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Onegin - 2013 Met Season


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#1 abatt

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 06:50 AM

No comments on Onegin? Is everyone holding out for the Vishneva-Gomes performance, which I expect will set the Met ablaze with passion?

I attended last night's performance. It took David Hallberg some time to find his groove, but fortunately he managed to find it by the middle of the ballet. Initially he seemed very bland. Also, in the scene where he enters Tatiana's bedroom (dream) through the mirror while she's writing her letter, his partnering of Seo seemed so careful that it destroyed the explosiveness and flow of that scene. Luckily, he perked up after the intermission. By the end he was on fire as he pleaded with Seo for foregiveness. It was a whirlwind of emotion. Seo was excellent throughout, and I thought she was much more belieivable this season (compared to last) in her transition from young silly girl to mature woman. Her extensions and the flexibility of her spine created a spectacular visual effect.
I really have not paid much attention to Gorak in the past, but I thought he did an excellent job as Lensky in his solos and his partnering of Yuriko.

By the way, attendance was sparse. It was like a ghost town up in the balcony and family circle area.

#2 angelica

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 07:48 AM

Thank you for posting, Abatt! I, too, was awaiting word on Onegin. I'm not surprised that it took Hallberg some time to find his groove. He's been out for 10 months recuperating from a foot injury, so I wouldn't be surprised at some anxiety appearing back onstage again. Perhaps his care in partnering Seo has something to do with a shoulder injury some time ago. The last thing he (and we) need is for him to be injured again. Ballet is such an unforgiving art, with no room for a do-over. One false move and you're sidelined.

I saw Gorak as Lensky (was it last year or two years ago that ABT previously did Onegin?) and thought he was wonderful. I'm glad to see that you, and hopefully others, are noticing him too.

I can't wait for my Vishneva/Gomes performance on Monday night!

#3 mimsyb

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 09:55 AM

Yes, Hallberg started cooly, but heated up as the evening went on. By Act III both were on fire! That actually worked for me; he as somewhat the distant and unattainable one. She can use some work on her un-supported piroettes, but all in all a gorgeous performance. And Jos. Gorak was outstanding. Surely there is a Romeo in his future? A nice shout out also to Roddy Doble as Gremin. He, too, just gets better and better and more versatile. A seemingly stronger and tighter production than last year's. The many nuances of Cranko's choreography, especially for the corps, seemed to come into sharper focus. Seeing Vishneva/Gomes on Friday and I'm sure it will also be special. Orchestra last night was sort of filled, but many were there on freebies. I was, as were several around me.

#4 FauxPas

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:29 PM

I did a double day of "Onegin" on Wednesday. I will be out of town on Friday/Saturday so Vishneva/Gomes will wait until Monday and I will miss Dvorovenko's farewell. The matinee had the stronger pair of women, the evening performance had the better men. Definitely Irina was the star of the matinee performance. Her technique is still excellent - as Tatiana's Act II solo pas with its many pirouettes and changes in direction showed. As an actress she showed a firm command of the character and its many changes throughout with many striking details of characterization. If in her final scene with Onegin the passion seemed a little manufactured, that had to do with her Onegin, Corey Stearns. Corey is always improving and this was a very well-danced performance. His partnering in the Letter/Dream pas de deux in Act I in particular was very accomplished and secure. And this is after I nearly bit my nails off wondering if he was going to drop Irina in their "Dame aux Camellias" performances two seasons ago. But he is callow onstage and pairing him with a mature, accomplished ballerina like Dvorovenko (or Part) just shows his lack of maturity. He couldn't match her intensity and he lacked sexual allure seeming bland. He had been very well coached but the dramatic fire wasn't there. Gemma Bond stepped out of the corps to dance Olga and was lovely. Beautiful footwork. Compared with the boistrous Osipova last season, she is a gently cheerful English rose, not quite the giddy hoyden that the Russian star gave us. But it was a very well danced and lovely portrayal - more please. In fact how about some Lilac Fairies later this season? Or a Princess Florine or Dryad Queen in "Don Q" (not Amour - Gemma is too tall). Bond is definitely as strong if not stronger than several soloist women. Blaine Hoven has lost weight losing that thickness around the middle and upper thighs that plagued him recently and he is in good technical form. He listed a bit to one side during a pirouette turn in his first solo but from then on danced well. Vitali Krauchenka was a wonderful courtly, formal and convincingly old world aristocrat Prince Gremin. Anyway, Irina will have a triumph at her farewell on Saturday if she can match what she did on Wednesday afternoon.

