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Bolshoi 2014-2015 Season


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#16 Drew

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 10:36 AM

I agree with Birdsall. If you are a ballet lover, then the inside of the historic Mariinsky theater is not to be missed especially now the theater is going to be renovated. (Given the current cast of characters running things there, it's hard to trust that the renovation will be worthy of the theater. Though one can hope.)

 

When I say "not to be missed": The historic Mariinsky is not exactly spectacular--no Palais Garnier grand staircase as in Paris--and I suppose it is aging and...uh...you certainly should pick your seats carefully and other caveats that often apply to 19th-century theaters ... but it is just so completely and utterly enchanting, that if you can get to see a performance there during your trip, (even a ballet you aren't crazy about or, indeed, even a lesser opera performance), then I think you should. 

 

Since I do find travel kind of stressful myself and I have limited stores of energy, I understand that one might decide to stick with Moscow, which should be plenty great--I still haven't been to the Bolshoi and hope I get to go someday!!--but though it's hard to explain, the historic Mariinsky is just something very, very special.



#17 Helene

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 03:40 PM

The Bolshoi Opera is a lot stronger than the Mariinsky Opera overall.  From your Bolshoi pre-sale dates earlier in the thread, I'm assuming you mean the early October run of "La Traviata" (1-5 October).  I don't know how long in advance the casting for opera is posted.  (The latest posting is for the last summer "Tosca," with the smashing Maria Gavrilova.)  For the July run of Traviatas, they will alternate two casts, which is likely for the October run.  The casting is posted on the opera's page:

http://www.bolshoi.r...rformances/570/

 

Under "La Traviata" click "Cast."  The earliest current performance cast will appear on the page.  To see later casts, click the link to the date in the little menu to the right. (The link for 1 October is up, but only the conductor is listed so far.)  

 

If you can wait to buy tickets until the casting is posted, you can search for the singers on YouTube and see whose voices appeal to you most.  If they're singing Violetta, Alfredo Germont, and Giorgio Germont at the Bolshoi, it is almost certain that they've had experience with the role and a 99% chance you'll find at least a selection of theirs from "La Traviata" on YouTube.  You'll have to adjust your sound expectations, since a lot of the YouTube videos are either bootlegs or degraded versions taken from professional recordings and broadcasts, but you should be able to get an idea of what they sound like.  For example, one of the summer Violetta's uses more vibrato and sounds more dramatic, while the other has a lighter voice with little vibrato.

 

My favorite scene in "La Traviata" is the one between Violetta and Papa Germont, the baritone.  The tenor has more music, but this scene is the heart of the opera.  I don't even like Renee Fleming, but when the Royal Opera did an HD broadcast of "La Traviata" with Fleming and Thomas Hampson, this scene made me blubber.  The director for the Bolshoi production, Francesca Zambello, is very renowned and very strong.

 

Here's a bootleg of one July cast's Violetta, Oxana Shilova, and the other July cast's Giorgio Germont, Igor Golovatenko:

 

I wouldn't suggest trying to sit up close or at ground level for opera.  Sound travels up.  I saw "Eugene Onegin" in the Historic Theater before the renovation, in the second tier up side boxes, and the sound was great.  I haven't been there post-renovation, though.



#18 Birdsall

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:27 PM

If you are getting a 3 year visa you can always wait and go to St. Petersburg another trip. But La Sylphide at the historic theatre would be charming. It is nothing to sneeze at. I will see that this coming trip in July and can't wait. 

 

The Little Humpbacked Horse has terrible sets but it is actually a nice ballet, in my opinion. It is fairly modern but based in the classical vocabulary and the music is enjoyable. I saw it twice last summer (Osmolkina/Zyuzin one night and Kolegova/Sergeyev the other night) at M-2. It is no Swan Lake or Bayadere but it is a cute, charming ballet. You will go home with a smile on your face. 

 

But I would opt for La Sylphide at the historic theatre if you can't get back soon. That way you will have had the experience of that theatre! 

 

You will like the Mikhailovsky. 



#19 Birdsall

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:27 PM

I agree with Drew's assessment of the theatre. I look around and say, "I can't believe I am sitting here!" when I am watching a ballet there. 



#20 volcanohunter

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 02:51 PM

The Bolshoi posts the dates that tickets go on "pre-sale." If I understand the rules correctly (no guarantee there!), the tickets should go on sale to the general public the following day.

 

The "pre-sale" dates are:
June 21 - Swan Lake, (Boris Godunov, Eugene Onegin)

June 28 - Flames of Paris, (The Maid of Orleans)

July 5 - Taming of the Shrew, (La traviata)

July 12 - La Sylphide (The Enchantress, The Tsar's Bride)

July 19 - (Così fan tutte)
July 26 - Legend of Love, La Fille mal gardée [Moscow Ballet School], (La Sonnambula)

 

Point #3: http://bolshoi.ru/visit/buyingnew/

 

Yes, folks, it's after midnight Moscow time, and tickets to Swan Lake, plus Boris Godunov and Eugene Onegin, are now on sale. Swan Lake is well on its way to selling out, astronomical prices notwithstanding. So the key is to keep track of those "pre-sale" dates.



#21 Helene

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 02:55 PM

 

So the key is to keep track of those "pre-sale" dates.

 

 

And, if you want those US$313.20 orchestra seats, what time it is in Moscow, compared to your home time zone:

http://www.timeandda...nce.html?p1=166



#22 sasark

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 01:13 PM

Helene, thank you for the tips and clip! It looks like Oxana Shilova will be performing on all the nights that I can go, so she will be the one I see.
 
Drew and Birdsall, I will indeed be seeing "La Sylphide" in the historic theater! I just bought the ticket yesterday and am pretty excited. Now I just have to wait three months....
 
