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Xandra Newman

Royal Ballet Summer Season casting

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The casting for The Firebird/A Month in the Country/Symphony in C has gone up on the ROH website.

 

Great news as Edward Watson is set to make his comeback partnering Yasmine Naghdi as The Firebird on Opening Night.

The 2nd cast The Firebird is Mendizabal/Kish and 3rd cast is Heap/Hirano.

 

https://www.roh.org.uk/mixed-programmes/the-firebird-a-month-in-the-country-symphony-in-c

Edited by alison
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So, as I read this, on the opening night Bracewell is dancing a role done at other performances by Osipova or Cuthbertson?

Edited by Jane S
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1 minute ago, Jane S said:

So, as I read this, on the opening night Bracewell is dancing a role done at other performances by Osipova or Cuthbertson?

 

Yes - the casting for the 4th makes no sense. Presumably it should read Naghdi, Watson, Arestis, Avis and ??

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Xandra Newman's suggestions seem likely guesses for the casting for Firebird, but they aren't supported explicitly by the website, otherwise we will have to imagine the prospect of considering how Bracewell is likely to look in a tutu...

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All I can see for the 4th is a list of names:

Arestis Avis Nagdhi Watson Bracewell 

How do these names relate to the three ballets? 

It doesn't look like full casting.....I'm keen to see who is doing Month in the Country for example

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It’s clear as mud. With luck, things should become clearer when the casting pdf appears (assuming that hasn’t fallen victim to the latest comms strategy).

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8 minutes ago, LinMM said:

All I can see for the 4th is a list of names:

Arestis Avis Nagdhi Watson Bracewell 

How do these names relate to the three ballets? 

It doesn't look like full casting.....I'm keen to see who is doing Month in the Country for example

 

Ah - OK. I was assuming that names 3 and 4 were for Month, but maybe they're still Firebird (except the pairings the wrong way round on the 4th). On reflection that must be the case because the hypothetical Month casting wouldn't look wholly plausible.

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1 hour ago, Xandra Newman said:

The casting for The Firebird/A Month in the Country/Symphony in C has gone up on the ROH website.

 

Great news as Edward Watson is set to make his comeback partnering Yasmine Naghdi as The Firebird on Opening Night.

 

I just hope he doesn't go and sprain another ankle or anything else nasty.

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I’d be very dubious of reading much into the casting currently shown.  The style looks similar to the Pite Triple Bill where accurate information came late and for a time only when signed in and it still looks distinctly odd when visiting the productions page:

https://www.roh.org.uk/mixed-programmes/within-the-golden-hour-new-sidi-larbi-cherkaoui-flight-pattern

I find it very hard to believe that we would have a different combination of dancers for all six performances.  

It strikes me the website teething problems are still ongoing.

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A total mess.  Presumably 3 dancers for Firebird and 2 for Month, but who knows?

 

And oh looky.  As if they hadn't already put the prices up enough this season, side amphi last season £6, this season £13.  £2 more than the current mixed bill.  Guess we pesky regulars are still going to too many performances for their liking :( 

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The higher prices seem to be going up a lot too. The stalls seat I paid £61 for for last night's double bill is £83 in June! I'm prepared to pay the former for the ROH but the latter is out of my price range.

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Blimey.  Until this year, top price for mixed bills has been around the £65 mark.

 

And - ye gods - the Grand Tier is £95!!!  As is much of the Stalls.

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19 minutes ago, alison said:

A total mess.  Presumably 3 dancers for Firebird and 2 for Month, but who knows?

 

 

Isn’t it The Firebird four principals (the three leading ladies are exactly for whom I should have hoped, although I don’t know that I like Firebird per se enough to go three times) plus the three Natalias and a rogue Bracewell?

 

Will be lovely to see Arestis back, although, if I’m allowed to write this, and I’m sure I’ll be told off for speculating, I can see some valedictory casting going on...

 

Edited by Jamesrhblack
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to For those unfamiliar with the Firebird there are only four named characters in the ballet.

1) The Firebird herself. This is a ballerina role created by Karsavina and first danced by Fonteyn in 1954. She was coached by Karsavina and in turn coached Mason.

 

2) Ivan Tsarevitch who captures the Firebird and finally destroys Kostchei and releases all who have been enchanted by him. This dancer needs to  look convincing even when apparently doing very little. He needs to be able to act and partner well but is not called upon to display other aspects of his technique. This role is suited to a male dancer whose technical skills are on the wain but retains the capacity to command the stage by his mere presence. Somes performed the role for years after he had stopped dancing the leading male roles in other ballets. 

