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What productions of Swan Lake would you recommend traveling to see?

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The most notable thing, musically speaking,  of act IV of the Mariinsky is its use of the Valse Bluette, Drigo's 1895's orchestration of a piece that wasn't even written for the ballet.  I must say I find it anti climatic and too sugary for all the drama that goes before and after its insertion, so no very unhappy too see it cut from ABT's.  Both Mariinsky and ABT use ACt IV's "storm music"-(sometimes also cut off from some productions). Mariinsky basically puts Von Rothbart grand jeteeing acros the stage while ABT's have swans also grand jeteeing in front of the curtain along with a distressed Siegfried. As per ABT's silly prologue, YES...IT NEEDS TO GO at some point.  It is VERY anti climatic to show the ballerina dancing Odette before her iconic entrance in Act II.  Still...SW is all about drama, and the ORIGINAL finale, as originally conceived and followed by ABT, can't get any better.  ABT has also GREAT mime scenes in its finale, something that can't be found at Mariinsky either. 

Edited to add: Gravitysalad...there are two productions that are very interesting to see, from a historical point of view.  One is Miami's impeccable recon of Balanchine's mid century one and the other one the also uber detailed recon of Messerer's 30's staging at the Mikhailovsky. I have truly enjoyed watching both of them.  They really take you to another era.

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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2 hours ago, California said:

Several people have mentioned the Milan performances of Ratmansky. On their current web site, it's scheduled for July 11-21, 2017:

http://www.teatroallascala.org/en/season/2016-2017/ballet/swan-lake.html

 

Does La Scala have any sort of Friends program that gets to buy tickets earlier? If you pounce on the day single tickets go on sale on line, is there a reasonable selection of seats?

 

Other than the Paris performances noted above, have any other tour visits been announced anywhere? I would really like to see this and perhaps this is the time to visit Milan. But it would be great to know where/when it's touring, if there are plans. No hints that I've seen of a US visit or staging on a US company.

 

I don't know if there is any friends program, but I bought the day they went on sale and while there weren't a ton of seats, there were enough to choose from and I was quite pleased with what I got!

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11 hours ago, California said:

Does La Scala have any sort of Friends program that gets to buy tickets earlier? If you pounce on the day single tickets go on sale on line, is there a reasonable selection of seats?

 

In my experience, it depends on whether a performance is part of a subscription series or not. If it's a subscription performance, ticket selection will be poor. If it isn't, there will be lots available. 

 

For Swan Lake, July 11 and 13 are subscription performances. July 8, 15, 18, 19, 20 and 21 are not. However, the July 21 performance is part of the young audience ticket discount program, so demand may be greater.

 

Services charges at La Scala are steep: 20% for online and telephone purchases, 10% for purchases made at the box office. I have never used the telephone system, but it sounds positively arcane. The online system allows you to choose your seats. The vast majority of seats at La Scala fall into the top price category: the entire orchestra and the first row of nearly all boxes, excepting the side-most boxes of the fourth ring. The second row of center boxes in rings 1-3 are also top price. If you want to sit in a box, choose the front seats, otherwise you won't see much. Likewise, only the first row in the galleries offers a decent view. In old opera houses I try whenever possible to sit immediately behind the cross aisle, although at La Scala this is fairly far back in row M.

 

http://www.teatroallascala.org/en/box-office/tickets-prices/prices-2016-2017/tariffa-balletto-2.html

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12 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

Services charges at La Scala are steep: 20% for online and telephone purchases, 10% for purchases made at the box office. I have never used the telephone system, but it sounds positively arcane. The online system allows you to choose your seats. The vast majority of seats at La Scala fall into the top price category: the entire orchestra and the first row of nearly all boxes, excepting the side-most boxes of the fourth ring. The second row of center boxes in rings 1-3 are also top price. If you want to sit in a box, choose the front seats, otherwise you won't see much. Likewise, only the first row in the galleries offers a decent view. In old opera houses I try whenever possible to sit immediately behind the cross aisle, although at La Scala this is fairly far back in row M.

 

http://www.teatroallascala.org/en/box-office/tickets-prices/prices-2016-2017/tariffa-balletto-2.html

 

In addition to the good information already provided by volcanohunter let me add that while it is a bit nerve-wracking that they insist on mailing you the tickets (pick up was only an option if it was quite close to the date), they came quickly. Almost shockingly so, considering the Italian postal system is not known for reliability or efficiency. I received mine within a week!

