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ABT in Chicago


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I bought my ticket to the Sunday matinee on the 25th w/ Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg. Here are the rest of the pairings if you're interested:

21st Kent/Gomes (evening)

22nd Murphy/Hallberg (afternoon)

22nd Dvorovenko/Beloserkovsky (evening)

23rd Reyes/Corella (evening)

24th Herrera/Gomes (afternoon)

24th Dvorovenko/Beloserkovsky (evening)

25th Murphy/Hallberg (afternoon)

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CAST CHANGE

I believe Angel Corella and Marcelo Gomes swapped performance dates in order to allow Mr. Corella to oversee the scheduled auditions for his new company in Madrid/Barcelona starting March 24th. Since the audition schedule has been known for some weeks now, I wonder what took ABT so long to post the change?

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Since Gomes was originally scheduled to dance the Saturday matinee and it would have been unreasonable to expect him to dance Romeo one night and the following afternoon, there was a bit more rearranging to do, and it may have involved other dancers' outside commitments.

Here's the new lineup:

March-21, 7:00 PM: J. Kent, A. Corella

March-22, 2:00 PM: G. Murphy, D. Hallberg

March-22, 7:30 PM: I. Dvorovenko, M. Beloserkovsky

March-23, 8:00 PM: X. Reyes, M. Gomes

March-24, 2:00 PM: G. Murphy, D. Hallberg

March-24, 8:00 PM: I. Dvorovenko, M. Beloserkovsky

March-25, 2:00 PM: P. Herrera, M. Gomes

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The company release:

ABT ANNOUNCES PRINCIPAL CASTING

FOR ROMEO AND JULIET

AT THE CIVIC OPERA HOUSE,

MARCH 21-25, 2007

GILLIAN MURPHY TO DEBUT AS JULIET ON MARCH 23

3/5/2007 - American Ballet Theatre (ABT), America’s National Ballet Company®, is proud to announce the principal casting for its Chicago engagement of the romantic classic Romeo and Juliet, choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan. ABT will present Romeo and Juliet in seven performances only, at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, in Chicago, March 21-25, 2007. American Ballet Theatre's engagement at the Civic Opera House is sponsored by Chicago Title Insurance.

Sir Kenneth MacMillan's masterful interpretation of William Shakespeare's enduring romantic tragedy entered ABT’s repertoire in 1985 and has since become one of the Company’s signature productions. Against the sumptuous setting of Renaissance Italy, MacMillan weaves a dance tapestry rich in character nuance and sensuality, and Sergei Prokofiev's stirring music underscores the lyric beauty and passion of this beloved ballet's star-crossed lovers.

The principal roles in Romeo and Juliet are widely considered to be the ultimate test of dramatic ability, at once demanding both consummate artistry and technique, while giving leeway for individual interpretation. ABT’s dancers, who hail from around the world, each bring distinctive qualities to these roles, creating a unique audience experience for every performance. The roles of “Juliet,” “Romeo,” and “Mercutio” will be danced in Chicago as follows: Julie Kent, Angel Corella, and Herman Cornejo (Opening Night, Wednesday, March 21 at 7 p.m.); Irina Dvorovenko, Maxim Beloserkovsky, and Jesus Pastor (Thursday, March 22 at 2 p.m.); Xiomara Reyes, Angel Corella, and Herman Cornejo (Thursday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m.); Gillian Murphy*, David Hallberg, and Craig Salstein (Friday, March 23 at 8 p.m.); Paloma Herrera, TBA, and Jesus Pastor (Saturday, March 24 at 2 p.m.); Irina Dvorovenko, Maxim Beloserkovsky, and Carlos Lopez (Saturday, March 24 at 8 p.m.); and Gillian Murphy, David Hallberg, and Craig Salstein (Sunday, March 25 at 2 p.m.). *Gillian Murphy will make her debut as “Juliet” on March 23. All casting is subject to change.

Each performance of MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet will feature American Ballet Theatre’s 85+ member company, accompanied by a live 65-member orchestra performing the classic Prokofiev score. The production includes scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by Thomas Skelton.