 

3)The Beautiful Tsarevna essentially a character role which may be taken either by a character dancer or one who performs classical choreography.The company's first Tsarevna was Beriosova who was then beginning to be a significant member of the company. I suspect that she was chosen for the role because she looked the part as also happened when Nijinska selected her as the Bride in Les Noces.

 

4)The Immortal Kostchei a character role originally taken by Ashton himself when the company first performed the ballet in 1954. Ernst Ansermet who had conducted at  the ballet's premiere  conducted when the company first danced the ballet and is reported to have said that he was so taken by Ashton's performance as Kostchei as he struggled to resist the Firebird's spell which forces the Immortal's entire entourage and then the Immortal himself to sleep that he was unable to concentrate on the music.

 

 The first four names may look jumbled as they are not set out in any consistent order but having said that they look suspiciously like the type of  dancers you  might cast in the Firebird either because they look right for the part or because a specific role would provide the opportunity to give a specific dancer a bit of a send off at the end of their time as a member of the company. I have no prior knowledge but I would not be at all surprised to learn that both Watson and Crawford., are to retire at the end of the season.

 

As for the other odd names they look as if they could well be first thoughts on casting for A Month in the Country.  Osipova has already danced Natalia Petrovna so perhaps Cuthbertson and Nunez are in line for the role although I have to admit I can't really imagine Nunez making much of a success of the role but I should be happy to be proved wrong. There again the names could be  a series of notes for Symphony in C as to availability as both Osipova and Nunez have international careers as well as commitments to the Royal Ballet.

 

If I am right about those first four names that would give a first night cast who I assume will be appearing in the Fonteynfest gala of 

 

Firebird Naghdi

Ivan Tsarevitch Watson,

The Beautiful Tsarevna  Arestis,

The Immortal  Kostchei the wicked  sorcerer Avis

 

A second  cast of

 

Firebird Mendizabal

Ivan Tsarevitch Kish 

The Beautiful Tsarevna Calvert

The Immortal Kostchei Saunders

 

A third cast of

 

Firebird Heap

Ivan Tsarevitch Hirano

The Beautiful Tsarevna Crawford

The Immortal Kostchei Marriott

 

As far as the prices are concerned it looks suspiciously to me as if the marketing department has been told to sweat the assets of the ballet company to keep the opera side of the operation afloat financially. The drop in the value of the pound plus the cut in ACE funding would have made a big hole in the opera's finances anyway but those effects have been exacerbated by the number of productions which it has managed to stage, particularly during Holten's time as Artistic Director, which did not deserve to make it to the stage in the first place and certainly should not be inflicted on an audience a second time. This reduces the opera to a big hole into which large sums of money are thrown at regular intervals with nothing much to show for the expenditure. Ticket sales for the revival of Cosi are pretty poor as are sales for the new production of the Queen of Spades. As a friend said to me a couple of days ago what is said to be an international opera house seems to be in a similar state artistically to the ballet company about twenty years ago.

Edited by FLOSS
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Gosh I might be priced out of the ROH soon if they start going mad with Amphi prices!!

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I may be wrong, but I don't remember any casting apart from Firebird and Ivan being announced in previous runs, which is why I wondered.  Certainly not the Tsarevna, I don't think.

 

1 hour ago, FLOSS said:

2) Ivan Tsarevitch who captures the Firebird and finally destroys Kostchei and releases all who have been enchanted by him. This dancer needs to  look convincing even when apparently doing very little. He needs to be able to act and partner well but is not called upon to display other aspects of his technique. This role is suited to a male dancer whose technical skills are on the wain but retains the capacity to command the stage by his mere presence.

 

Maybe, but then I remember Stuart Cassidy and Adam Cooper performing it in their prime, and Watson has been performing it at least since Jonathan Cope's actual retirement, and possibly even when he was still a First Soloist, so it's not a given.  I'm having a total mental block about who else has performed it relatively recently apart from Soares - Hristov, I think, but who else?

 

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i wonder how long it will be before they realise that they have shot themselves in the foot by increasing prices so much?  I like good seats and am prepared to pay a reasonable price, but it's getting ridiculous. I hoped to see two casts in R and J and probably two in the Firebird triple but now it looks like one of each. So they lose more money, plus anything I spend on drinks etc.Hardly likely to encourage all the newbies or oldies! 

