Tag Archives: Sir Kenneth MacMillan


Celebrating the 40th anniversary of its premiere, Royal Opera House (ROH) Live opens the current season of opera and ballet with a stunning performance by the Royal Ballet of Sir Kenneth Macmillan’s MAYERLING. Superb performances by the huge cast are led by Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb .The fiendishly difficult, almost impossibly acrobatic death defying choreography is dazzlingly danced.

It is a dark and disturbing work, based on the true story of Crown Prince Rudolf (Steven McRae) and his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera (Sarah Lamb) set against the backdrop of the stuffy yet rigid Austrian-Hungarian royal court in 1889 and the world of fin de siecle  Vienna. There is also political turmoil bubbling underneath.

There are not many major ballet works that feature drug use, skulls and guns, especially to such a degree. And opera is also included in the party scene in Act 2. The staging is labyrinthine, the set designs looming and opulently lavish, the costumes incredibly detailed.  Under the baton of Koen Kessels the ROH Orchestra is in glowing, passionate form. Lizst’s music swirls, ebbs and crashes towards the tumultuous tragic end. Continue reading ROYAL OPERA HOUSE LIVE : THE ROYAL BALLET PRESENTS MAYERLING



A must see for balletomanes, this is completely Natalia Ospiova’s show as Anastasia and she is more than sensational.

The Royal Ballet has just completed the live performances of this production which took place at between the 26th October and the 12th November. We are privileged to see this amazing production via the filming of the performance which took place on the 2nd November which is being presented as part of the current Palace Opera and Ballet season.

The ballet’s subject is the mysterious woman, known as Anna Anderson, who was incarcerated in a mental hospital in Berlin from 1920 and claimed to be Anastasia, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, who somehow escaped from the cellar where the imperial family had been murdered by the Bolsheviks. Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan explores the whole notion – Was she or wasn’t she?!   Continue reading THE ROYAL BALLET PRESENTS ANASTASIA @ THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, LONDON



This glorious, glittering production marks the 50th anniversary of this landmark work, choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, now regarded as a classic by the Royal Ballet. It gets the 2015/2016 Palace Opera and Ballet season off to a tremendous start.

With its sumptuous sets,including a portcullis for the outside of the Capulet mansion, looming scary angels for the crypt scene and Byzantine like paintings for the church scenes,  very detailed and ornate costumes, wonderful lighting and the lush, lyrical, achingly passionate Prokofiev music, the Royal Opera House orchestra under the enthusiastic energetic baton of Koen Kessells were sensational, this is a splendid version. This ballet feels as fresh as if it was created yesterday, and MacMillan’s extraordinary, very detailed and at times extremely difficult choreography dazzles.                          Continue reading PALACE OPERA AND BALLET PRESENTS THE ROYAL BALLET IN ROMEO AND JULIET

Vera Brittain And The First World War

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Vera Mary Brittain, writer, journalist, author, feminist and pacifist (29th December 1893- 29 March 1970). Featured pic- the Vera Brittain Promenade in Hamburg, Germany

To coincide with the release of the major motion picture, Testament of Youth, Bloomsbury has published VERA BRITTAIN and the FIRST WORLD WAR by Mark Bostridge.

Subtitled The Story of Testament of Youth, this is a fascinating re-examining of the woman who penned one of the great literary works to come out of the Great War.

Bostridge is Brittain’s biographer and also the bestselling author of Letters from a Lost Generation, Florence Nightingale: The Woman and her Legend, and The Fateful Year: England 1914. He has become something of an authority on strong women and the period prior to and during World War One. Continue reading Vera Brittain And The First World War


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Lush , lavish and opulent this is a story of youthful , fragile innocence corrupted , a journey from glittering  luxury to the depths of poverty and despair. A wonderful revival of the major full length Macmillan work, the Australian Ballet were in fine form and performed magnificently .The performance was richly detailed and the ensemble was impressive full of lowlife vigour and technically wonderful.

Continue reading MANON