“ABT always looks forward to its return to Chicago,” said Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre. “Chicago audiences appreciate the excellence of ABT’s artists and this feeling travels across the footlights each night. This year, we’re especially proud to be bringing Kenneth MacMillan’s passionate production of Romeo and Juliet. The Civic Opera House will be the perfect setting for the ballet’s rich tapestry.”

An Opening Night Gala, to benefit American Ballet Theatre, will take place Wednesday evening, March 21, featuring a pre-performance Gala reception at 5:30 p.m., prime seating for the 7:00 p.m. performance of Romeo and Juliet, and a post-performance champagne toast on stage with the dancers. ABT’s Opening Night in Chicago, co-chaired by Sonia Florian and William McIntosh, is generously underwritten by Chicago Title Insurance. Information and tickets for the Chicago Opening Night Gala, priced from $400, are available by calling 212.477.3030, extension 3245. For performance-only tickets, please call 312.902.1500.

Tickets for performances of American Ballet Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet, which range in price from $23 to $103, can be purchased by calling (312) 902-1500; by visiting the Civic Opera House box office; or on-line at www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of 15 or more can receive discount pricing by calling (312) 922-2110, ext. 357. A limited number of student rush tickets, priced at $20, will be available on the day of each performance at the Civic Opera box office and through Ticketmaster. Students must present a valid ID.

For more information on American Ballet Theatre’s presentation of Romeo and Juliet at the Civic Opera House, March 21-25, 2007, please call (312) 902-1500 or visit click here.

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SIGHT LINES

Does anyone know how the sight lines are in the Civic Opera House? For example: How is the slope in the Orchestra? Are seats staggered? What about upstairs? Compared to Met? Is it worth it to get expensive--or not? (That is, if I paid "big bucks" but a tall/large person who coughs & unwraps candy, and rocks from side to side all night sits in front of me?) Never been there (only seen it on PBS) so don't know, and would appreciate any input before splurging on tix. Thanks in advance.

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I've seen a lot of opera at the Civic Opera House but never dance. I would steer away from close orxhestra because you would get heads in the way. The rear half of the orchestra is better raked than the front orchestra.

The tiers are raked pretty well.

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Thank you zerbinetta for replying so fast, it is greatly appreciated.

--4mrdncr

(who is also hoping no more blizzards disturb my attendance at performances. Any propitiations to all weather gods will be gratefully encouraged.)

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. . . AND according to the press release on the ABT site, Herman Cornejo debuts as ROMEO with Reyes at the Saturday matinee. FINALLY, the #1 principal role in an evening length ballet. Whooppee. If that goes well, perhaps we might see the two of them in a Swan Lake someday.

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Here's the release:

ABT ANNOUNCES CAST CHANGES

FOR ROMEO AND JULIET

AT THE CIVIC OPERA HOUSE,

MARCH 21-25, 2007

VIACHESLAV SAMODUROV, PRINCIPAL DANCER WITH THE ROYAL BALLET, TO PERFORM ROMEO ON MARCH 22 AND MARCH 24

HERMAN CORNEJO AND GILLIAN MURPHY TO DEBUT IN TITLE ROLES DURING CHICAGO ENGAGEMENT

3/14/2007 - Due to illness and injury, American Ballet Theatre (ABT) has announced cast changes and additions for its Chicago engagement of the romantic classic Romeo and Juliet, choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, in Chicago, March 21-25, 2007.

The casting for the roles of “Juliet,” “Romeo,” and “Mercutio” in Chicago is as follows: Julie Kent, Angel Corella, and Craig Salstein (Opening Night, Wednesday, March 21 at 7 p.m.); Paloma Herrera, Viacheslav Samodurov, and Jesus Pastor (Thursday, March 22 at 2 p.m.); Xiomara Reyes, Angel Corella, and Carlos Lopez (Thursday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m.); Gillian Murphy*, David Hallberg, and Craig Salstein (Friday, March 23 at 8 p.m.); Xiomara Reyes, Herman Cornejo*, and Carlos Lopez (Saturday, March 24 at 2 p.m.); Paloma Herrera, Viacheslav Samodurov, and Jesus Pastor (Saturday, March 24 at 8 p.m.); and Gillian Murphy, David Hallberg, and Craig Salstein (Sunday, March 25 at 2 p.m.). *Gillian Murphy will make her debut as “Juliet” on March 23 at 8 p.m. Herman Cornejo will make his debut as “Romeo” on March 24 at 2 p.m. All casting is subject to change.

