM

I'm waking up to answer a couple of more QQs that were posted on the thread; the PMs have been answered privately.

Bingham - I'd love to see the POB La Source but alas it's too soon after Raymonda...a little stretch of the budget. La Source is supposed to be headed to cinemas on November 4 with a DVD soon after...and POB has been quite fast in issuing the DVDs, a-la Petite Danseuse de Degas. Not the same as being there live, though.

Eric - re. the souvenir book, perhaps it can be ordered through the La Scala online shop?
http://www.lascalashop.it/index.asp

I saw many past souvenir books of operas and ballets in the actual La Scala Shop withn the theater so I am guessing that the online shop also offers these? Warning: the cost of postage may make it pricey, as these programmes are quite heavy! The book may cost 10 Euros but I'm afraid to guess on the postage.

Here is some contact info for the shop. Perhaps they could help you acquire it even if it is not specifically listed in the online catalog.

E-MAIL CONTACTS

•Publishing issues and books catalogue:
libri@lascalashop.it
•Customer Service, news and events organized at the shop: info@lascalashop.it

PHONE AND FAX

•Offices Switchboard:
tel. (+39) 02.43.43.59.01
•La Scala Shop ( the store): tel. (+39) 02.45.48.32.57
all of the staff who I met at the sales desk speak English & other languages...and they are super nice!


MAIL ADDRESS

•Skira Classica S.r.l. Via Matteo Bandello 6 - 20123 Milano

ACTUAL STORE ADDRESS
Store at Teatro alla Scala in Milan
Milano, Largo Ghiringhelli (Piazza della Scala)
Opening days (daytime): From Monday to Sunday
Opening hours (daytime): from 10:30am to 7:30pm
Opening hours (evening): on evenings when there is a performance in the theatre, the store is only open to audience members

#52 EricHG31

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 03:04 PM

Thank you so much for going through the trouble to get all that information. I'll work on seeing I can get a copy this weekend, and report back in case anyone else wants one. While it's not too important to me--do you recall if there were editions in different languages, or were they all in Italian (or, maybe one edition with several European languages)?

*edit* On re-reading, I see that you wrote it was in Italian. I spent a Summer there, and my first language is French, so I could probably figure parts of it out anyway--though I want it for the illustrations as well. Sorry about that!

#53 chiapuris

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 11:49 PM

-do you recall if there were editions in different languages, or were they all in Italian (or, maybe one edition with several European languages)?

!

Eric, I asked about different language edition, they told me the synopsis was in english (pp. 10-11). Even some titles are in French but the texts are in Italian.

#54 EricHG31

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 12:11 AM

Thank you! I've sent them an email about foreign purchases, but the language doesn't bother me too much, although I'll propbably spend hours trying to read as much as I can. I assume it's still fairly photo-heavy, and I hope I'll be able to get a copy.

#55 canbelto

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 07:18 AM

A new clip:



#56 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 07:52 AM

Olesya is impressive...!!

#57 leonid17

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 09:39 AM

A new clip:



Thank you for posting.

I was really disappointed with this film of Novikova not because she lacked technique of the legs, because she doesn’t.

Novikova’s arms in terms of characterisation on this occasion were frail, lacking both in weight and the stylistic necessities required for the appropriate plastique of the Hungarian influenced choreography.

If that is how the arms were set, it is clearly an error of judgement. The variation requires the touches that give the sense of the style implied in the music and to also to comply with the historical performance of the role.

Novikova regrettably appeared to be more of a soloist rather than someone fitting the shoes of a ballerina and it would seem possible, that some of the blames lies with the coaching of the role.

Of course Novikova is new to the role and it is a long role and thank goodness, she is young enough to develop a deeper stage presence.

#58 EricHG31

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 11:41 AM

Stunning. From a purely visual point of view--restoration or not--I think this production looks like the most visually pleasing one we have (funny feather hat and all). I'm always struck about how gorgeous, and even novel, the piano (an instrument I usually dislike in orchestral compositions) sounds coming near the end of Raymonda--a bit like the piano glissandos in the Sleeping Beauty PDD.

#59 chiapuris

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 01:44 PM

Raymonda 14-10-11 lLa Scala

Choreography Marius Petipa 1898
Reconstruction Sergei Vikharev
Research Pavel Gershenzon
Libretto Lidia Pashkova and Marius Petipa
Set design Orest Allegri, Piotr Lambin, Konstantin Ivanov 1898
Costumes Ivan Vsevoloski 1898
RAYMONDA Olesya Novikova
JEAN DE BRIENNE Friedemann Vogel
ABDERAKHMAN Mick Zeni
HENRIETTE Antonella Albano
CLEMENCE Petra Conti

Conductor Mikhail Jurowski
------------------------------------------------

The second viewing of Raymonda was all-together a time to relax;
thumbs up or thumbs down?--- the hurried anticipation of a premiere was over.
At least in my mind...... and likewise our foreign correspondent’s mind: it’s a hit.

So the second time around there’s nothing to do but to relax and enjoy. Our seats,
ten rows from the orchestra, were acoustically ideal. The first night’s box seats,
rather near the orchestra, missed visually the upstage right, where certain entrances take place. La Scala box seats are narrow. Sometimes you have to crane the neck to view the entire stage.The couple who had stools in our box had to share a space by standing up next to the stool. (There are only two high-priced chairs per box).

The orchestra (platea) seats seem better. I enjoyed the full-toned music from there.
The first act, with its first scene, started with a tableau of mime to set the actors with their milieu. Then the introduction of the protagonist and some four variations.
My companions felt that Novikova fared even better tonight than the premiere evening.

The first act and its second scene sets the vision scene properly as a prologue within a narrative whose raison d’etre gives the substance of the White Lady’s mission: noblesse oblige or some such thing.

Here Raymonda becomes aware of her destiny in the magical garden that the White Lady fore-ordains as she tells her: ‘Look and see what awaits you’.

Firstly, the crusader Jean de Brienne and Glory, and the Knights,and their Celestial Maidens and the golden palms, and the flower-strewn maids and girls in swirls and in pairs.

Secondly, the antinomial Other, all swagger and power , he of the exotic Otherland.
As the synopsis writes, ‘The frightful vision disappears along with the White Lady’.
Mick Zeni, by the way , is splendid as Abderakhman.

The second act fulfills Raymonda’s cour d’amour and the prophetic entry of Abderakhman and his retinue.
Raymonda with her red tutu dances her entre-chat quatres sur les pointes......... thirty in all.
Clemence and Henriette (Francesca Podini and MariaFrancesca Garritano in the premiere performance) were different dancers tonight.
Both are extremely likable.(their names on top)

The third act of the Hungarian banquet and wedding is my favorite. The joyful cacophony of colors in the ensembles,and the veritable individuality of humankind
warm and wake the senses.
Novikova in the pas classique is glorious.

Bravi to all participants.

Mikhail Jurowski led the orchestra in Glazunov’s bright ballet.

Still no flowers offered during curtain calls. Am i missing a tradition?

jc

#60 annamicro

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 03:06 PM

Still no flowers offered during curtain calls. Am i missing a tradition?


Flowers are never offered on stage. You can send flowers to dancers but they will be delivered in the dressing rooms.


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