Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Royal Ballet 2019/20 Season


Recommended Posts

Hallberg is due to partner Osipova in Onegin, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake and I would not be at all surprised to see them in Dances at a Gathering as well. As far as the role of Onegin is concerned I had understood that the Cranko Trust had a far firmer hand when it came to questions of casting the right type of dancers in leading roles than the decision to cast Hallberg in the title role suggests is the case. it is certainly casting against type and it makes the decision to casting Muntagirov as Onegin appear almost uncontroversial. Although I shall be happy to be proved wrong I don't see either man as ideally suited to the role and in Hallberg's case it is not just the challenge of being cast against type that is the problem there are also some pretty tricky lifts which he will need to master. If he can't make them l look effortlessly expressive he is unlikely to make much of an impact as Onegin. As far as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are concerned  Osipova is not an obvious choice to dance classical roles, she is a one off, whom you either accept on her terms or you don't.  It is strange to see her choose to appear with a partner who even in his current physical state will show up her lack of purely classical credentials but then perhaps it is as a friend suggested to me, she simply likes the idea of working with a totally unobtrusive partner.

Edited by Ashton Fan
Link to post
22 minutes ago, Ashton Fan said:

perhaps it is as a friend suggested to me, she simply likes the idea of working with a totally unobtrusive partner.

Really?  I wouldn't describe former partners Carlos Acosta, Ivan Vasiliev or Sergei Polunin as unobtrusive.  I've always admired Osipova best when she's been paired with dancers that match her emotional intensity on stage.

Link to post

When they initially danced together at ABT—I saw them pre-Hallberg-injury—Hallberg and Osipova had great chemistry and their contrasting styles also created a rather wonderful spark. Audiences went pretty wild and to me it was understandable.  Hallberg himself came to life in a new way when dancing with her, and has said he joined the Bolshoi partly to pursue that partnership. (She departed the company very shortly after he joined.) Maybe their chemistry is no longer happening and she is merely loyal to the old connection; maybe it will happen again. But at one time, Osipova-Hallberg was a ‘real’ and quite exciting partnership.

Link to post
7 hours ago, Ashton Fan said:

Hallberg is due to partner Osipova in Onegin, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake and I would not be at all surprised to see them in Dances at a Gathering as well. As far as the role of Onegin is concerned I had understood that the Cranko Trust had a far firmer hand when it came to questions of casting the right type of dancers in leading roles than the decision to cast Hallberg in the title role suggests is the case. it is certainly casting against type and it makes the decision to casting Muntagirov as Onegin appear almost uncontroversial. Although I shall be happy to be proved wrong I don't see either man as ideally suited to the role and in Hallberg's case it is not just the challenge of being cast against type that is the problem there are also some pretty tricky lifts which he will need to master. If he can't make them l look effortlessly expressive he is unlikely to make much of an impact as Onegin. As far as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are concerned  Osipova is not an obvious choice to dance classical roles, she is a one off, whom you either accept on her terms or you don't.  It is strange to see her choose to appear with a partner who even in his current physical state will show up her lack of purely classical credentials but then perhaps it is as a friend suggested to me, she simply likes the idea of working with a totally unobtrusive partner.

Hallberg is not partnering Osipova in Onegin at the RB this season ? Osipova is cast with Muntagirov in Onegin, with Hallberg in Manon, SB And SL. 

Link to post

It has just been announced that Reece Clarke has been promoted to First Soloist. This is unusual as promotions are generally announced at the end of the ballet season rather than half way through them. However I don't think that many people will be surprised that he has been promoted or that anyone will think that his promotion is undeserved given the range of works in which he has danced principal roles to considerable acclaim beginning with the  Michael Somes role in Symphonic Variations very soon after he joined the company. Although no reason has been given it seems that the promotion is not entirely unconnected with the cast changes announced for the forthcoming performances of Onegin. Clarke replaces Muntagirov as Onegin and dances with Osipova as his Tatiana, while Mendizabel dances Tatiana opposite Soares in his final performances with the company, Mendizabel replaces Cuthbertson who was previously announced. There are other cast changes but these are the most significant.

Edited by Ashton Fan
Link to post

Thank you for the news @Ashton Fan.  A big congratulations to Reece Clark on his promotion!!!

It makes me happy to see Mendizabel getting a shot at the role of Titiana as I have always admired her dancing and acting abilities.  Last Spring I saw the Royal Ballet in LA do Mayerling and she was Empress Elizabeth.  She was fantastic!

 

Link to post
On 9/25/2019 at 12:09 AM, Mashinka said:

That is quite extraordinary, there should be an explanation for such radical changes.  Not happy about this at all, anyone know what's happening?

 

On 10/13/2019 at 7:59 PM, Ashton Fan said:

Dropping a new ballet is unusual to say the least. As the revival of Scarlett's  less than satisfactory Swan Lake takes place at roughly the same time as his new work  was due to be premiered perhaps the problem is that he does not have enough time to create the new  ballet and undertake remedial work on his Swan Lake production. 

