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Everything posted by Sebastian

  1. Sebastian

    Audience Behaviour

    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
  2. Perhaps of interest (hope the link works): https://membership.theguardian.com/event/guardian-live-with-the-royal-opera-house-55897928208
  3. Two tickets for February 12 Royal Ballet School - The Two Pigeons etc - 7.30pm Amphi Row C - £11 each. E-tickets. Please PM if interested as well as posting here.
  4. Sebastian

    What Trick did I Miss with La Forza?

    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.
  5. Sebastian

    La forza del destino - the work

    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.
  6. Asphodel Meadows / The Two Pigeons Two tickets for February 13 - 7.30pm Amphi Row C - £11 each. E-tickets. Please PM if interested as well as posting here.
  7. As a seasonal treat we watched the rare film "King of Jazz" (Paul Whiteman and his band, 1930). This epic of Hollywood folly disappeared for many years and was never licenced to television. There was a much reduced and poor-quality version released on VHS back in the 1980s but in 2016, following a special screening of a restored print at MOMA in New York, the full glory of this multimillion dollar extravaganza became available again. There is now a dvd / BluRay release so, after seeing a clip in the first episode of Neil Brand's recent BBC series "The Sound of Movie Musicals", we got ourselves a copy. Here's some more about this curious film: http://www.criterionconfessions.com/2018/03/king-of-jazz-915.html My reason for posting here is a wonderful novelty dance - My Ragamuffin Romeo - which is viewable in a (very poor quality) YouTube clip. In it a ragamuffin doll is thrown about in a way which only years of the dancers performing this routine in vaudeville would make possible. A must watch, one way or another. Incidentally, the internet and the dvd booklet refer repeatedly to the dancers as Don Rose and Marion Stadler, whereas the film itself credits the girl who (seemingly) risks her neck as "Marion Stattler". What are people's favourite novelty (or speciality) dances or dancers?
  8. Sebastian

    Novelty dancing

    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.
  9. Just bumping this up as it has been a while since I posted.
  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. Sebastian

    Novelty dancing

    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/
  13. Sarah, it's yours. Sending you a PM now. Best, Sebastian
  14. Friday 15 February 2019, 12.30pm Friends Rehearsal: Don Quixote One ticket Amphi Row C - £22. E-ticket. Please PM if interested as well as posting here.
  15. As Giselle is about to return to Covent Garden, might this be an appropriate time to ask a related question? The history of 19th century performers and "white acts" is presumably part of the first course every student of dance history takes. May I therefore draw on collective expertise? Listed below are a few works which seem significant, and I wonder if someone might be so kind as to fill in the inevitable gaps, particularly for the "pre-history", i.e. the years leading up to 1825. 10 December 1825: First night of Boïeldieu's opéra comique “La Dame Blanche” (based on a number of works by Walter Scott, but as regards the White Lady, specifically “The Monastery”) In the course of the action a young woman dresses in white to represent herself as a ghost. Adolphe Adam helped Boïeldieu prepare the orchestral parts, Adam of course later going on to write the music for Giselle. 6 March 1831: First night of Bellini’s opera "La Somnambula". A female sleepwalker in a white nightdress is mistaken for a phantom. 21 November 1831: First night of Meyerbeer’s opera "Robert le Diable". The so-called "ballet of the nuns" has unfaithful nuns coming out of their graves (dressed in white) to tempt the hero. This scene starred the choreographer's daughter, Marie Taglioni. 1832: Marie Taglioni appears in the title role of "La Sylphide", a ballet telling the story of a fairy - dressed in white - who tempts a man to abandon his sweetheart (the scenario was written by the tenor star of “Robert le Diable”). This sylph and her “ethereal sisters” are all dressed in white, and so Act 2 of “La Sylphide” may be thought of as the first "ballet blanc", the white act. 1835: "Lucia di Lammermoor" (Donizetti) and "I Puritani" (Bellini) are first performed, both starring women who get into a state while wearing white wedding dresses. 1836: La Sylphide is restaged to new music by the Danish ballet master Bournonville 1842 onwards: White acts in Giselle, Swan Lake and so on. Incidentally, as to Giselle itself, I wrote about the history of the Wilis in earlier postings, e.g. http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/14339-english-national-ballet-mary-skeapings-giselle-london-coliseum-2017/?do=findComment&comment=197609 http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/14339-english-national-ballet-mary-skeapings-giselle-london-coliseum-2017/?do=findComment&comment=200100
  16. Sebastian

    Women In White?

    Just found a nice addition to this agreeable discussion. In May 2018 Alastair Macaulay published an astute article in the New York Times comparing and contrasting Lucia and Giselle (and much else): www.nytimes.com/2018/05/10/arts/dance/giselle-lucia-and-romantic-madness.html
  17. This comment turned up on another thread (maybe there is a backlog over the holiday period, this could have been anticipated though):
  18. A recent failed booking - mishandled first by the Royal Opera House's technology and then by its staff - has over the last weeks drawn me into an extended correspondence with various members of ROH staff. Somewhat to my surprise, the final outcome turns out to be wholly positive, not just for me in this particular case but for customers of the ROH more generally. It turns out that there is a new way to contact ROH with complaints, concerns or questions. As of very recently there is now a central place for us to contact ROH by email: customerservices@roh.org.uk It may be that some recent frustrations are down either to the previous clumsy systems or to teething troubles in putting the new system into place. But whatever happened in the past, ROH now promise that irrespective of the nature of the enquiry - security, clumsy front of house, the dodgy website, a failed booking, the printing of the new programmes, stupid statements by ROH staff, the cost/benefit of the catering, or whatever - this email address is the place to write to. The ROH say that once an email is logged, it is the responsibility of the new centralised service department to chase down whoever is responsible for giving a detailed reply and ensure that they do so within a reasonable time. This is new, so there are bound to be a few stumbles as the system gets bedded down, but it makes much more sense than the piecemeal and rather disorganised ways things were dealt with in the past. This thread could be a place to report back what is - or isn't - working. I for one am pleased with things so far.
  19. Just noticed this comment on another thread, which suggests the system may be working:
  20. Good luck Fonty, you might like to report back on this thread: http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/19046-a-new-system-for-complaints-concerns-and-questions-at-the-roh/?do=findComment&comment=266112
  21. I saw it in Victoria. The final PDD was quite a thing. As was Ludmila Semenyaka turning up in the interval to be interviewed.
  22. Sebastian

    Dance on terrestrial TV

    And here, if it’s ok to repeat my post from last Tuesday, is the German-language version:- https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/076621-000-A/marius-petipa-der-meister-des-klassischen-balletts/
  23. Sebastian

    Dance on terrestrial TV

    Many thanks Angela! The online stream will work till February. A blogger has commented here: https://classical-iconoclast.blogspot.com/2018/12/glazunov-raymonda-petipa-gergiev.html