Sasha


#23 Drew

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 01:59 PM

I look forward to hearing about the trip & performances --



#24 sasark

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 12:26 PM

I look forward to hearing about the trip & performances --

 

Thank you Drew! I have now purchased my Bolshoi tickets and, yes, I will definitely report back.

 

Now I am going to describe my ticket-buying experience, just in case it's helpful for anyone else, particularly in regard to figuring out the timing.

 

The pre-sale date for the performances I wanted to see was July 5 (today). I didn't understand what the "pre-sale" entailed, but I decided to be optimistic and see if I could participate. At midnight Moscow time July 5 (10 p.m. July 4 my time), I began checking the web site. I tried several times over the course of a few hours, but the tickets were never available. Then I gave up and went to bed.

 

I checked again this morning around 11:30 my time (1:30 p.m. Moscow time). Then I forgot about it for a while. I think I assumed I'd have to wait until evening. When I tried again at 4 p.m. my time, I was shocked to see the pretty blue "Buy ticket" button next to "my" performances! I leapt into action. I bought tickets for three performances, two in the new theater (both ballets) and one in the historic theater (opera).

 

Selecting a seat for the opera was pretty easy. However, I'm quite choosy about where I sit for ballets, and a good chunk of seats were gone already. It wasn't a terrible situation, but I had a little trouble deciding, partly because I have never been to the theater, and partly because my "first choice" areas where I would normally sit (in any theater) weren't free. I used the following photos to help me choose, and I am excited about the seats I ended up picking.

 

http://2011.rostropo...theatre/br3.jpg

http://2011.rostropo...theatre/bt2.jpg

http://see-you-in-mo.../2010-06-14-109

 

So it was a good experience. I found the Bolshoi's web site easy to use, and I got near-immediate email confirmation of my purchases.

 

Sasha



#25 volcanohunter

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 08:59 AM

If anyone is planning a trip to Moscow in November, this is the next batch of ticket pre-sale dates at the Bolshoi.

 

August 2 - The Bright Stream, (Don Carlo)
August 9 - Legend of Love, (La Bohème, Les Arts Florissants)

August 16 - Lady of the Camellias (Eugene Onegin)

August 23 - Giselle (The Tsar's Bride)
August 30 - (Moiseyev Dance Company, The Story of Kai and Gerda)



#26 leonid17

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 08:20 AM

 

Ballet  performances will include “The Legend of Love,” choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich, and the world premiere in March 2015 of a new staging of “Hamlet,”  with choreography by Radu Poklitaru. Also, the world premiere of a ballet based on Mikhail Lermontov’s “A Hero of Our Time,”  is scheduled for June 2015, choreographed by  Yuri Possokhov.

 2015 tours to  Hong Kong and São Paulo, Brazil.

 

http://artsbeat.blog...tions/?ref=arts

 

 

http://www.themoscow...ove/510670.html

 

 

Raymond Stults writes about his disappointment of the revival of Yuri Grigorovich's "Legend of Love."



#27 volcanohunter

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 11:41 AM

I, too, had thought that Legend of Love was Grigorovich's strongest work, but after watching the most recent film of the ballet, I realized I had been mistaken. I agree that performances of these works are growing progressively weaker with each generation of dancers. The 2014 combination of Allash-Nikulina-Rodkin was feebler than a video from the late 1990s with Allash-Ryzhkina-Belogolovtsev, which in turn was paler than the 1990 film with Bylova-Mikhalchenko-Mukhamedov (and to say that I was never an admirer of Maria Bylova would be putting it mildly). And I also find balletic pseudo-orientalism generally tiresome, but this is a problem that extends far beyond Grigorovich. Unfortunately, I don't think anything could redeem Melikov's music or Virsaladze's designs. 

 

I am not at all convinced that these ballets merit preservation, but if the Bolshoi is going to continue to dance them, they need far more convincing performances than they have been getting.



#28 Jayne

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 11:13 PM

My mom loved it, I found that I could just not find anything enjoyable in the choreography.  The silly attempts at "oriental" arms were just as painfully awful as Grigorovich's attempts at Southeast Asian traditional folk dancing in "La Bayadere".  I had heard "Legend of Love" was the best of Grigorovich's choreography, but I wasn't impressed.

 

The dram-ballet story is inscrutible if you don't have the 2 page (in tiny type!) flyer to read, or the ever-elegant Katerina Novikova to explain everything to you.  I adore her and wish she was my friend in real life, even if she has to sugar coat choreographic soured cabbage to make us think it is pierogi.  

 

The dancers deserved so much better than this.  At least the orchestra played their hearts out.  

 

Is the Lacotte Daughter of the Pharoah worthwhile?  I'm debating if I want to waste $16 or go see an Oscar potential movie instead.  



#29 volcanohunter

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 12:08 AM

Is the Lacotte Daughter of the Pharoah worthwhile?  I'm debating if I want to waste $16 or go see an Oscar potential movie instead.  

 

I enjoyed that performance of The Pharaoh's Daughter very much. It is very silly, but in a fun, unpretentious way. The music is entirely inconsequential, but also inoffensive, with exactly one ditty that sticks in my head and refuses to go away. (There it is now.) Svetlana Zakharova and Ruslan Skvortsov must be in the running for most beautiful-looking pairing in the history of the art form, and the degree of synchronization they achieved in the numerous side-by-side sequences was remarkable.



#30 Swanilda8

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 04:17 AM

 

Is the Lacotte Daughter of the Pharoah worthwhile?  I'm debating if I want to waste $16 or go see an Oscar potential movie instead.  

 

It's the only ballet I've ever walked out of during a performance - I just couldn't handle the blackface sections and the laughs they were getting. That said, the dancing was pretty and I'm still curious what was going to happen that I missed. As mentioned above, the music is pretty twiddly-twattily silly.




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