I actually rather like Hallberg's Onegin right from the beginning. It sort of gave him an opportunity to show us the dark side of his blond princes - the hauteur, comtempt for inferiors, self-regard and boredom that might lurk behind Albrecht's or Siegfried's princely facade. His dancing looked fine and I was watching his facial expressions through binoculars and he was always reacting in an interesting way. Hee Seo has a lovely natural unaffected smile and manner onstage and her Tatiana seemed very fresh and guileless but also a touch bland compared with Dvorovenko and Vishneva. Seo doesn't yet project the same level of dramatic detail or inner life as they can suggest. However, Seo can more easily evoke the physicality of a young teenage girl than more experienced ballerinas. She also is very light which made her seem like a feather during all the lifts in the pas de deuxs with Onegin in Act I and III. Joseph Gorak has wonderful feet and a beautiful jump, clean beats and gorgeous line - he was a sweet boyish Lensky. Again, how about some Bluebirds if he hasn't danced the role before at ABT? Benvolio in R&J too. Yuriko Kajiya is always very adept and rather colorless - same goes for her Olga. She did bring out the shapes of the choreography very accurately but lacked any real warmth. Roddy Doble was a very physically imposing, commanding but tender Prince Gremin. I think ABT goes a little overboard with the gray hair they put on Onegin in Act III - it is supposed to be 7 or 10 years later not 20 or 30.

#5 abatt

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 07:14 AM

I went to the Kent - Bolle Onegin last night. The auditorium was once again mostly empty. Bolle's performance was much more vivid in terms of characterization and detail than Hallberg's. Gestures that were mere throwaways during Hallberg's performance became telling details when Bolle performed them. Kent is a wonderful actress, but her diminshed flexibility and technique were noticeable (especially if you have seen other casts perform the same role). Loved Sarah Lane. She was perfection. Give Sarah a Juliet, please!

Counting down the hours until the Gomes Vishneva show.

#6 ABT Fan

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:09 AM

Loved Sarah Lane. She was perfection. Give Sarah a Juliet, please!


Agree! I've felt for years that Lane would make a most lovely Juliet! How about Gorak as her Romeo?

Please post a review for the Gomes/Vishneva Onegin afterwards. :)

#7 California

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:09 AM

I went to the Kent - Bolle Onegin last night. The auditorium was once again mostly empty.


Why doesn't ABT sell tickets through the TDF/half price booth? NYCB regularly does. Indeed, they have Saturday matinee 5/18 listed right now. With so many tourists in town, why not at least fill the hall and avoid embarrassment?

#8 abatt

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:43 AM

One thing that the Philharmonic does is that it allows subscribers, once per season, to upgrade, at no charge, to better seats when available on the day of the performance. (They send you a pass, and you surrender the pass at the time of the upgrade.) Given the large numbers of empty seats at ABT, it would be nice if ABT showed its appreciation for its loyal subscribers in this manner too. I spend Lots more $$$$ at ABT than at the Philharmonic.

#9 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 04:14 PM

I may be wrong about this, but I don't think it's ABT's decision not to have reduced price tickets. I think the decision belongs to whoever is running the Metropolitan Opera House. ABT only rents the MET. NYCB's situation at the David Koch Theatre is different. But if it is up to the Met, the question is why don't they allow half price or reduced price tickets. Isn't it better to get some ticket money rather than nothing?

