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About Geoff

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  1. Oh yes, many thanks Ruth, standing fine, though amphi sitting good too!
  2. A friend is now coming to London and would like to join me for Don Carlos on Friday, so if by any chance anyone has a cheap ticket they can't use please let me know!
  3. Here's an online review:-
  4. >>mesmerising performance that has put the audience in a state of magnificent awe and made it erupt in prolonged and thunderous applause at the end. So much for ballet not being hugely popular in Vienna. Great post Elena but this may be a misunderstanding. I have been going to the Staatsoper since my teens (= over 40 years ago) and it has always been easier to get ballet tickets than opera tickets (even though there are far fewer ballet evenings). That doesn't mean the locals don't love it when they see it!
  5. SPD, what are the accents like? I know some of the cast are native to the US but what about the others? There seems to be agreement among critics not to draw attention to how badly many British actors do American accents (almost as if it is understood that this is really very hard so one shouldn't embarrass anyone). Yet it is not impossible: a major American TV series The Affair currently has two British actors in the leads (playing Americans) and they pass as locals. For a current example - as bad as I am sure Angels In America is good - try Paul Auster's City Of Glass, or rather don't (it's pretty awful, I saw it this week and wish I hadn't). Stunning visuals but, oh my goodness, the accents. Cast of five Brits doing a range of dreadful American accents (including an unconvincing Philip Marlowe / Humphrey Bogart narration). And as if that isn't enough, early on a character is introduced by the name of...Paul Auster. PoMo alert!
  6. If you like the ROH amphitheatre experience (ie don't feel you need to be superclose) it is worth a bit of planning to try and get into the front (doesn't have to be exactly the front row) of the Galerie, as the Staatsoper calls it. For a really close view, one trick the local ballet fans use is to get into a side box next to the stage (the seats farthest from the stage in the second row of those boxes are ok, as well as really cheap - not only is the view v good although slanted, you can enjoy the amazing Vienna Philharmonic from close up and, if the top price tourists in the front row leave at the interval, and this happens a fair bit, you can move forward!) But both of those options take planning. If you don't do the advance booking letter (as above) make sure to be at your computer dead on time on the exact day booking opens (as per the date schedule above - for your performance this would I think be on the morning of 6th September, 10am Vienna time which is 9am UK time) - for those seats you will be in competition with sussed locals and (so far as the best Galerie tickets are concerned) ticket agencies who will then resell. Unlike Vanartus (above) I don't mind using Viennese ticket agencies as and when I have either messed up the booking or made up my mind too late to get a seat through the website (the mark up is not bad at the agencies I have used, across the road from the opera). Finally, if all else fails, just queue for standing on the day. They have a LOT of standing for sale, but you should only stand in Parterre (back of the stalls, the most popular) or Galerie, not Balkon. But in your situation I would start with a letter - can be sent by email, see their website for instructions in English - and hope that gets you what you want. If this all sounds a bit much, don't worry: getting in to the ballet in Vienna is not the business that getting into an opera performance can be (particularly when a big name is singing). So you should be fine. Just don't get stuck at the back of the balcony, where both sound and vision are compromised.
  7. Maybe Bratfisch's affection and loyalty is primarily directed towards Mary, rather than Rudolf, and it is she he feels for on departure?
  8. Just to be clear John: I was not suggesting putting dates into the synopsis for reasons of (partly spurious) historical accuracy, but in order to help people make sense of the story while they are watching. Every time Mayerling is revived, people get confused, sometimes very confused - see earlier postings on this thread in relation to this run - so I assume this is why the tv people took the decision in 1994 to include dates. In any case from where I sit, it can be hard to spot things like changes in hair styles etc, unless one knows to look for them!
  9. Well, actually, it turns out (at least some of) the answer is on my shelf! I just had a brainwave and checked the 1994 RB performance as commercially released (the wonderful Irek/Viviana recording). This tape/dvd has captions, so one has to wonder why these have never made it into the programme: Act I is set, unambiguously, in 1881. It says so onscreen. Historical note: 1881 is indeed the year of the actual wedding, when Mary Vetsera was however only 10 years old (!) Act II is set "a few years later". So we still don't know how old MacMillan/Freeman intended Mary Vetsera to be at the start of the affair. Act III starts in "January 1889" - i.e. in their last month - and goes forward to January 30, the date of the tragedy. So the hunting scene - which if my memory is right is drawn from an actual incident, though I can't remember who was involved - is set only a week or so before their deaths. Although this does not answer everything, including these dates in the synopsis in future programmes might do a little to help straighten things out a bit. At least that seems to be what was decided when the ballet was televised in 1994.
  10. Can someone help out with the Mayerling chronology? I don't mean what actually happened - the historical dates - but how much time elapses in the course of the ballet? I have looked through various programmes quite carefully, including the programme from when Mayerling was taken up by the ballet company of the Vienna opera (a company one can assume cares rather more than most about the events depicted). Nowhere can I find any indications of how much time passes between the individual scenes of the ballet. Yet recent comments on this discussion thread (see above) about Rudolf changing facial hair from scene to scene, and Stephanie going from wedding night to heavily pregnant in the course of the show, suggest MacMillan and Freeman had a clear time line in mind. Anyone know what it is? Incidentally, apologies for adding unnecessary confusion earlier: I mentioned that depending on which version of the history MacMillan / Freeman were working from, Mary Vetsera is either 14 or 17 when she is first seen. An article by Gillian Freeman which appears in the first RB programme in 1978 suggests 17 (although even here there is some ambiguity as regards the first scene, which leads back to my question about the time line).
  11. Agree with everyone about the amazing show last night. But just checked Twitter and found a different opinion:- >>Loved bits of #ROHMayerling tonight, but definitely not a fan of the Watson/Osipova partnership. It left me cold. Thought there was more passion in the wedding night scene than act 3. Normally I think Rudolf is Ed's greatest role. Don't blame the messenger, I just think it's interesting how people experience things in such different ways.
  12. Ticket back at the box office now
  13. Sadly I now can't use my Don Carlo ticket (just about the best Upper Slips seat) for next Monday 15th. Anyone interested please PM me as well as posting here. £17.
  14. Not all of them:-