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2018 Met Season

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2 hours ago, abatt said:

Boylston as Nikiya?  Is this a role debut for her?  I don't see her as Nikiya, at all.  She was a good Gamzatti, and should have stayed with that role.

I think it must be. Her ABT bio only indicates that she's danced Gamzatti, and they are usually pretty good about updating those role lists. Yeah, Boylston doesn't exactly radiate the sensual beauty needed for Nikiya. I don't even want to think about what she'll do with her arms and hands...

Edited by fondoffouettes

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I'm really unexcited by the season except for the Harlequinade and maybe the Giselle with Hallberg and Osipova (if that happens). I wonder why they are giving Juliet to Teuscher instead of Lane. Teuscher is a tall, rather majestic dancer with a mature persona. Lane is naturally girlish. Also wonder why Lane is getting the Wednesday matinee Giselle - she was so lovely last season. 

And I guess Seo Ballet Theater has been replaced with Copeland Ballet Theater.

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1 hour ago, canbelto said:

 I wonder why they are giving Juliet to Teuscher instead of Lane. Teuscher is a tall, rather majestic dancer with a mature persona. Lane is naturally girlish. Also wonder why Lane is getting the Wednesday matinee Giselle - she was so lovely last season.

It seems like they had plans for each of the three new principal women to take on 2-3 new major roles each this season. Aside from Nikiya, there wasn’t another obvious role for Teuscher to take on, so I guess they settled on Juliet. I’m hoping it helps her break out of her shell a bit. Still, it’s very disappointing not to see Lane in the role.

 

It’s ridiculous they gave Lane the Wednesday matinee of Giselle after her triumphant performances last season. Why not give it to Copeland, who can probably even fill the house for a Wednesday matinee?

 

Copeland is just a cash cow, plain and simple. Even she must realize she’s not being cast based on technical and artistic merit. They are basically only avoiding casting her in things she has no hope of getting through, like Nikiya and Aurora. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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Copeland and Boylston are cast on every ballet so far. Boylston is doing Nikiya, Juliet, and Kitri twice. Copeland is doing O/O and Juliet twice (with two different Romeos and Siegfrieds, mind you).

Interesting that Murphy is cast so much, considering how injury prone she has become. Here's hoping she stays healthy all season. I realize that she's close to 40 and will probably start retiring roles soon, but I sure hope she doesn't push herself too much.

 

I'll try to catch the La Bayadere's double debut Wednesday. Everyone, sans Cornejo, is debuting a principal role. I don't think I'll make it to Giselle this year. I wish Don Q and La Bayadere were back to back because I want to watch Lane's Kitri debut (and Murphy because I don't know how much longer she'll be able to do this role and she's one of my favorite Kitris). Maybe I can go back to New York for a few days in late June. Still a long time before tickets go on sale, so I'll try to sort out my schedule.

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1 hour ago, canbelto said:

I'm really unexcited by the season except for the Harlequinade and maybe the Giselle with Hallberg and Osipova (if that happens). I wonder why they are giving Juliet to Teuscher instead of Lane. Teuscher is a tall, rather majestic dancer with a mature persona. Lane is naturally girlish. Also wonder why Lane is getting the Wednesday matinee Giselle - she was so lovely last season. 

And I guess Seo Ballet Theater has been replaced with Copeland Ballet Theater.

Kevin M decided to promote Lane but I never expected him to favor her in casting. Yet some of this casting surprises me in its perversity. Her Giselle performances were spectacular, so give her a Wed. matinee. Her SL was promising (beyond promising and she's guested in the role since) don't give her that. She is a natural Juliet but don't cast her in that. Cast her as Kitri. I'm sure she'll be fine but it is not a natural the way Juliet is.

 

Copeland has way too many performances, but she sells.

 

Of course, we never know what the season will really bring. The last few years have proven that.

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8 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

 

The noteworthy thing here is that McGregor was supposed to have choreographed a Rite of Spring for the Bolshoi in 2013 but never did in the aftermath of the attack on Sergei Filin. Five years later ABT is going to get that premiere instead.

 

I get it that this may be a major choreographic event. The title just seems really pretentious and fussy -- it's a portmanteau, in all caps, with a red R. Not to mention that the red R doesn't looks especially avant-garde on ABT's circa 1998 website. Funny how all the artistic geniuses of the past never thought to change the font colors of the titles of their works. McGregor may be on to something... or is he just overcompensating?

