During 2018/19, the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden will exclusively present ten thrilling performances of world-class opera and ballet to cinemas across Australia. This forms part of the Royal Opera House’s celebrations of ten years of cinema broadcasting in 2018 and of selling more than one million cinema tickets worldwide during the 2017/18 Season.
The 2018/19 programme opens with Kenneth MacMillan’s dark and dangerous ballet MAYERLING. Based on true events in the life of Austria’s Crown Prince Rudolf (danced by Australia’s Steven McRae), the ballet tells the story of a politically volatile empire, and an illicit love affair between Rudolf and the young Baroness Mary Vetsera (Sarah Lamb) which ends in tragedy. Continue reading DARK AND DANGEROUS BALLET: ‘MAYERLING’. FILMED AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE→
This particular version by Sir Anthony Dowell for the Royal Ballet is now almost thirty years old. I have previously seen it with other casts, both live in London at the Royal Opera House and on screen, and it is still enthralling.
Instead of a traditional Nutcracker this year we are treated to a revival by the Royal Ballet of Christopher Wheeldon’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND first seen in 2011. Whilst perhaps a trifle overlong and unwieldy, this work is visually stunning with some fabulous theatrical effects, dazzling dancing, and magnificent choreography.
There are perhaps hints and allusions to the Nutcracker in certain parts of Wheeldon’s choreography. Joby Talbot’s glittering,wonderful score is full of glissando mood swings and snazzy character expression.
The ballet begins by introducing all the cast at a garden party where Alice’s mother sacks the under-gardener, Jack (Federico Bonnelli) for stealing a jam tart. This is a cause for tears and tantrums from young Alice (Sarah Lamb) who was rather hoping to see him later for a tryst. Very handsome Bonnelli dances wonderfully as the Knave of Hearts/Jack . Alice’s home is also visited by the ‘real’ Carroll (that is, Charles Dodgson) and by characters who will later reappear in Wonderland.The work feels, at times, a bit dominated by set and visual design values. Continue reading The Royal Ballet’s Alice In Wonderland→
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