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  1. I too miss Zanowsky as Elisabeth. I also miss Arestis - hope she is back soon.
  2. I saw Hirano's first night. In the tavern scene I noticed that Corrales was really drunk and then became spectularly sober, whereas Hirano started off sober and became very drunk extremely quickly. It was almost as though someone flicked a switch and the two dancers swapped their inebriated/sober states to the other.
  3. A really fascinating read. Thanks for posting, Richard. I wonder what happened to her children and if there is anyone alive still descended from Crown Prince Rudolf and Stephanie?
  4. That's interesting, Nogoat. There was a period from about 1986 - 1992 when Mayerling wasn't performed. I saw the South Bank Show documentary before I saw a live performance, so when it came to it, I understood the plot and who the characters were and with repeated viewings, filled in the gaps and made the connections. Like many others on this forum, I was completely swept away. Yes, I was Mayerling obsessed! The ballet inspired me to visit Vienna and Vetsera's grave. I would have named it as my favourite ballet. But that was a long time ago. Since then, I have gone off this ballet and that's nothing to do with the quality of the performances. Although I believe many of the original cast have never been bettered, some have, or at least have been equalled. In the documentary we get to see all the best parts and don't have to sit through all the padding and what is, in my view, some of MacMillan's least inspired choreography for the corps: Stephanie's maids; the glamorous porn - movie choreography for the whores; the fireworks business; and all the stuff that happens in front of the curtain while the sets are being changed - not just one officer jumping out of the curtain, but ... four - embarrassing, even more so when you see a hand or leg sticking out of the curtain as I have on the last three occasions. And I find some of the 'drunken' acting in the tavern scene really tiresome. There are also moments in the music which I find OTT (the discovery of the bodies at the end reminds me of old horror film music, for example). You may ask 'why be so miserable about it, but still go to see it?'. I suppose my answer would be that I am hoping to be swept away again. Just for one moment, as the parade of characters passed by at the beginning of the ballet, I thought I just might. Are there any ballets that other forum members have fallen out of love with over time? I used to rate Grigorovich's Spartacus - no more! (It will be my secret guilty pleasure next summer! I haven't seen it in donkeys years.)
  5. Thanks for that info about the letter, Fiz. That explains more. Okay, maybe I was a bit harsh on Osipova. Knee shuffling understood and accepted! I do think she's been a bit harsh on her knees though!
  6. Btw. Does anyone know why Sylvie Guillem never took on a role in this ballet? Was she considered too tall for Mary? Was she not interested in Larisch or possibly even Empress Elisabeth. I suppose the latter would have been too small a role for her.
  7. And for me that was exactly when her performance teetered somewhere between the sublime and the ridiculous. I love so many of the choices Osipova has made with this role: her overwhelming commitment, abandonment and sense of daring will stay etched on my memory forever. Maybe this moment would have felt more congruous had she been dancing with Watson. Not sure. It did made Mary seem totally mad, which, to be fair, might well have been the case to go through with such a terrible act. I do wish I had been sitting closer to the stage as I don't feel it's a ballet best viewed from the Amphi* - possibly because the balance is weighted in favour of drama over dance. I have enjoyed Mayerling far more from SCS (that's Stalls Circle Standing**). I would be interested to know where each person viewing the performance has sat or stood. *Level 4/5?! **Ground Floor Level/Level 1?!
  8. I, too, thought that the article rather glossed over the change at Rambert. Norman Morrice went to the Arts Council behind Marie Rambert's back to make the proposal. When the company cut back and became contemporary, Rambert believed it was only going to be for a short while.
  9. Not going to post at length now as I need to get to bed, but glad that bridem got so much from the performance tonight. I have seen Mayerling many times. On this occasion I felt a total disconnect with Rudolf's story. Hirano partnered brilliantly, stepping in for Watson, but I felt the most impassioned and nuanced performances came from others. For me tonight's performance only flagged up Mayerling's weaknesses. It's a brilliant roller coaster when it works, but feels overlong and tiresome to me when it doesn't.
  10. Poor Ed Watson fans. Except for the rich ones.
  11. Well done you SPD444. I like your form of protest! On the subject of 'Friends' organisations and now you mention ENB, I remember how, back in the day, the Friends of Festival Ballet was a wonderful organisation. For a reasonably priced membership they offered so many informative events and played a major role in my ballet education. And it really had a personal touch: one felt like we were treated as Friends! Then they wanted more money (late 80s) and became the Festival Ballet Association: membership and event prices rose astronomically, some events had little or nothing to do with ballet and the soul of the organisation departed. I hung on for as long as I could. A couple of years later in the membership newsletter we were informed that they had conducted some membership surveys and 'discovered' that members actually preferred dance related events!...honestly, I did not make this up! At at about that time my allegiance was shifting towards the Royal Ballet anyway and I became a Friend of Covent Garden, remaining so for about ten years. I couldn't rejoin a Friends organization at ENB - partly because of the experience I have already mentioned above, also because I am not overly fond of their current rep, and dancers don't seem to stay there long enough - I honestly can't keep up with the comings and goings. Their productions at the Coliseum, which I do admire, are usually spoilt by a few munching, slurping, chatting audience members, unwilling to turn off their mobile phones. Recently I have felt that at the ROH one has a better chance of not being distracted by other audience members. It will be interesting to see how things develop.
  12. I am sorry to have spoilt people's mornings by posting this article. I wonder what the best course of action would be: a total boycott - I couldn't do it!!! Possibly a combination of cancelling 'friends' membership (which I did ages ago) and buying even more tickets than before just to thwart their strategy!
  13. Maybe this can be moved to the 'open up' thread. Sorry, not sure how to move it there.
  14. I will not fill out another survey for them! https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/magazine/article/dancing-pinhead-pricing
  15. It was Richard Buckle. Sorry, but I doubt that Crisp was ever capable of such wit.