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Casting for final two weeks of ABT 2008 season at The Met


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Hmm...the ABT and Metropolitan Opera websites still list Diana Vishneva and Jose Manuel Carreno in "Giselle" this coming Friday. Clearly, the ABT management hasn't come up with a solution. I would say best possible scenario: Nina Ananiashvili/Hallberg or Ananiashvili/Carreno. Or fly in a mystery superstar like Cojocaru, Lunkina, Obraztsova, Lopatkina or Zakharova to make a splashy surprise replacement. ABT isn't doing that anymore but maybe...

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Hmm...the ABT and Metropolitan Opera websites still list Diana Vishneva and Jose Manuel Carreno in "Giselle" this coming Friday. Clearly, the ABT management hasn't come up with a solution. I would say best possible scenario: Nina Ananiashvili/Hallberg or Ananiashvili/Carreno. Or fly in a mystery superstar like Cojocaru, Lunkina, Obraztsova Lopatkina or Zakharova to make a splashy surprise replacement. ABT isn't doing that anymore but maybe...

Friday was a holiday, followed by the weekend. They will probably update the website tomorrow.

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MakarovaFan & Waelsung - don't forget that while ABT's policy is no exchanges or refunds they generally will exchange tickets at the box office as long as you go a few days ahead of time. They definitely will not give refunds.

Thank you nysusan, as a subscriber I have exchange privileges, but what will I exchange my Friday ticket for? I already have a ticket to the Monday performance with Ananiashvili and Corella, and there's nobody else I'd like to see, especially at these prices (my seats are in the orchestra). Had I known in advance, I would have exchanged for a Sleeping Beauty or La Bayadere, but now it's obviously too late.

ABT has a particularly strong group of Giselle casts. I've seen all of them more than once. Each Giselle is very different from the others and is wonderfully appealing in her own right. I think the auto-response that if it isn't a guest star then it isn't going to be a fantastic performance is really not fair in this case. And it's counter-productive to all of our lobbying efforts to get ABT to give more opportunities to more of its own dancers.

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On top of that, starting next year all ticket exchanges will command an additional $5 fee. If you consider that there was no single subscription ticket that I have actually used myself this season (all of them have been exchanged or given away to relatives and friends), subscriptions start losing their appeal rather fast :P

I know - I cancelled 2 out of my 3 opera subscriptions this season because of that surcharge - and if it wasn’t for the ability to order priority Ring tickets I probably would have cancelled the third. I also exchange most of my ABT subscription tickets so let’s just hope they don’t extend this new policy to ABT...

While I personally feel that ABT has several interesting Giselles pairings that I’d be happy to see there are others I would not willingly sit through - even if they paid me to go. And although many of the ABT "house" Giselles I’ve seen have been good IMO none of them have been anywhere near as good as those that I consider to be the current best such as Vishneva, Cojocaru or Lunkina. That’s why even though I already have my own switch in mind if I’m not happy with Vishneva’s replacement - I understand how frustrated you must feel.

There's also the general public and the casual ballet fan to consider. Most of them don’t read these type of boards so they don't know that Vishneva has cancelled and plenty of them are coming specifically to see her. Some of us may think that our favorites are just as good (or better) but it’s a safe bet that there will be a lot of very surprised and disappointed people at the Met on Friday night. I doubt that McKenzie could/would get a guest star to come in to sub at this late date - but I’d be leading the applause if he did.

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A company release:

DIANA VISHNEVA TO WITHDRAW FROM PERFORMANCE

OF GISELLE, JULY 11

Nina Ananiashvili and Jose Manuel Carreño to Perform Lead Roles

Due to injury, Diana Vishneva has been forced to withdraw from her performance in the title role of Giselle on Friday, July 11, it was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

Principal Dancer Nina Ananiashvili will replace Vishneva in the title role dancing opposite Jose Manuel Carreño as Albrecht.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2008 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House continues through July 12. For tickets and information, please call 212-362-6000 or visit ABT’s website at www.abt.org <http://www.abt.org> .

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This is disappointing news and I hope Diana makes a speedy recovery. At least I'll get to see Nina dance live for the first time.

Ms. Vishneva is my favorite Giselle too. But you may not be disappointed to see Nina in this, given her Giselle excerpt at ABT's Gala! (Or, for that matter, her Giselles over the last two decades.) It may seem surprising that the former Bolshoi Prima would sub for each of Diana's full-length ballets, but now that we understand her love and respect for ABT (on her retirement thread), perhaps no surprise at all.

Thank you, Nina Ballerina!

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And if Diana is injured then it's best that she not dance a role like Giselle, because you could say her Giselle is almost demented, particularly in the second act. A watered-down tentative Giselle from Vishneva would not do at all.

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Hi. With regard to the comments above about the MET charging an exchange fee, it is not clear to me whether ABT will follow the Opera in adopting that policy. Let's hope not. Additionally, it is my understanding that starting in the fall, the MET Opera is requiring that all exchanges occur a week prior to the performance date, irrespective of whether the exchange is by mail or in person. I sure hope ABT does not adopt that policy, given the frequency of last minute casting changes at ABT. I think if ABT decides to adopt these new, restrictive policies regarding ticket exchanges, their advance box office receipts will take a nose dive.

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I saw Ananiashvilli's 'Giselle' last night; it has been a few years since I last saw her in the role. At the time I felt she did not give a moving performance; and, alas, my opinion has not changed. I greatly admired her mad scene--one of the best I have seen; quite believable. But--as Swan Lake is Odette, Giselle is Act 2. She and Corella did not match up well--he is too physically slight for her and there was no 'magic'. It is rare to see a ballerina who can excel as both Odette and Giselle; Makarova did. A special nod to Maria Ricccetto who gave a beautiful performance in the peasant pdd; and also to Melissa Thomas as Moyna; when she walked on to the stage she could have been Giselle rising from the grave. One final mention--Karin Ellis-Wentz gave a most moving performance as Berthe in Act 1; in the final moments of the Act she cradled Giselle and gently rolled back and forth with her--something that is instinctive to a mother in such a circumstance, and opened her mouth wide in a silent cry.

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