Guest artist Viacheslav Samodurov of The Royal Ballet - Great Britain's most prestigious ballet company – will join ABT in the role of “Romeo” for two performances only, Thursday, March 22 at 2 p.m., and Saturday, March 24 at 8 p.m. Born in Talinn, Russia, Viacheslav Samodurov trained at the Vaganova Ballet Academy and joined the Maryinsky Ballet in 1992, where he toured extensively and was promoted to principal in 1998. In 2000, he joined the Dutch National Ballet as a principal, where he expanded his repertory to include works by Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Hans Van Manen, Jerome Robbins and Rudi Van Dantzig. Samodurov joined The Royal Ballet in 2003 and has danced the pas de deux Voices of Spring, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, the Prince in Cinderella and The Nutcracker, Orion in Sylvia, Colas in La Fille mal gardée, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Lescaut in Manon, and Albrecht in Giselle. The Chicago engagement of Romeo and Juliet will be Samodurov’s first appearance with American Ballet Theatre.

Sir Kenneth MacMillan's masterful interpretation of William Shakespeare's enduring romantic tragedy entered ABT’s repertoire in 1985 and has since become one of the Company’s signature productions. Against the sumptuous setting of Renaissance Italy, MacMillan weaves a dance tapestry rich in character nuance and sensuality, and Sergei Prokofiev's stirring music underscores the lyric beauty and passion of this beloved ballet's star-crossed lovers.

The principal roles in Romeo and Juliet are widely considered to be the ultimate test of dramatic ability, at once demanding both consummate artistry and technique, while giving leeway for individual interpretation. ABT’s dancers, who hail from around the world, each bring distinctive qualities to these roles, creating a unique audience experience for every performance.

Each performance of MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet will feature American Ballet Theatre’s 85+ member company, accompanied by a live 65-member orchestra performing the classic Prokofiev score. The production includes scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by Thomas Skelton.

An Opening Night Gala, to benefit American Ballet Theatre, will take place Wednesday evening, March 21, featuring a pre-performance Gala reception at 5:30 p.m., prime seating for the 7:00 p.m. performance of Romeo and Juliet, and a post-performance champagne toast on stage with the dancers. ABT’s Opening Night in Chicago is co-chaired by Sonia Florian and William McIntosh. Information and tickets for the Chicago Opening Night Gala, priced from $400, are available by calling (212) 477-3030, extension 3245. For performance-only tickets, please call (312) 902-1500.

Tickets for performances of American Ballet Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet, which range in price from $23 to $103, can be purchased by calling (312) 902-1500; by visiting the Civic Opera House box office; or on-line at www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of 15 or more can receive discount pricing by calling (312) 922-2110, ext. 357. A limited number of student rush tickets, priced at $20, will be available on the day of each performance at the Civic Opera box office and through Ticketmaster. Students must present a valid ID.

For more information on American Ballet Theatre’s presentation of Romeo and Juliet at the Civic Opera House, March 21-25, 2007, please call (312) 902-1500.

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ABT has had a lot of cast changes in Chicago and not just in this year. Do they have as many cast changes in NYC? Its annoying when one purchases tickets in advance with a goal of eventually seeing all of the ABT principals.

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Amen to that! I specifically am trying to see principals OTHER than Paloma Herrera, who I seem to see a lot ... although last year, the cast changes worked in my favor and Murphy got substituted for Herrera.

Also to the point: when I buy tickets to ABT, I expect to see ABT dancers -- not a sub from the Royal, however talented and delightful he might be. (Is he?)

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I really like Viacheslav Samodurov. He's not the greatest actor, but I read he's growing in that regard with his work with the Royal. Samodurov was doing principal work with the Kirov before switching first to Dutch National Ballet and then the Royal. I've seen him with both the Kirov and the Royal. He's a very strong dancer who is at his best when he's not pushing too much.

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ITA w/ Cliff and Treefog.

