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The Great Race

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May 31. 17:10 (Local time). Leave St. Petersburg on BA 0879 - the only daily British Airways flight to London.

17:40 GMT (Local Time) Land at Heathrow Airport

Get through customs (I'll be able to get priority through immigration), get luggage. Pray this all happens on schedule.

Make a decision at Heathrow - either

a: Take Heathrow Express to Paddington

or b: Take Piccadilly Line directly to Covent Garden

If a: Take cab to Marble Arch to drop suitcases at hotel, take Metropolitan Line to Holborn, sprint to Covent Garden, assuming that I will miss the first, Cojocaru-less act of Sleeping Beauty (I will see it two more times anyway)

or b: Attempt to check a rolling garment bag and another duffel at the cloakroom at the Royal Opera House in time for a

19:30 Curtain of Schlepping Beauty. Tips and advice appreciated, of course. I've got a standing room ticket waiting for me to pick up (with all the variables involved, I thought that was the best idea.)

Question - IS there an intermission between the prologue and Act I in this production so I can get in?

I am quite sure I will be Schlepping Ugly or Rumpledstilskin by the end of this.

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Have you checked with the opera house to see if you can check luggage? They stopped allowing that at the Met post 9/11.

If you do the taxi option, you could get out at the opera house & have the cabbie deliver your baggage to your hotel. Cabbies there are so great!

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I'd avoid the Picadilly line, Leigh. Peace of mind would have me take the Heathrow Express. Significant time saver, probably more than making up for check-in, etc.

How can you order standing room in advance? Are the spots reserved (numbered)? When I last stood at Covent Garden, you had to get there as doors opened to avoid standing behind a pillar (Pit). But that was before the remodeling.

The remaining question: After all that schlepping and racing, will you actually be able to enjoy the performance? If so, you're a better balleto than I.

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They check luggage, Zerbinetta. I'll check again, but I've seen them do it recently. The cabbies there are great, but cab fares are a second mortgage!

I've done the Piccadilly Line, Carbro - it can actually be faster because it's direct. Also (thanks to Jane Simpson for letting me know) you can now buy standing room online, and the positions are numbered as at the Met.

Gosh, I hope I enjoy the performance - it's awful but I can imagine loathing it because I was so tired. I'm going to remind myself to move as fast as is reasonable, and if I can't make it, I can't make it. Natalia was suggesting a similar sprint in St. Petersburg to make it to Don Quixote. I just can't try that in a city I have never been to before and don't know my way around, but I know London well enough at this point to navigate it reasonably effectively.

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Leigh, a rolling case and bag *should* be fine to check into the cloakroom (although they obviousley prefer most people not to bring luggage). Worth ringing to check, if only to be able to say that you rang in advance in case anyone objects. However, they do bag searches these days so be prepared for that!

Prepaid tickets are collected form the left end of the box office counter (as you look at it). No need to join main queue.

If you have a standing place you are far more likely to be allowed in during prologue, although I'm still not sure if you would be. But make sure they know it's a standing place if you arrive late and it has started. If it's not possible to get in they have screens in the corridors and Crush Room which you can view the performance on (sitting down!). They will direct you.

If you are thinking about getting the tube - perhaps you could check this link on the day? (click piccadilly line for more info)


If you are arriving at Terminal 4 read it now.

Good luck! :)

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Gracias, GoCoyote! (I love your screen name.) I've been to the Royal Opera House a few times, and once had to be seated late - they were very good about it. If I arrive late, I'll try to time it for the intermission between the Prologue and Act I *if there is one*.

I'm landing at T1 so no problem (I hope!) with the closure at T4.

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Hi Leigh...! I'm having to give up a Cojocaru ticket for that night! :) Haven't seen her in this since 2003!!! Could not stand seeing that production again.... TOO PINK. (And I really, genuinely, like pink!).

Anyways. As you know, I am a stalls circle standing-aholic. In other performances I've been to, if there is not an intermission but a 'pause' with dim house lights (or not!), they usually let folks into stalls circle standing...

I think if it was Balcony or Amphi standing it might be a *bit* more tricky. Especially considering that it is a hike up to the back of the Amphi!!!

Usually, stalls circle standing (and most standing) tickets are bought far in advance, and quite often by 'friends'... As far as I know, the 'day seats' are back of the amphi/sides stalls circle, and maybe some slips and standing areas in the slips???? I don't remember exactly. But yes, all seats/places numbered (although sometimes that doesn't stop people from crowding... I've overheard people saying 'but she's just small - she can't need that much room and then trying to crowd me further over.... :) )

Looking forward to your thoughts though, as always...

eta: I quite often end up checking a *big* backpack if I've come up for the day to use the libraries or go to class or both........ No problems - but these days they do seem to be a bit more wary, especially of large items (although I've never seen them refuse - but I agree with GC, worth ringing to check). They usually take the bags, etc at the end of the coat check - G/H area.

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Wow, it's good to know that I can check a suitcase in the Opera House. (If Covent Garden officials want to rummage through my literally dirty laundry, they're welcome to.) I missed Sophie's Choice a few trips ago, because my plane from Dublin left hours late, and I assumed I'd have to go to the hotel to drop off my luggage, post 9/11.

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Hi Leigh - I obtained approx. running times info. from ROH today. It appears there's going to be an intermission indeed after mere 34 mins. Prologue!

*Evening Performance for The Sleeping Beauty when starting at 7:30pm*

Prologue 7:30 (34 mins.)

1st Interval 8:04 (20 mins.)