Edited by fondoffouettes

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1 hour ago, vipa said:

Kevin M decided to promote Lane but I never expected him to favor her in casting. Yet some of this casting surprises me in its perversity. Her Giselle performances were spectacular, so give her a Wed. matinee. Her SL was promising (beyond promising and she's guested in the role since) don't give her that. She is a natural Juliet but don't cast her in that. Cast her as Kitri. I'm sure she'll be fine but it is not a natural the way Juliet is.

 

Copeland has way too many performances, but she sells.

 

Of course, we never know what the season will really bring. The last few years have proven that.

 

Completely agree. I'm dumbfounded. No Juliet or O/O for Lane? Matinee for Giselle? So, in order for me (and I'm sure others) to see a truly breathtaking Giselle, I'll have to take the day off from work. She better get the opening night of Harlequinade. To be fair though, I think part of the problem is that Lane and Copeland share the same partners: Cornejo and Simkin. And, we all know who gets preferential casting, and usually two shows per ballet. Cornejo seems to be dialing down a bit and he's also been injured a lot, so he's being "saved" for Copeland it seems. But, that doesn't excuse a matinee.

 

Separarely, I'm happy to see Waski get Myrta (I was wondering who'd get a shot this year since Part is gone) and Shayer and Klein get WC. Shayer also debuts as Mercutio so he really, truly better get promoted next year. And, Ahn as Solor?? Wow!

 

Interesting Osipova is coming back, but her Giselle with Hallberg is extraordinary. I don't see Teuscher as Juliet at all. I wish Forster was getting more. I was hoping for a Siegfried or even an Albrecht for him. 

Edited by ABT Fan

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1 hour ago, vipa said:

Kevin M decided to promote Lane but I never expected him to favor her in casting. Yet some of this casting surprises me in its perversity.

 

Perverse is the operative word.  I don’t think his original intention was to promote Lane last season; I think he found himself backed into a corner following her phenomenal performances – scheduled and unscheduled - and had no other choice.  My hope is that Lane will continue to astonish us in whatever role she’s given, just to prove that there really isn’t anything she can’t do.  Of interest to me is the scheduling of Don Q during the next to last week of the season.  It seems like an attempt to ensure that there will be no repeat of last spring’s opening week with Don Q, which proved disastrous with so many principals injured, but provided triumphs for some wonderful soloists.  Which ultimately led to some unplanned promotions.  You can attempt to mitigate the odds so that your plans hold up, but there’s only so much you can do.  I’m looking forward to more spring surprises.

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I would love to see the Ratmansky Harlequinade, but unfortunately the dates don't mesh with times I can travel to New York. Osipova/Hallberg Giselle would be exciting to see as well, but I think I won't be able to see that either.  In an ideal world, I would also like catch up with some of the company''s newer principal dancers and soloists. And I own to a teensy bit of curiosity about how the McGregor Rite will turn out. But unfortunately, this looks as if it is going to be an ABT-less summer.

Edited by Drew
Precision

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Like others, I’m disappointed with Lane’s casting, though I’m excited to see her Nikiya and Kitri.  But I thought her Swan Lake was phenomenal and would have liked to see her dance it again (without all of the pressure of a possible promotion on her shoulders, and with ample time to prepare).

 

I’m disappointed to see Brandt did not get a Kitri.

 

Too much Copeland in back to back Saturday matinees.  Ugh, so now I lose out on Swan Lake and Juliet.  And what a not-so-inspiring Saturday of Swan Lake with Copeland and Seo.  As that is the only time I can go unless I book a hotel room, I think I’ll be seeing less this year.  Many of the casts I’m excited about (Lane Giselle and Nikiya, Teuscher and Shevchenko Swan Lakes are during the week when I can’t get to NYC.

 

At least I get to see the Teuscher/Ahn/Trenary Bayadere.

 

I’m going to be saving some money this year.

Edited by Kaysta

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Most excited about Harlequinade and anything classical with Schevchenko or Lane. No interest whatsoever in AFTERIGHT, made less palatable by being paired with one of the weaker Ratmanskys in the rep, Firebird. Nyet and Nyet.