 

The boxes on the side (unlike say side boxes at the Met) are totally obstructed view with some seats facing away from the stage.

In the boxes facing the stage (what I did) there are 3 rows of 2 seats. The back ones might be a bit undesirable but the first 2 rows are fine. The seats are of varying height so you will be higher than the people in front of you.

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California, right now La Scala is selling tickets to its run of Giselle in October. Opening night is close to sold out, and two other performances with Zakharova and Bolle, which are also subscription performances, are essentially sold out. The remaining, non-subscription performances have between 200 and 500+ seats available. You shouldn't have any trouble getting Swan Lake tickets, especially since it's an "in-house" production with no fancy guest artists.

 

The seat selection map offers views of the stage from most seats, albeit with a closed curtain and without spectators' heads in the rows.

 

http://teatroallascala.ticketone.it/ticketshop/webticket/eventlist?languages=it&languages=en&production=205&tokenName=CSRFTOKEN&language=en

Edited by volcanohunter

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If I may venture an opinion : the current Grigarovich staging at the Balshoy in Maskva ! The first act choreo for Siegfried/Rothbart (Zloy Geniy=Evil Genius in Russki) is mind-blowing imho. Saw it at Balshoy in Jan 2015 on my first trip to Russia (Nikulina/Chudin/Belyakov) and recently twice at the ROH London in August this year (Smirnova/Chudin/Kryuchkov)+(Zakharova/Rodkin/Belyakov). The Jesters are something to see too ... no one in the West can do this sort of characterization. The current Legris staging at Vienna is very good too but you have to pick your cast,  Konovalova and Yakovleva are good dancers.

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I've been trying to find other performances of the Ratmansky Swan Lake in the next year.

 

La Scala is presenting it in Paris November 5-13, 2016

http://www.teatroallascala.org/en/season/2015-2016/tournee/france/il-lago-dei-cigni.html

 

Zurich Ballet will present it March 18-28, 2017

https://www.opernhaus.ch/en/activity/detail/schwanensee-18-03-2017-18646/

 

As noted earlier, La Scala is doing it at home next July 9-21, 2017

http://www.teatroallascala.org/en/season/2016-2017/ballet/swan-lake.html

 

Despite serious googling, I can't find any hints of other companies staging it or other performances. If anyone sees notice somewhere, please let us know.

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On September 27, 2016 at 5:49 AM, cubanmiamiboy said:

The most notable thing, musically speaking,  of act IV of the Mariinsky is its use of the Valse Bluette, Drigo's 1895's orchestration of a piece that wasn't even written for the ballet.  I must say I find it anti climatic and too sugary for all the drama that goes before and after its insertion, so no very unhappy too see it cut from ABT's.  Both Mariinsky and ABT use ACt IV's "storm music"-(sometimes also cut off from some productions). Mariinsky basically puts Von Rothbart grand jeteeing acros the stage while ABT's have swans also grand jeteeing in front of the curtain along with a distressed Siegfried. As per ABT's silly prologue, YES...IT NEEDS TO GO at some point.  It is VERY anti climatic to show the ballerina dancing Odette before her iconic entrance in Act II.  Still...SW is all about drama, and the ORIGINAL finale, as originally conceived and followed by ABT, can't get any better.  ABT has also GREAT mime scenes in its finale, something that can't be found at Mariinsky either. 

Edited to add: Gravitysalad...there are two productions that are very interesting to see, from a historical point of view.  One is Miami's impeccable recon of Balanchine's mid century one and the other one the also uber detailed recon of Messerer's 30's staging at the Mikhailovsky. I have truly enjoyed watching both of them.  They really take you to another era.

Thanks for these details!  At some point I do hope to see ABT's, Balanchine's and even Peter Martins's (if only to see Sara Mearns as Odette/Odile, based on what I've read about her), and will keep an eye out for the Messerer as well.

 

The La Scala helpful hints are much appreciated!  I've marked my calendar for the when tickets go on sale and will try to make this happen next year.  Good to know the mail-only option delivered quickly... Not having another option may well have scared me away.  (Does La Scala have a print-at-home ticket option?  I guess I'll find that out on May 5.)