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This does seem a big hike in prices for a mixed bill; recent/current ones were/are priced up to £70 as I recall, including  Symphony in C, with The Unknown Soldier and Infra.

Now a repeat of Symphony in C, but  with The  Firebird and A Month in The Country instead, rises to a top price of £95.  

Are the Firebird and A Month in The Country considered likely to be  much more popluar than The Unknown Soldier and Infra?

On reflection, have I just answered my own question?   

 

Edited by Richard LH
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11 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

This does seem a big hike in prices for a mixed bill; recent/current ones were/are priced up to £70 as I recall, including  Symphony in C, with The Unknown Soldier and Infra.

Now a repeat of Symphony in C, but  with The  Firebird and A Month in The Country instead, rises to a top price of £95.  

Are the Firebird and A Month in The Country considered likely to be  much more popluar than The Unknown Soldier and Infra?

On reflection, have I just answered my own question?   

 

 

I suspect so, Richard. The ROH presumably now prices entirely according to what they think the 'market' will bear for any given bill. (Having said that, if McGregor is so brilliant and so popular why are bills including his work generally priced so low??).

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10 hours ago, alison said:

 I'm having a total mental block about who else has performed it relatively recently apart from Soares - Hristov, I think, but who else?

 

 

Gartside in the last run - outstandingly good, I thought.

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1 hour ago, Richard LH said:

This does seem a big hike in prices for a mixed bill; recent/current ones were/are priced up to £70 as I recall, including  Symphony in C, with The Unknown Soldier and Infra.

Now a repeat of Symphony in C, but  with The  Firebird and A Month in The Country instead, rises to a top price of £95.  

Are the Firebird and A Month in The Country considered likely to be  much more popluar than The Unknown Soldier and Infra?

On reflection, have I just answered my own question?   

 

 

Just to confirm Richard’s own answer, Triple Bills have been marketed at different prices for a number of years.  For The Dream/Symphonic Variations/Marguerite and Armand back in June 2017, the maximum price was £80.  In the same period Strapless etc had a maximum price of £68 and some Triples around that time I’m pretty sure had a £50 maximum price.  

I thought the Royal Opera House had become much more price sensitive and now tailored charges for individual productions but in looking at summer 2017 all 8 productions had different prices.  What has changed recently is moving seats from one price category to another depending on the production so in a booking period a particular seat might be charged in a number of price categories - I think that is what ‘dynamic pricing’ really means.  Back in summer 2017 there was the very clear multi-coloured key for seat pricing categories.

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9 minutes ago, JohnS said:

What has changed recently is moving seats from one price category to another depending on the production so in a booking period a particular seat might be charged in a number of price categories - I think that is what ‘dynamic pricing’ really means.  

 

My perception is that they've abandoned that idea, at least for now and for the seats I'm interested in. The opera does have differences from the ballet, though, which it never used to.

 

There's no question that prices have gone up overall, though.

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15 minutes ago, JohnS said:

Triple Bills have been marketed at different prices for a number of years.

Noted. And of course the forthcoming triple bill in May (Within the Golden Hour / New Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui / Flight Pattern) is rather less expensive, the top price being £55.

So that is to be welcomed at least.

However, I see that the top price for the special Fonteyn bill rises to £125! 

 

Clarification of the  full Summer Season casting, and  full details of Fonteyn bill, is sorely needed.....

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34 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

Clarification of the  full Summer Season casting, and  full details of Fonteyn bill, is sorely needed.....

 

What? When spring booking hasn’t even opened to the public and Friends booking for the summer period isn’t until April? Catch yourself on (as they’d say in my homeland).

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15 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

What? When spring booking hasn’t even opened to the public and Friends booking for the summer period isn’t until April? Catch yourself on (as they’d say in my homeland).

 

I didn't say that clarification had to be made straight away. All in good time.

I think you could have responded  rather more politely. Moderators usually set the tone. 

Edited by Richard LH
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I suppose it would be quite nice to know .....at these sorts of prices......just to know if it's worth trying to save for or not!! Much as I loved Fonteyn I'm not going to pay over £80 and plus to see this celebration of her birth if I don't like what's on offer!! So if it's going to be completely out of my price range or is vastly overpriced for what's on offer then I can just forget about it and perhaps do another workshop( which is expensive too) around the same time. I cannot do both!! 

 

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52 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

Friends booking for the summer period isn’t until April

 

Friends booking starts 19 February with patrons booking before then.  General booking is 3 April.  Better cast details before any bookings open would I’m sure be very much appreciated.

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