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Sebastian

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  1. For those who have not yet caught up with the ROH “punch-up” story: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6830481/Oxford-educated-lawyer-42-punched-fellow-classical-music-fan-picked-wifes-coat.html
  2. Thanks for letting us know Ulla. I have just sent you a private message via the Forum’s messaging service,
  3. Might this be a good place to remind people of the short pieces of footage of Fonteyn dancing Aurora in 1939 (so far as I know the earliest recording of her)? They went up on YouTube in 2008: https://youtu.be/YxOoSds2tBc Apparently nothing else of these recordings survives but I would love to know more. Sadly the website for the Alexandra Palace Television Society is dead so does anyone know how to contact Simon Vaughan or John Bliss?
  4. For those who have not yet caught up with the Vienna Coughing story: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/olympic-hockey-star-samantha-quek-sent-to-opera-detention-for-coughing-during-vienna-show-a4072656.html
  5. Some more historical comparisons in this enjoyable book review, just published: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-6706163/Now-thats-real-stage-fright-Think-todays-noisy-theatre-audiences-menace.html
  6. Perhaps of interest (hope the link works): https://membership.theguardian.com/event/guardian-live-with-the-royal-opera-house-55897928208
  7. In terms of limiting ticket purchases I just noticed that next Tuesday’s evening performance by the Royal Ballet School is marked >>You may only purchase up to two tickets for this performance Yet with less than a week to go the amphitheatre is still half empty. This seems to be exactly the opposite situation as with Forza (no ticket limit and a great clamour for tickets) so could it be that someone in the box office or wherever made a mistake? Or rather, two mistakes? I point this out as I happen to be in happy possession of two cheap but good front side Amphi tickets for the School performance which I can now no longer use as I will be away on a job. Checking the website shows why no one seems to want them. A review might be in order of what looks from this perspective to be rather random decisions about purchase limits.
  8. While people are thinking about Forza, might I ask about something which has been puzzling me? Tony Pappano is quoted in an interview in the Friends magazine (an old issue, the interview was pegged to the Ring and is written by Neil Fisher) as saying of the lead role in Forza: >>The soprano role is too hard A member of my family debuted in this role at the Vienna Staatsoper before the war. She always told me that the reason she started her career with Forza was that this role is relatively short (Leonara appears at the beginning and the end) and not overly taxing. Is the part being sung differently now, or was she wrong about it, or is Pappano, or did the interviewer mishear? Any clues from singers or whoever most welcome.
  9. Apologies if I have muddled things at all by using both the terms novelty and speciality dancing. One way to look at this is as a continuum running from acrobatics and comedy at one end - even circus routines - all the way through tap to dancing of a kind one might even see on the stage of the ROH (dances intended to get a laugh or astonish with acrobatic skill alone or crossover with popular entertainment). The edges are rather blurry and the skills of the performers often overlapped with others, such as juggling, contortionism or even classical ballet dancing. And both white and black performers are featured. Sorry if I unintentionally implied anything narrower. However I rather take issue with the notion that there is (or rather was, we are not talking about present-day performers) a national divide. As I know from watching many recordings for research purposes some years ago, some now happily available on YouTube (often newsreel reports feeding off both British music hall and US vaudeville acts), such highly skilled entertainers existed on both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the English channel. A notable example of the so-called Apache Dance - impossibly unPC now - appeared successfully in night clubs etc in various European cities and also in Hollywood (for example in a film with The Three Stooges). Indeed one online writer suggests the husband and wife team who perfected this particular act were German Jews, travelling to stay one country ahead of the Nazis. What makes these routines so special - and so interesting to those of us whose eyes have grown accustomed to the modern way of rehearsing and performing - is the sheer brilliance which comes from touring the same short act around for years, the best performers getting more and more skilled - faster, stronger, funnier, more flexible, sharper timing, whatever - as they honed what they did over literally thousands of performances.
  10. Just bumping this up as it has been a while since I posted
  11. Owing to illness one or two tickets going for tonight’s Asphodel Meadows / The Two Pigeons: Amphi C-34 / C-35: £11 each, E-tickets so easy to send. Please PM as well as posting here.
  12. For example, as in this discussion: http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/13731-nicholas-brothers/ Or even (if I might quote myself): http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/16807-princess-vanessa-ammon-and-the-nicholas-brothers/
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