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Sad to see so little of Lane, Cirio, and Simkin.  I have not always been a fan of Lane's, but I feel that she is more than ready to take on more.  I would rather watch her than some of the other principal women.  Really looking forward to McGregor's piece.  For me, it's a nice change for the Met season.  I know most ABT fans do not like him, but I have loved his work.  As most people have stated above, disappointed with casting all around.

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On 10/26/2017 at 11:22 AM, volcanohunter said:

 

The noteworthy thing here is that McGregor was supposed to have choreographed a Rite of Spring for the Bolshoi in 2013 but never did in the aftermath of the attack on Sergei Filin. Five years later ABT is going to get that premiere instead.

 

I'm curious to see what he does with that score, if I ever get a chance to see it.  Sacre really brings out different things in choreographers.

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9 hours ago, its the mom said:

Sad to see so little of Lane, Cirio, and Simkin.  I have not always been a fan of Lane's, but I feel that she is more than ready to take on more.  I would rather watch her than some of the other principal women.  Really looking forward to McGregor's piece.  For me, it's a nice change for the Met season.  I know most ABT fans do not like him, but I have loved his work.  As most people have stated above, disappointed with casting all around.

Cirio is a principal in search of principal roles.  His only lead is in Don Q.    If I were him I would be very frustrated.  

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56 minutes ago, abatt said:

Cirio is a principal in search of principal roles.  His only lead is in Don Q.    If I were him I would be very frustrated.  

 

I assume he'll be cast in Harlequinade no?

But Cirio is in the awkward position of being the short principal who is behind Cornejo and Simkin in seniority. So until Cornejo scales back his performances and Simkin leaves for Berlin, opportunities for Cirio will be limited because that's just sort of the way ABT works.

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2 hours ago, canbelto said:

 

I assume he'll be cast in Harlequinade no?

But Cirio is in the awkward position of being the short principal who is behind Cornejo and Simkin in seniority. So until Cornejo scales back his performances and Simkin leaves for Berlin, opportunities for Cirio will be limited because that's just sort of the way ABT works.

 

Yes and no.

 

First, Cirio is also getting two performances of The Boy in Whipped Cream, so that's two lead roles, but obviously that's still not sufficient for a principal.

 

Second, Cirio did most of the full-lengths at Boston and I really thought this year, his second year as a principal, we'd see a new role or two for him (new role at ABT that is). I don't see why he and Lane (though not together, I don't see chemistry there) couldn't have been given a SL, making that an ABT debut for him and much deserved casting for both of them.  Teuscher/Gomes have two SL's. So does Copeland (one with Cornejo and other is TBA but that'll most likely be Simkin), but we know she gets two of most everything so that's not going to change. Why couldn't they have given Teuscher just one performance, then pair Cirio with Copeland and give Lane either Cornejo or Simkin (and the other can be paired with Copeland for her second perf). I realize that means taking one perf away from Gomes, a very senior principal who no longer carries a heavy load, but you've got two principals with not a lot to do. 

 

I did an audit of the female principal's load and it's worse than I thought. (I included O/O, Giselle, Myrta, Kitri, Mercedes/QoD, Firebird and The Maiden, Nikiya and Gamzatti, Juliet and the two leads in Whipped Cream in the tally. Harlequinade's casting is not out yet, so that's not included.)

 

Number of principal performances each:

 

Copeland: 12

Boylston: 11

Teuscher:11

Seo: 10

Murphy: 9

Abrera: 9

Shevchenko: 8

Lane: 5

 

We know Lane will also get Harlequinade, but even if we assume she'll get two shows that only brings her up to 7. And, I bet Copeland will also be cast (along with Trenary, we know for sure, and probably Brandt). Clearly they're grooming Teuscher to take over for Murphy when she retires, but I'm still surprised at the number of shows she's been given as a new principal. Regarding Abrera, if you remove The Maiden from the tally, which isn't a lead role, she gets knocked down to 7.

 

The one upside for Cirio is that he's still very young, in his mid-20's, but Simkin isn't leaving, he'll still dance during the Met season after he starts with Berlin. We just don't know how much yet. So, if McKenzie isn't going to make room for him *until* Simkin or Cornejo dial back during back the Met seasons, then that could be a problem. Can't help but wonder if when he found out about the casting from his flat in London (he's been there for months so assuming he was told once already there)  did he think "Well, maybe I should just stay here". Not suggesting that's an option, I don't know, just sayin'.

 

There is never going to be an equal number of roles given to everyone, but for Cirio and Lane this is skewed rather drastically. 