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On September 29, 2016 at 6:40 AM, mnacenani said:

If I may venture an opinion : the current Grigarovich staging at the Balshoy in Maskva ! The first act choreo for Siegfried/Rothbart (Zloy Geniy=Evil Genius in Russki) is mind-blowing imho. Saw it at Balshoy in Jan 2015 on my first trip to Russia (Nikulina/Chudin/Belyakov) and recently twice at the ROH London in August this year (Smirnova/Chudin/Kryuchkov)+(Zakharova/Rodkin/Belyakov). The Jesters are something to see too ... no one in the West can do this sort of characterization. The current Legris staging at Vienna is very good too but you have to pick your cast,  Konovalova and Yakovleva are good dancers.

Good to know about these are recommended as well - thanks!  Oh, how wonderful to have so many choices.  I haven't much thought about aiming for specific casts yet. (The swan corps is the biggest draw for me so far.)

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14 minutes ago, gravitysalad said:

Does La Scala have a print-at-home ticket option? 

 

As of a year ago, it did not, and as far as I can tell it still doesn't. (Otherwise they would have to get rid of those crazy service charges!)

 

P.S. You may end up loving it, but I detest the Grigorovich Swan Lake. I will tolerate it only for the sake of certain casts. There are films of it, so you can give it a test drive and decide for yourself.

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9 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

 

As of a year ago, it did not, and as far as I can tell it still doesn't. (Otherwise they would have to get rid of those crazy service charges!)

 

P.S. You may end up loving it, but I detest the Grigorovich Swan Lake. I will tolerate it only for the sake of certain casts. There are films of it, so you can give it a test drive and decide for yourself.

Dang about the tickets (and fees), although an official box office printed ticket is a nicer keepsake than the print-at-home variety.  

 

Ah, very sound advice about test-driving... Probably best to do for every version with that option before springing for tickets and travel.

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I avoid Grigorovich's Swan Lake and, like Volcanohunter, when I do go, it is to see a specific cast. In my opinion you need to see it once if only to appreciate the theatrical strength of the original structure with its carefully considered contrast in choreographed dynamics between the sections of dance, processions and mime. In particular it makes very clear how essential the short  lakeside mime sequence is to the over all structure and balance of the ballet. The effect of Grigorovich's concept, building on earlier "improvements" to the text, is to turn it into a ballet which should more accurately be called Siegfried than Swan Lake as the dancer performing Odette/Odile is reduced to little more than a supporting character. For me it has the effect of reducing the great Petipa/Ivanov ballet to a rather bland and boring piece in which the role of Odette/Odile is strangely diminished and a few exceptionally talented male dancers have an opportunity to display their technique. As with many other versions of Swan Lake that  I have seen it would  be more accurate to describe it as based on an idea by Petipa and Ivanov than to suggest a closer connection to the original text.

 

I am looking forward to seeing the Ratmansky reconstruction if only to see the ballet danced at the right speed after years of seeing Odette performed by dancers so obsessed by slowness that their performances seem to come from a different ballet from the one in which the corps de ballet is appearing. For years we have had to put up with Bintley's choreography for the waltz so I am curious to see what the reconstructed waltz looks like. After the initial push for "authnticity" and Ashton's death it would have been wonderful to have seen either of Ashton's waltzes replace Bintley's undistinguished offering.

Edited by Ashton Fan

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Zurich's performances are in April as well ss March

 

18 Mär 2017, 19:00
Wiederaufnahme
Preise D: 198, 173, 152, 90, 32 CHF

25 Mär 2017, 19:00
Preise D: 198, 173, 152, 90, 32 CHF

26 Mär 2017, 20:00
Preise D: 198, 173, 152, 90, 32 CHF

30 Mär 2017, 19:00
Preise D: 198, 173, 152, 90, 32 CHF

01 Apr 2017, 19:00
Preise D: 198, 173, 152, 90, 32 CHF

04 Apr 2017, 19:00
Preise D: 198, 173, 152, 90, 32 CHF

06 Apr 2017, 19:00
Preise D: 198, 173, 152, 90, 32 CHF

09 Apr 2017, 14:00
Preise D: 198, 173, 152, 90, 32 CHF

13 Apr 2017, 19:00
Preise D: 198, 173, 152, 90, 32 CHF

28 Apr 2017, 19:30
Preise D: 198, 173, 152, 90, 32 CHF

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