I will be attending tomorrow's Onegin - the matinee with Hallberg and Polina S. (I have absolutely no idea how to spell her name.) I've only seen Onegin three times - once in the late 1980s the National Ballet of Canada brought the ballet to the Met during the summer (or the NY State Theater. I'm not sure which.) It was okay, but I don't even remember who danced the main roles so it wasn't too memorable. In 2001 I saw Dvorovenko and Graffin dance Onegin and in 2002 I saw Jaffe and Carlos Molinas. The two ABT performances I remember very well. I absolutely loved those two Onegins, especially the dream pas de deux at the end of Act I and the final pas de deux at the end of Act III. If I get a chance, I'lll post my thoughts about the May 18th matinee performance.

#10 Batsuchan

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 07:23 PM

Well, Diana and Marcelo just about killed it (and killed me!) in tonight's performance! The couple from California who were sitting next to me thought it was unbelievable.

James Whiteside was a dignified Prince Gremin; Isabella was a cute and perky Olga, and she seemed to have real chemistry with Jared Matthews as Lensky.

I'm seeing both shows tomorrow, so I'll elaborate more later!

But for now, a hearty bravo to Marcelo and Diana!!

#11 mimsyb

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:24 PM

I may be wrong about this, but I don't think it's ABT's decision not to have reduced price tickets. I think the decision belongs to whoever is running the Metropolitan Opera House. ABT only rents the MET. NYCB's situation at the David Koch Theatre is different. But if it is up to the Met, the question is why don't they allow half price or reduced price tickets. Isn't it better to get some ticket money rather than nothing?

I will be attending tomorrow's Onegin - the matinee with Hallberg and Polina S. (I have absolutely no idea how to spell her name.) I've only seen Onegin three times - once in the late 1980s the National Ballet of Canada brought the ballet to the Met during the summer (or the NY State Theater. I'm not sure which.) It was okay, but I don't even remember who danced the main roles so it wasn't too memorable. In 2001 I saw Dvorovenko and Graffin dance Onegin and in 2002 I saw Jaffe and Carlos Molinas. The two ABT performances I remember very well. I absolutely loved those two Onegins, especially the dream pas de deux at the end of Act I and the final pas de deux at the end of Act III. If I get a chance, I'lll post my thoughts about the May 18th matinee performance.

I was told once by the man who helped me at The Atrium 1/2 price kiosk that it was indeed the decision of ABT not to use the kiosk or to discount tickets, unlike NYCB. The Met had nothing to do with it.

#12 Classic_Ballet

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:04 PM

I was tonight there too, and once again, I was stunned by Marcelo and Diana.
No words can express the beauty of their dancing and the chemistry of this partnership.

I could only add that I noticed a more mature Diana, "less wild" maybe, she really delivered a performance for the ages.
Marcelo was his usual great, and his partnering was unmatched, the last pas de deux is still in my mind. Thanks !!!

#13 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 04:32 AM

mimsyb thank you for clairifying the fact that it is ABT's decision not to sell discounted tickets. Again, the question is why? It doesn't make a lot of sense.

#14 California

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:13 AM

mimsyb thank you for clairifying the fact that it is ABT's decision not to sell discounted tickets. Again, the question is why? It doesn't make a lot of sense.

Does ABT do a 1/2 price student/senior/military rush an hour before performance? Does NYCB? That's another great way to fill seats, get a little more $$, and open up the artform to people on very tight budgets, especially the young audiences that should be cultivated for the future of the artform.

Nobody has mentioned whether the house sold well for Vishneva-Gomes. That's the dream casting for balletomanes, but I wonder how many casual ballet goers or tourists knew that.

#15 abatt

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:52 AM

Vishneva/Gomes were breathtaking. This is the best partnership since Ferri Bocca. Based on past experience, the Vishneva Gomes Monday night performance is likely to be even more thrilling.

The balcony was about 80 percent full.


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