Who would have guessed that the reason would turn out to be so sordid. 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0f10a62a-42e1-11ea-a083-1ec392b38124?shareToken=0ac6371331824d78c40e8954466ea253

Edited by volcanohunter
Link to post

On what I hope proves to be a happier note. The Royal Ballet is increasingly becoming Kevin O'Hare's company rather than the one he inherited from his predecessor. It is usual for appointments to follow on from departures and retirement but some unusual things have been happening in the company as far as long serving personnel are concerned. It is almost unheard of for dancers to leave early in a new season but that is what both  Alistair Marriott, Principal Character Dancer,and Jonathan Howells, Ballet Master and Character Artist, chose to do making it necessary to modify the casting for Coppelia which had already been announced. With their early depart it is just possible that Kevin may find that he has enough money to fund more than one new Principal dancer at the end of the season.Here I am assuming that Hallberg's appointment as Guest Artist is not going to be a permanent feature in the life of the company.

Kevin will almost certainly appoint someone to replace Soares who announced that his appearances as Onegin were to be his last with the company.The question is whether he will appoint a second Principal, even if he has no immediate need to do so? There are several dancers who in  recent months have been given the opportunity to reveal their potential for promotion to the company's top rank. While Clarke has consolidated his position as an extremely useful and adaptable dancer which explains his recent promotion to First Artist, dancers like Magri and O'Sullivan have been cast in roles which have not only expanded their personal repertory and range but have seen them performing key roles in ballets which are central to the company's core repertory.  It seems to me that the revival of the long neglected Coppelia has expanded the group of potential candidates for promotion. It is going to be interesting to see who will have proved to be successful when the promotions are announced at the end of the season. 

 

Edited by Ashton Fan
Link to post

If a new principal male dancer is to be appointed I would have thought the obvious choice would be Cesar Corrales.  Personally I would like to see Fumi Kaneko and Breatrix Stix-Brunell promoted at some point.

Link to post

It is pretty clear that there are more potential candidates for promotion among the ranks of the First Soloists than there are likely to be vacancies for Principals at the end of the season. The company seems to have largely lost its dead wood through retirement. It is going  to be very interesting to see which dancers the management has decided have gone as far as their talents can take them. As the company does not seem to be touring abroad this summer perhaps Mr O'Hare will decide that he has no need to promote anyone at this time and that he can afford to defer what is likely to be a difficult decision for another season while he tries people out in a wider range of the core repertory than has happened so far. He is under far less pressure to make appointments than he would be if the company were visiting somewhere such as Japan, where the promoters demand principal dancers must be cast in leading roles as a contractual term.

 

Link to post

A cursory glance at the Royal Opera House website makes it pretty clear that the opera and ballet seasons have been brought to a premature close. I don't expect any early announcement of what the 2020-21 season will look like for either company as I imagine that both companies are currently revising their original plans and devising seasons which will sell without any effort on the part of the marketing department as its objective will be to deal with the losses which the truncation of the season has caused. The ROH has been trying to persuade people to donate the money that they have spent on tickets for the cancelled performances up to the end of April rather than asking for it to be refunded. It will be interesting to see how much luck they have with that, if only because of the sums involved.

Alex Beard who runs the ROH organisation has written to the favoured few saying how much the organisation values its loyal audience members which is a complete reversal of the organisation's recent stance of treating its regular audience as a group who made unreasonable demands of it. The individual in charge of audience relations and marketing, who has since moved on, created the impression that it was an organisation whose main concern was to cater to the needs of the occasional visitor rather than its regular audience. In fact she gave the impression that the target audience were tourists or families celebrating granny's birthday who wanted the  ROH experience of wining and dining at the opera house but who beyond knowing whether they were going to an opera or a ballet on the evening they selected were not  much interested in what was being performed or who was appearing in it. We shall see how the appeal for donations turns out in the light of recent experience with the organisation.

 

 

Edited by Ashton Fan
Link to post

Asking to keep ticket money is one thing but not sure that in the current circumstances it's wise for some patrons to do so.  One of the regulars I know is likely to find himself unemployed after all this and perhaps the world in the aftermath is a more frightening prospect than the actual virus.

Link to post

I wholeheartedly agree with your concerns about the wisdom of donating ticket money to the ROH. I suspect that it will be more than a handful of regulars who are faced with the problem you described.

There are quite a lot of regulars who seem to be just hanging on at present. The economic landscape is likely to be very different when the lock down is eased . Jobs in some sectors will be lost while those like teachers who work for the state could easily find that the government decides that the aftermath of the lock down presents a wonderful opportunity for salary and wage cuts. Such action would make no sense economically and would further reduce employment and the governments tax receipts by damaging the economy as a whole but it would certainly fit the ideological outlook of much of the current UK government.