I bought a ticket for Sunday so I could see Hallberg/Murphy. When they got moved to Saturday afternoon, I bought a ticket for that day. Now I find out that Hallberg/Murphy are back to Sunday. Thanks a lot ABT!

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Wow. What a load of cast changes. This is like when the Russian companies come to London..... ;)

It's hard for my family to get to the ballet, but they still try to go when I recommend something that would be 'different' for them to see, and they do a good job reading up on it, asking about the dancers, etc. But now, I think they are just confused.

I like Samodurov - and agree, he's at his best when he's not over-trying, like many of us. At first I thought he'd never fit in with the RB, but he's grown a lot in his time here, and I've been surprised by him in everything from Balanchine to Petipa this season. He's showing diversity, and a knowledge of style, which is great. He has been partnering Sarah Lamb quite a lot. He is subdued in his acting, so I wonder overall what he'd be like with Herrera..... and have they danced together before?

I am surprised by the guest artist slot ... it's not like I'd ever considered ABT to be short of men!!!

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I am surprised by the guest artist slot ... it's not like I'd ever considered ABT to be short of men!!!

It would appear that some are either injured or ill.

As for Samodurov, shame on the ABT press department for not knowing that Tallinn is in Estonia.

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I believe Marcelo Gomes was injured (while dancing with Het/DNB?) causing cast changes in Miami before the Midwest-USA tour. Corella's performance(s) were changed to acccomodate his new company's auditions in Madrid and the above injury. Q: Where is Ethan? Did he do Siegfried weeks previously? Still playing it safe re: Romeo? Merde to Gillian Murphy and Herman Cornejo.

I feel for all the discommoded ticket purchasers, casting changes (and no exchange priveleges) can be most frustrating/disappointing--esp. when travelling long distances or spending 'big bucks' to attend for a specific reason. Once I travelled 4hrs, and spent those $ to attend a performance (not ABT)--only to have not the cast changed, but (with no pr/notice except in the program that night) the ENTIRE BALLET changed to one I had already seen just days before--and I had gone specifically to see the (supposed) premiere of a revived 19th c. Ballet Russe ballet. My only compensation was that it happened to be a night when the company was conducting a survey--and my major complaints yielded a letter of acknowledgement/apology from the company's AD. Come to think of it, ABT substituted "Sinatra Suite" for White Swan pdd last October with little notice, but at least it was before I took my seat in the theatre.

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Another one who says don't worry about Samodurov in Romeo. He should be just fine and at the level you're paying to see. I also agree with the others, he's more of a dancer than an actor, though his James in La Sylphide looked very decently coached.

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Cast changes from the ABT website calendar!

Samodurov has disappeared from the Chicago run altogether. Cornejo and Reyes will do a second R&J together, but it will be her 3rd in four days. Murphy and Hallberg dance on consecutive days, which makes it his 3rd day in a row in R&J. Dizzying.

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Lovely. I bought a ticket for the Sunday matinee show to see Hallberg/Murphy. Then I bought a ticket for the Saturday matinee when Hallberg/Murphy got bumped to Saturday. Now I find out that Hallberg/Murphy won't be dancing at either matinee. Grrrr . . .

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Lovely. I bought a ticket for the Sunday matinee show to see Hallberg/Murphy. Then I bought a ticket for the Saturday matinee when Hallberg/Murphy got bumped to Saturday. Now I find out that Hallberg/Murphy won't be dancing at either matinee. Grrrr . . .

miliosr,

Based on my recent experience in Detroit, where I bought tickets primarily to see Veronika Part, who was then unable to be there, and wound up loving everyone else that I saw, hopefully you will be just as pleased with which ever dancers you do finally get to see.

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Can't tell the players without a scorecard! or even with one, apparently. :flowers:

So NOW we are getting Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg on Saturday night. That's a pairing I'm looking forward to -- assuming that's who actually dances ...

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Q: Where is Ethan? Did he do Siegfried weeks previously? Still playing it safe

Currently Ethan Stiefel is guesting in the Australian Ballet, He will appear as Baslio in DonQ by Nuryev on Saturday.

I have seen his Siegfried and it was terrific.

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