The Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy, has published on their official website, the list of leading dancers for the 5 performances of Swan Lake from September 17-22,2013.
This is a copy of what the theater posted on their site
Odette-Odille: Oksana Skorik (17 e 21 settembre) / Ul’jana Lopatkina (18 settembre) / Ol’ga Esina (20 e 22 settembre)
Principe Siegfried: Vladimir Škljarov (17 e 21 settembre) / Evgenij Ivančenko (18 settembre)/ Timur Askerov (20 e 22 settembre)
For me, and probably many, I feel this is an insult to Russian Ballet. Ulyana Lopatkina, within her home country of Russia, is considered the icon of Russian Ballet and the one active Russian dancer, regarded more highly than any other. For Lopatkina to be placed as second cast in the ballet most associated with her, Swan Lake, I feel is equivalent to a slap in her face.
I am over 70 years old and the first ballet performance that I ever saw, was the Kirov Ballet performing Swan Lake in 1961 in New York City. I do not remember who played Odette/Odile and I do not have the program of that performance, but in all my years of watching the Kirov perform Swan Lake, having seen over 100, my most horrifying experience was when I saw all Swan Lake performances at Costa Mesa and Berkeley, and 5 of the 13 performances, including opening night, were danced by the worst Odette/Odile who I have ever seen, Oksana Skorik, who will be opening night in Italy and not Ulyana Lopatkina.
I feel like I am witnessing a horror movie, where the queen of Swan Lake, Ulyana Lopatkina, is being tortured by an evil witch, Skorik. What is going on with the Mariinsky management? I cannot understand this.