Jan McNulty

Press Release: English National Ballet collaborates with Opera Holland Park on Adriana Lecouvreur

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Press release for Adriana Lecouvreur Opera Holland Park with dancers from English National Ballet An artistic collaboration from the heart of London  

 

Opera Holland Park will be collaborating with English National Ballet on 'The Judgement of Paris' ballet within the opera Adriana Lecouvreur, which opens on Thursday 24 July as part of the 2014 Investec Opera Holland Park Season.  

 

Cilea’s music for the ballet is delicate and plaintive, its episodes always beautiful, ecstatic and showing Cilea to be a glorious orchestrator. The ballet has a dramatic purpose for the whole plot and the interlude during which ENB will create the ballet is one of the many extraordinary musical highlights of this opera.  

 

This is not the first time Opera Holland Park and English National Ballet have worked together. In 2012 we collaborated on the successful project Dance Holland Park along with some professional development training for choreographers work.

 

The Artistic Director of English National Ballet, Tamara Rojo talks about continuing the relationship between OHP and ENB:  “We’re thrilled to be working with Opera Holland Park for the ballet 'The Judgement of Paris' within the opera Adriana Lecouvreur as part of their 2014 season. Collaborating on this opera is the next step in building the relationship between our two companies, which has been developing since we created the unique project Dance Holland Park in 2012. It is a wonderful opportunity for English National Ballet to work with such an ambitious and accessible opera company on an ongoing basis, and we’re delighted to be able to grow our relationship with them even further this year.”

 

Echoing Tamara Rojo, James Clutton, Producer at Opera Holland Park, further enforces the importance and benefits of developing the relationship:  “As close geographic neighbours, we have been continuing to build our working relationship over the last few years and working with dancers, singers and musicians on joint projects (including professional development workshops) has been beneficial to both companies as well as the young artists themselves. Under the inspirational Tamara Rojo, ENB are flourishing and everyone at Opera Holland Park is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with some of their principal dancers and a choreographer within this production.”  

 

English National Ballet soloist and emerging choreographer James Streeter, fresh from his and the company's enormous success at Glastonbury, will choreograph the ballet 'The Judgment of Paris' segment and will feature dancers of English National Ballet.  

 

We are extremely grateful to The Headley Trust and other anonymous donors for their generosity, making this collaboration possible.  

 

ENB dancers

Desiree Ballantyne - Athena

Sarah Kundi - Aphrodite

Adela Ramirez - Hera

Jade Hale-Christophi - Paris

Joshua McSherry-Grey - Mercury

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I hope that Terpsicore is reading this (big Sarah Kundi fan).

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He's not listed as a joiner but I believe that he danced in R&J in the round.

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Well, it's very bad if he has joined the company and this has not been announced. Are dancers on short term contracts listed as artists with accompanying biographies on the website? The freelancers - dancers and actors - were listed in the programme for R&J but did not, as far as I recollect, appear as company 'artists'.

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Unlike Sarah Kundi, Jade is not listed as a joiner in yesterday's Press Release. Perhaps he is on a different kind of temporary contract to those used for the R & J extras?

Edited by capybara

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Press release for Adriana Lecouvreur Opera Holland Park with dancers from English National Ballet An artistic collaboration from the heart of London  

 

.............................................

ENB dancers

Desiree Ballantyne - Athena

Sarah Kundi - Aphrodite

Adela Ramirez - Hera

Jade Hale-Christophi - Paris

Joshua McSherry-Grey - Mercury

 

Thank you for drawing this to my attention. Your tweet was re-tweeted by Sarah Kundi herself.

 

I am delighted that Jade Hale-Christophi will also be dancing. Here he is dancing with Kundi in Depouillage which cliip I love very much:

 

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I went to the dress rehearsal of this production on Monday evening and how refreshing it was to see beautiful dancing, beautiful choreography and beautiful costumes (for the dancers), as much a rarity on this stage as it can be at the Royal Opera or ENO when it comes to the dance scenes. The plot of the opera revolves around the mysterious death of Adriana Lecouvreur, an actual 18th century actress of the Comédie Française but involves various political subplots.  However, the director arbitrarily chose to update the action to what appeared to be Occupied Paris with the occasional Nazi wandering around which made nonsense of references in the text to the King and Queen of France and Polish royalty but did have the advantage of pointe work being historically accurate.  Cheryl Barker, singing the title role, has had a very successful international career but the emotional depths of the role seemed to escape her and there was no chemistry between her and the supposed love of her life sung by Peter Auty, a very personable tenor who unfortunately shouted most of his role.  The drama was therefore left to the very glamorous and richly-voiced Principessa, Adriana’s love rival, sung by Tiziana Carraro and of course the ravishing score played by the City of London Sinfonia.

 

James Streeter was one of the choreographers featured in a special afternoon of new choreography based on Opera Holland Park’s season in 2012, and created a very musical and dramatic20-minute  interpretation of “Eugene Onegin” at that time so it was no wonder he was asked to provide “The Judgement of Paris”, the all-too-brief ballet interlude for this opera which takes place during a soirée at the Principessa’s palace. His lovely goddesses, danced by the always charming and currently underused ENB dancers Desiree Ballantyne and Adela Ramirez joined by the elegant Sarah Kundi in what was essentially her first solo role since joining ENB, were dressed in diaphanous white Grecian-style tunics reminiscent of “Apollo” with Joshua McSherry-Grey as Mercury and Jade Hale-Christophi as Paris in Grecian skirts.  In a series of very brief solos and pas de deux, Streeter made excellent use of the space available and even showed a good sense for comedy in the dancers’ reactions to the behaviour of their “audience” (something for the Audience Behaviour thread!) as the principal characters ignore the ballet and indulge in all sorts of ever-louder recriminations ending with them invading the dance space, forcing the dancers to retreat before having a chance to complete the ballet. It is rare to be able to say that the ballet was the highlight of an opera performance but I can in this case!  For those wondering about Jade Hale-Christophi, it appears his contract as an ‘extra’ dancer for “Romeo and Juliet” at the Albert Hall was extended to include these performances at Holland Park, presumably because ENB only wanted to release one male dancer from the Coliseum season and next week’s performances at Peralada but it would certainly be good if his contract was extended to full-time!   

Edited by Irmgard
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