As far as the ROH is concerned I anticipate that tickets for both opera and ballet will cost considerably more next season than they did this season. Even if the ROH organisation is unable to persuade its donors to be more generous than they are at present it is quite possible that ACE will be anxious to reduce its subsidy so that it can prop up less high profile and less financially well connected arts organisations much further north than London and the South East. Any increase in ticket prices will of course make the ROH even less socially diverse than it is at present. I suppose how it chooses to handle ticket price increases will depend on how socially exclusive it feels it can afford to be seen to be. No doubt some donors would be happy to pay more and perhaps eliminate the state subsidy in exchange for greater social exclusivity.

Edited by Ashton Fan
Link to post

Having pulled stumps on the ballet season some weeks ago I am surprised that the ROH has taken so long to officially abandon the remnants of the opera season. It will be interesting to find out when the management anticipates being able to open the doors again and what form the opera and ballet seasons actually take. At the moment i can't see much happening before Christmas. Given the number of dancers who were prevented from making major debuts in Swan Lake by the shutdown or made unscheduled debuts but never had the opportunity to dance with their advertised partners I suspect that "Lac" will be back next season and that the rest of the repertory will be popular rather than novel or e. A late start to the season will give plenty of time to decide what form "Lac" should take. I should be very surprised if its text was the one devised by Scarlett. The simplest solution would be to use either the text used by Dowell or the one used in the production which preceded it.

 

Edited by Ashton Fan
Link to post
4 minutes ago, Ashton Fan said:

It will be interesting to find out when the management anticipates being able to open the doors again and what form the opera and ballet seasons actually take. At the moment i can't see much happening before Christmas. 

It's worrying that almost nobody has announced a real fall season -- Royal Ballet, Kennedy Center, Segerstrom, Music Center, ABT, NYCB. Are they all coming to the conclusion that it will be impossible and the most we can hope for is Nutcracker in December?

Link to post

I don't see how anyone can do anything other than guess about when companies might be able to perform again. I believe that the experience from 1919 in Minneapolis and Saint Paul makes it clear that shutting down early means you come out of a pandemic much quicker and with much less. economic damage than you do if you delay shutdown. As both the US and the UK were slow to lock down we are likely to be stuck with the virus for much longer than say Germany which acted very promptly. Until we know what the real extent of the infection is and its rate of reproduction in our respective countries we can't really start talking about how and when companies will resume performing. What is clear is that until we know that the rate of  "R" is well below one anyone talking about when the theatres might reopen is asking a question very similar to "How long is a piece of string? "

I suspect that places of public entertainment where people gather in large numbers and sit close together in confined spaces will be the last to reopen quite simply because they seem designed to be infection hot spots. Public Health authorities will be reluctant to see them reopen until they are satisfied that the virus is well and truly under control. It is one thing to gradually ease restrictions on the range of shops which can reopen with social distancing if they are thought to attract a limited number of customers drawn from a relatively small geographic area quite another to allow places which can't really impose social distancing because of the way they function and were designed to reopen . It becomes an even bigger problem if they tend to attract audiences from across a wide geographic area as this brings the danger of importing fresh infection. However pressing their financial needs no company is going to want to be accused of creating an infection hot spot by reopening prematurely. Of course it is not just the audience drawn from a wide geographic area sitting close together that presents the potential for spreading the virus and boosting its reproduction rate the working conditions of the performers also present opportunities for it to spread as they scarcely allow for social distancing in any form. Dancers cannot keep six feet apart when rehearsing or performing and nor can musicians sitting in the pit. Watching what happens in Germany and Italy and comparing the two when it comes to announcing that they are reopening their opera houses and when they actually succeed in doing so might give a clue as to what we might expect.

Link to post
8 minutes ago, Ashton Fan said:

As both the US and the UK were slow to lock down we are likely to be stuck with the virus for much longer than say Germany which acted very promptly.

Even worse, if we tried to visit Germany or Australia or New Zealand to see companies there, we'd be quarantined for two weeks first. Canada doesn't want us at all. Can't blame them!

Link to post
6 hours ago, California said:

Even worse, if we tried to visit Germany or Australia or New Zealand to see companies there, we'd be quarantined for two weeks first. 

And then for another two weeks upon returning home. It's impracticable. 

Edited by volcanohunter
Link to post

Thank you for the news @volcanohunter.  This was inevitable and I hope that Edward Watson gets the retirement performance that he hopes for.  He has been of my favorite male dancers with the Royal Ballet.  Dramatic roles seem to be his forte and he has moved me on many occasions.  Royal Ballet dancers will be very lucky to have him as a coach!

Link to post

Big news--sad that Watson's final season was no season at all. (Something he shares with any number of dancers and a real loss for all of them and their audiences.) He's a remarkable dancer and has had a remarkable career.

I'm a little sad about Tristan Dyer as well--I only saw him twice (once in Scarlett's Age of Anxiety and once as Benno in Scarlett's Swan Lake) and found him quite interesting both times. (I don't remember ever having had the chance to see Montes).

Wishing all three dancers wonderful and exciting futures...

Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...