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"Romeo & Juliet" from the Bolshoi Ballet June 2

Kenneth Branagh's "The Magic Flute" June 9 with a live webcast with Branagh in Select Theaters


Three Special Summer Series: "The Best of the Bolshoi," "Summer at La Scala" and "Very Verdi ­ A 200th Anniversary La Scala Celebration"

New York ­ May 13, 2013 --- Emerging Pictures, North America's llargest supplier of alternative content for movie theaters, today announced its Summer (June through August) 2013 season of "Opera in Cinema" and "Ballet in Cinema" HD presentations. Showing on movie screens in nearly 300 multiplexes, art houses, museums and performing arts centers throughout the U.S., the summer presentations come from Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet and Milan's Teatro alla Scala.

The season launches on June 2 with the Bolshoi's "Romeo and Juliet," starring Alexander Volchkov and Anna Nikulina, captured live at the performance of May 12, 2013. (June 4 encore performances in many locations.)

Then, for the first time ever, American audiences will have the opportunity to see Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh's epic adaptation of Mozart's famous opera, "The Magic Flute." A libretto adapted by Stephen Fry transplants Mozart's 1791 opera to the eve of the First World War. With music arranged and conducted by James Conlon, "The Magic Flute" opens on Sunday, June 9th, with encore screenings on Tuesday, June 11th. In select theaters (check: www.emergingpictures.com) a live Q-and-A session with Branagh, via webcast from London, will follow the film's Sunday screening.

While theater dates and show times vary across the country, most theaters will be screening the season's first two offerings on Sundays and Tuesdays.

Following "Romeo and Juliet" and "The Magic Flute," the summer season opens up with three very special, three-title series. (Individual theaters will program them to suit their local summer scheduling needs. Visit: www.operaincinema.com or www.balletincinema.com.). The series are:

"The Best of the Bolshoi"

"La Bayadère" starring Bolshoi prima ballerinas Svetlana Zakharova and Maria Alexandrova

"La Sylphide"starring Ekaterina Krysanova, Vyachelsav Lopatin, Anna Rebetskaya, Denis Savin

"The Pharaoh's Daughter" starring Svetlana Zakharova and Ruslan Skvortsov

"Summer at La Scala - An Extraordinary Grand Opera Trio"

"Carmen" starring Jonas Kaufmann, Erwin Schrott and newcomer Anna Rachvelishvili

"Don Giovanni" starring Peter Mattei, Bryn Terfel and Anna Netrebko

"Il Trittico" ­ The opera trio of "Il Tabarro," "Suor Angelica," and "Gianna Schicchi"

"Very Verdi ­ A 200th Anniversary La Scala Celebration"

"Aida" directed by Franco Zeffirelli with opera greats Roberto Alagna and Violeta Urmana

"Don Carlo" starring Ferruccio Furlanetto, Stuart Neill, Fiorenza Cedolins and Dolora Zajick

"La Traviata" starring Angela Gheorghiu in Liliana Cavani's lavish production

Nearest theater, casting and production information will be posted on the Emerging Pictures/Opera in Cinema/Ballet in Cinema website: www.emergingpictues.com.

In New York, two venues will be presenting the summer season: BIG Cinemas, 239 East 59th Street, and Clearview Chelsea 9, 260 West 23rd Street.

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Nice to know, and I believe there is a place in my area, but... I look forward to the day when the Bolshoi acknowledges its ballerina talent beyond Zakharova. Not that she isn't great, but there's so much more to the company. I just don't feel compelled to go because of the monotony of it.

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yes, I agree with trieste, but I am looking forward to R&J and La Sylphide (as long as casting holds true)

Since both the performances have already taken place, you can rest assured on that score. Just remember that the Romeo is Grigorovich's version, which, to my mind, is one of the worst out there.

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I just watched a telecast today of Romeo and Juliet from the Bolshoi today (performance recorded on 12 May, I believe). It seemed to be well danced although Nikulina's interpretation of Juliet was rather shallow without the tragic notes many other interpreters have found in the part. Most disconcerting was a lack of thematic continuity in Grigorovich's ballet narrative. For example we saw Juliet taking the fatal love potion alone in her bedroom and then immediately afterwards dancing with Romeo who should have been banished from Verona by this time. Was this Juliet's dream? If so, Grigorovich should have found some way to make it clearer to the audience. This sort of incongruity occurred several times in Grigorovich's choreography, particularly concerning appearances and reappearances of the title characters. Did you see this production yet? If so, what do you think of it? Did any other members watch today's telecast?

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I saw it in London. Unfortunately I missed the first ten or so minutes of 'La Valse' which was upsetting as I love Ravel's brilliant and disturbing music, but thankfully I caught the thrilling ending. The ballets on display, Valse, Voices of Spring, 'Meditation' from Thais, Monotones I and II, and Marguerite & Armand showed Ashton's incredible range and power, and this privileged cinema experience allowed close-ups when they were most valuable (particularly in Marguerite & Armand).

Given the choice I would have omitted 'Thais' which I've always thought of as a bit of romantic flimsy. She burrees on, mysteriously veiled, continues burreering round the man for a bit, removes her veil and swoons into his waiting arms a few times; he lifts her up and swings her around a few times, and so on. I know I'm being unfair here because there's some quite exquisite dancing by the ballerina (Leanne Benjamin) but I've never liked this particular piece of Ashtoniana. The outstanding piece on the programme was for me Monotones, particularly Monotones I. It is quite an astonishingly sculptural work, and must have seemed light years ahead of its time when first seen (1965); it still – nearly fifty years later - feels ahead of its time. Although the dancing, seen in close-up, wasn't perfect (the women, Akane Takada and Emma Maguire, seemed at times a little shaky, though the third dancer, Dawid Trzensimiech, was a sturdy and stabilising presence). The whole, to Satie music, had an eerie other-worldly feeling as if taking place on a distant planet lit by a different moon. Quite, quite wonderful and hard to get out of the mind.

A revelation too was Marguerite & Armand, choreographed by Ashton for Fonteyn and Nureyev (all three of course now deceased) and intended by him to be danced by them and by them only, recent performances having apparently been in direct contravention of his expressed intentions. If he had seen this performance by Tamara Rojo and Sergei Polunin however, my guess is that he would have been as swept away by the power, energy and pathos they brought to his work as we, the cinema audience were. Rojo and Polunin simply made sense of this overwrought opera melodrama (which is what the story really is). Rojo in particular was believable in her shock and pain at Armand's furious public rejection when he discovered her true profession (this is where those privileged cinema close-ups really came into their own). It was Rojo's last Royal Ballet performance and I think she was in tears at the prolonged, adoring ovation the audience gave her. In fact, it seemed odd for us in the cinema not be joining in - the fact that we didn't was probably because we were aware that it was a filmed record of a performance that had taken place months earlier.

There'll be a DVD of this performance issued at some point - it will surely be worth buying and treasuring,


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