Edited by ABT Fan

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Thank you for that detailed analysis, ABT Fan. I agree with a lot of your points. Personally, I really enjoy both Lane and Cirio and am somewhat disappointed not to see them more often. Curious why you say you don't see the two of them having chemistry together? I don't think they've partnered together but it could be interesting to see. 

 

Also would not mind at all if you wish to do a tally of the men as well. :)

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Bolle - 1

Cirio - 6 (if you include Mercutio) - I assume he will do Harlequinade and the McGregor piece, as he has worked with Wayne before, but assumptions are a bad thing.

Cornejo - 7, but no Whipped Cream

Gomes - 7

Hallberg - 9

Lendorf - 9 - He has been given a good bit considering the amount of times he has been injured.

Simkin - 7 (one of these is Mercutio and two are Whipped Cream)

Stearns - 9

Whiteside - 6 (Whiteside did not do Basilio last year, but this year is paired with Seo.

 

I do think Cirio and Lane could have good chemistry, but, as we know, it does not matter what we think.  Probably a number of us could cast these ballets better.   

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Fleurfairy said:

So no Swan Lake for Lane. I'm even sadder now that I missed her one performance this past spring. 

I would rather see one Minkus ballet (Don Q or Bayadere or Corsair) per Met season and have them fill the opened dates with more Swan Lakes or Giselles so that each cast can have more than one performance.  The audience could have a better chance of seeing the casts they want and the dancers would have a chance to grow in their roles.

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23 minutes ago, maps said:

As I peruse the Met calendar I have my annual question.   Why no Sunday matinees at the Met?   Koch, Kennedy Center, etc have Sunday matinees, closed Mondays.   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/arts/music/metropolitan-opera-attendance-slightly-better-still-bad.html?_r=0   The KC fills the house on Sundays for ABT.   

I just assumed this had something to do with the contracts for support staff at the Met. There are never any operas on Sunday either. And Sunday seems to be the big day for changing sets for the next week's performances, with closed rehearsals on Sunday (at least, judging from the occasional Instagram post). 

 

But if you're visiting NYC and trying to cram in as much as possible, this works out well. Sunday mat for NYCB. Monday night for ABT. Wednesday mat for ABT. 

Edited by California

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7 minutes ago, California said:

I just assumed this had something to do with the contracts for support staff at the Met. There are never any operas on Sunday either. And Sunday seems to be the big day for changing sets for the next week's performances, with closed rehearsals on Sunday (at least, judging from the occasional Instagram post). 

 

Yes, I believe that's correct, and I recall that since Gelb came to the Met there have at times been reports that Sundays were under consideration but that negotiations would need to be completed. That never seemed to go anywhere.

 

It would certainly not be ABT's decision to simply say, "We want to do this."

 

Edited by nanushka

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34 minutes ago, maps said:

As I peruse the Met calendar I have my annual question.   Why no Sunday matinees at the Met?   Koch, Kennedy Center, etc have Sunday matinees, closed Mondays.   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/arts/music/metropolitan-opera-attendance-slightly-better-still-bad.html?_r=0   The KC fills the house on Sundays for ABT.   

 

After reading that NYTimes article, I'm struck at the absence of imagination in bringing in more subscribers. We've discussed before that ABT's approach to subscriptions (and ticket sales generally) seems to be constrained by the Met's approach to everything. Almost all other ballet companies in the US have creative subscriptions: create-your-own (with the ability to pick out your own seat) + reduced prices for additional tickets are big attractions. ABT's create-your-own is very limited -- you pick the dates, but they pick the seats, and no discount for buying additional seats. I have to assume the Met has looked at these things and rejected them, but they seem to work for everybody else! At a minimum, create-your-own (with ability to pick out your own seat) seems to work for NYCB and it's puzzling that the Met doesn't try this.

 

Summer opera festivals elsewhere are thriving. Santa Fe and Central City (Colorado) sell-out. I'm not an opera buff but tag along with my sister and we always notice the paucity of children, at least compared with ballet performances. I guess there aren't that many 10-year-olds who dream of being opera singers, but there are plenty who dream of being ballerinas!

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The Met and Gelb have tried for a number of years to negotiate w. the unions to open on Sundays and close during a weekday.  The negotiations have always failed.  The HD broadcasts are cannibalizing in house attendance at the Met opera.

 

 

Edited by abatt

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