ACT I 8:24 (32 mins.)

2nd Interval 8:56 (20 mins.)

ACTS II & III 9:16 (1hr 8 mins.)

Curtain Down 10:24

Good luck!!

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I MADE IT!!!!1!!!

10 pm 5/30 Get call from airport transfer. Traffic in St. Petersburg is awful, they want to move their pickup from 2 pm to noon. This is my only chance to see the Hermitage. We compromise on 1 pm

7:00 am St. Petersburg Time. Wake up.

10:30 am. Go to Hermitage. For piece of mind, decide to look at it as a palace, not an art collection. If I had to really look at the art, I'd start crying in frustration.

noon. return to hotel.

1 pm car picks me up.

2:06 pm - get to Pulkovo II. Pass through initial security, but one is not allowed to check in until 2 hours before flight, so I get to sit in the airport for the hour I could have used to see more of the Hermitage.

3:10 pm. Flight check in. Visit the palatial Pulkovo Lounge for cheesy potato chips and second hand smoke.

4:30 pm. Chaotic security screening and pat-down.

5:10 pm Flight takes off on time.

5:30 pm GMT - flight lands ten minutes early without any circling over Heathrow.

5:43 pm - Through Passport Control

5:50 pm Baggage Claim

5:54 pm at Heathrow Express

6:02 pm HEX arrives at Terminal 1

6:17 pm HEX arrives at Paddington

6:25 pm Cab to Cumberland Hotel

6:40 pm Check in at hotel

6:55 pm Marble Arch Tube

7:10 pm Holborn Tube

Walk to Covent Garden - arrive at 7:21 pm.

I have to say it was worth it. Complain all you want about this production, Londoners. Wait until you see what they're calling Sleeping Beauty in other cities and you may be a little kinder to it. Even with some jitters in the prologue, I found it rather nourishing. Cojocaru (and Sarah Lamb as Bluebird) were both lovely.

I have no idea what time my body thinks it is right now, so I'm going to sleep the sleep of the just (or the just exhausted). I was hallucinating purple bats by Act III.

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Leigh! :speechless-smiley-003: I'm amazed. The time you took from Heathrow to Covent Garden, even Marble Arch onwards, is amazing... It sounds like everything went perfectly. I'm one of those folks who if something can delay me, it will.... am very jealous, and looking forward to comparing notes! :D

Welcome, anyways, and you're in luck as the weather is *supposed* to be nice this weekend!

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I have to say it was worth it. Complain all you want about this production, Londoners. Wait until you see what they're calling Sleeping Beauty in other cities and you may be a little kinder to it. Even with some jitters in the prologue, I found it rather nourishing. Cojocaru (and Sarah Lamb as Bluebird) were both lovely.

Good Work, Leigh! And thanks for your report; it's making me that much more enthused about seeing this production in DC in a few weeks. But my trek is much less complicated than yours, just a NJ-DC drive and back.

I hope to see two casts; Nunez/Soares and Cojocaru/Kobborg


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That's wonderful that you made it, and with 9 long mins to spare, too!

Bizarrely, living and working in London means it can often feel like just as much of a day long mad dash to be able to make the ROH on time (OK, minus the air travel bit).

Anyway, so glad you got to see it. I saw this cast on the opening night and I'm sure they are worth a journey from any corner of the globe. Would love to hear more thoughts on the performance when recovered from the trip.


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I know it's not the same with all the air mileage, but I am going to drive 5 hours (New York to DC) just to see Alina on Thursday evening's Sleeping Beauty. I saw her dance before twice. In the Summer of 2004, I saw her in the Voices of Spring Pas de Deux with Johann Kobborg at the Ashton Centennial. Then, in Februray of 2005, she and Johann danced at the Stars of the 21st Century Gala. In that performance they danced to the Act II Pas de Deux from Giselle and the Act III Pas de Deux from Don Quixote. I have been hoping and praying that Alina would return to NYC, but it just hasn't happened.

So, if Mohammed won't go to the mountain .....

I promise to post as soon as I come home on Friday!

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I am busing from NYC to DC on Thursday. My sister and her nuke family live in the area, and the five of us will see the Beauty. From Ken Ctr, I will board the 12:30 a.m. bus to Amherst (e.t.a., about 9:30 a.m.), for family function over the weekend.

Total time on the bus: +/- 15 hours :yawn: , not including trip back home on Sunday.

I saw Alina and Johan in Giselle in 2002, and Alina's Nikiya opp. Angel Corella with ABT in 2004. My expectations are high.

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I fell in love with Alina the first time I saw her in that ABT Bayadere with Angel. Since then I’ve seen her and Johann at 2 galas ( the Giselle & Don Q pdd’s at the Stars gala that Ceeszi mentions and the Black Swan pdd at another gala the year before), and in Scenes de Ballet, Cinderella and the Voices of Spring pas de deux with the Royal at the Lincoln Center Ashton celebration.

So I’m off on the Vamoose bus tomorrow morning to catch the Thursday night performance but I’m going to stay for the weekend, and my husband will join me for the Sunday matinee (he loves her, too!). I’m sure she will meet all of our expectations, especially after Natalia raved about her recent Aurora in St. Petersburg. Can’t wait!

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I'll be up for meeting at any of the 3 shows this weekend. Is there a landmark we congregate at?


On the "Royal Ballet - U.S. Tour?" thread people have posted about meeting during intermissions at the bust of JFK - which is right in front of the entrance to the Opera House. You can't miss it - see you there!


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