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  1. Timmie

    Don Giovanni ROH 2018

    I started my comments on this in my ‘First Operas’ thread. This was only my second opera so take my comments with that in mind. The easiest place to start is the set. A large rotating cube over two levels with two or three internal staircases and a number of rooms and balconies. The cube rotates to provide the different backdrops. It was stationary a lot but also frequently slowly rotated during the action which initially seemed clever but by the second act was a bit nauseating. Lots of projections as well, some good and effective but also a bit excessive at times. The opera opened with lots of projected writing onto the cube which I initially thought was the cast and crew as in the credits to a film… then the penny dropped (a list of DG’s conquests). Overall I liked the production and heard other favourable comments in the interval. They could’ve used the projected writing to tell us where each scene was set as I got a bit confused where we were meant to be at times… Probably not important. I loved all the singing, all the leads had some wonderful solos to perform though only one I recognised. One thing I did notice was that the tone of their voices did seem to noticeably change when they were upstairs versus downstairs out on the open stage. I preferred the open stage tone. I think I liked Zerlina’s (Chen Reiss) two major solos the best, though Donna Anna’s (Rachel Willis-Sørensen) final solo was mesmerising and I was still so entranced after that one that I completely missed why Leporello (Ildebrando D'Arcangelo) suddenly turned into Data from Star Trek. Presumably he died for some reason? The ‘bonkers brilliant’ comment I made elsewhere refers to the final act when everyone is singing different refrains at the same time and then Don G’s (Mariusz Kwiecień) final anguished solo. It all left my head spinning in a good way. Amazing to see and hear Willard W. White as the Commendatore, one of the few opera singers I have heard of (sorry). Overall a wonderful second opera, though operas are awful long aren’t they? 95 minutes then 85 minutes in an Amphi seat left my posterior a bit numb! I’m used to ballet where 60 mins is long.
  2. Timmie

    First Operas

    That was bonkers brilliant. Loved it immensely. I'll post some coherent thoughts tomorrow. 😀.
  3. Timmie

    First Operas

    My second live opera is going to be tonight – Don Giovanni 🙂. It sounds like a good choice for a beginner’s opera but I’m afraid the main reason I chose this was simply to make sure I got a good seat for Swan Lake opening night and buying an advance package of Don Giovanni plus Swan Lake let me book a week early 😄. I’m very much looking forward to it and I’ll report back tomorrow.
  4. Timmie

    Audience Behaviour

    That is amazing 😲. I clap-on my favourites and any Odette.
  5. Timmie

    Audience Behaviour

    I sort of agree with you Janet, but when you've been waiting* through the whole prologue to see her and it's Alina Cojocaru sometimes you just can't help yourself... *not to mention the 17 months to the day since I last saw her 😃.
  6. Agreed. Simply outstanding. Probably my last ballet of the season and very pleased to finish on such a high.
  7. Timmie

    Audience Behaviour

    That's a good idea BBB. I was just thinking the other day a thread discussing specific theatres would be good. I always struggle to work out how to get the best ticket bargains at the London Coliseum for example. A thread discussing seats, general advice on where to buy tickets for a given theatre, what the loos are like etc would be good.
  8. I was also at yesterday’s matinee and enjoyed it immensely. Erina Takahashi was an excellent Aurora, extremely confident in the role and a beautiful, graceful dancer. I loved her characterisation and emotional portrayal of Aurora with Aurora growing in confidence as the story unfolded. Aitor Arrieta was also very good. His pas de deux solo variation was excellent, with big clean leaps and landings, I just wish Prince Désiré had a bit more ‘big’ dancing to do. The Bluebird pair were wonderful and as noted above Julia Conway was a great Princess Florine. Her story telling was lovely and her face so expressive. Begona Cao was a superb Lilac Fairy. In fact everyone was good. I very much like this production with, in my view, a stronger story telling than the RB version. I’m going to have to do some googling to find out who/what Gold, Diamond and Silver are though. As an ROH regular it was nice to be able to afford stalls seats and to sit in the front row and still see the dancers’ feet!
  9. 😃My wife told me off for calling it a big wobble when I told her what I’d posted… Despite minor disagreements on wobble magnitude it looks like we all agree it was very much a role debut worthy of sitting alongside Naghdi’s other major role debuts. Role on Gamzatti! (BTW Mrs Timmie enjoyed the performance immensely and from an occasional ballet goer, who sometimes comes out of a ballet with a ‘meh’ look on her face, that is high praise indeed for the production).
  10. Wow, yesterday’s matinee! I complained about feeling a lack of emotion after the opening night performance but yesterday I think I may have got too much emotion to handle. Naghdi was amazing, I was misty eyed in Act 2 and tears rolling down my face during Act 4. I left the theatre so sad and yet so happy at being so sad. This is exactly what I want from a Swan Lake 😥😃. For me the special thing about Yasmine as a ballerina is her arms and as an actor her emotional projection. In Act 2 she just rippled across the stage and you were so happy for her in her moment of new-love and potential release from the spell but sad because you know what’s coming. In any Swan Lake, Act 3 is just a blast of fun. Odile is a party girl at heart and just wants to have fun. Yasmine was a great Odile, and yes a big wobble in the fouettes, but she was really going for it so we didn’t care a jot, a bit of extra jeopardy added to the excitement! Act 4 is where I really didn’t get it on opening night but yesterday I really did. When Odette first goes for the rock and is blocked by the swan maidens, so moving and then the rest of the act just builds on this. The very end could maybe do with a minor tweak ( I don’t know what), but if it’s not changed I will still go again and again. A few random thoughts: Benjamin Ella superb as Benno, I very much liked Tierney Heap in the PdT, I prefer this version’s four cygnets with the extreme head-nodding dropped and I love the princesses’ tutus.
  11. Thanks Rob S and Richard LH, I think the double thing is part of my problem - I was concentrating on the 'drowned' Odette as I could see she was wearing a dress rather than a tutu, and I failed to look up.
  12. I managed to miss the final vision on opening night. I'm in the same seat plus 1 for tomorrow's matinee, where should I look please? And is the vision the actual lead lady or a double? Apologies if this is detailed somewhere in the thread - I've read it through once but don't remember seeing it. I attach a rather rubbish picture showing the view from front and centre amphi.
  13. Timmie

    Something less tragic?

    If you want one you can see quite soon then definitely The Sleeping Beauty. On at the London Coliseum from the 6th of June. One of the classics with fantastic music and a very joyful ending 😁. I haven't seen the ENB version yet but I am sure it will be great.
  14. Indigo, that sums up exactly how I feel after one performance. Very much looking forward to Naghdi/Kish 😃. I think for me that’s the problem with this Swan Lake. The previous version ended on an emotional roller coaster so you left the theatre full of joy and sadness at the same time, this one left me emotionally uninvolved.