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On ‎06‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 18:30, Dawnstar said:

 

I must be luckier with opera than with ballet then! I've just looked back over my theatregoing list & can think of fewer than a dozen replacement singers I've seen over my last 15 years of ROH operagoing.

 

Perhaps you don't see as much opera as I do, but I can think of individual runs of an opera that have had four or five cast changes over the course of the run!

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To put some minds at rest, Francesca Hayward has instragramed a picture of her and Cesar Corrales during their R&J rehearsal today.

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6 hours ago, RuthE said:

 

Perhaps you don't see as much opera as I do, but I can think of individual runs of an opera that have had four or five cast changes over the course of the run!

 

I see far less opera than you do! I wasn't saying the the ROH doesn't have lots of cast changes in opera, just that I've been fortunate not to have been affected by that many personally, unlike my short time watching the RB.

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1 hour ago, bangorballetboy said:

To put some minds at rest, Francesca Hayward has instragramed a picture of her and Cesar Corrales during their R&J rehearsal today.

 

The prodigal returns ! Both looking pretty happy I must say...

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I know it's relatively early days as yet, but I was wondering whether anyone has a feel for whether there are specific Mercutios/Tybalts assigned to specific Romeos/Juliets?  For example, would you expect, say, the first-night M/T to be in all performances of the Ball/Cuthbertson cast, or does it tend to vary according to who's available?  I'm sure they'd prefer to keep them the same, but does it actually happen?

 

Also, are the company on a break between this coming Saturday and the 25th, or am I missing something in the scheduling?

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The Mercutios and Tybalts seem to be assigned. If one enquires of individual dancers as to when they are on, the answer (almost invariably) is "I'm in x's  and y's cast" - i.e. naming 'their' Romeo(s).

 

Given the amount of fighting involved, that makes sense.

 

There is an RB in Class on the 17th and an Insight on the 23rd. It feels like a week in which the next Triple Bill and the second tranche of R&Js concentrate on rehearsals.

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Thanks, capybara.  I knew it made sense because of the partnering/fighting, but wondered if it was actually happening this time around in view of some of the scheduling.

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17 hours ago, alison said:

Hardly a prodigal ...

 

No of course, not really! I should have said the prodigy returns ! 😉

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(There's currently a stalls circle standing available for tonight's performance)

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Had a fabulous evening at the performance last night (Cuthbertson/Ball). It was our first visit to the ROH in person, having seen many RB relays in the cinema. Wonderful all round! My budding dancer daughter was mesmerised.

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Posted (edited)

Romeo and Juliet is one of my favourite ballets. Last night’s performance went beyond ‘ an old favourite’ to the realm of living and breathing the tragic story step by step, note by note, breath by breath

 

 This was due to the superb dancing and acting skills of all the lead roles, the wonderful orchestra playing Prokofiev’s beautiful music plus a large sprinkling of fairy dust, of fire and spice, of magic and mystery. Just one of those very special nights.

 

Matthew Ball’s Romeo was heartfelt, his dancing a joy to watch, his emotions clearly portrayed as they moved across his handsome features, his supportive partnering giving Lauren Cuthbertson the freedom to fully explore the role of Juliet knowing how well he would look after her.

Lauren’s Juliet was so nuanced, from the delightful child dancing with her nurse, to the young lover and then the desperation and hopelessness of her final scene.

Lauren’s dancing was so light and fluid , her acting skills faultless. She paid attention to every detail required to tell her story.

In a very stellar cast, Gary Avis stood out as a ferocious Tybalt, adding a level of inebriation to his wrath in the duelling scene which fuelled the drama.

Valentino  Zucchetti was a lively mischievous Mercutio with James Hay as Benvolio . Itziar Mendizabel danced a frolicsome lead Harlot with great zest. Ryiochi Hirano showed us a baffled Paris who could not understand Juliet’s disdain for him, his grief at the end sincere, his murder unjust. 

Marcelino Sambe was an expressive and energetic Mandolin Dancer .

So many other characters gave their all. So many of the audience were in tears as the red curtains fell.

Bravo the Royal Ballet !  

Edited by Mandy Kent
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12 hours ago, Mandy Kent said:

Romeo and Juliet is one of my favourite ballets. Last night’s performance went beyond ‘ an old favourite’ to the realm of living and breathing the tragic story step by step, note by note, breath by breath

 

 This was due to the superb dancing and acting skills of all the lead roles, the wonderful orchestra playing Prokofiev’s beautiful music plus a large sprinkling of fairy dust, of fire and spice, of magic and mystery. Just one of those very special nights.

 

Matthew Ball’s Romeo was heartfelt, his dancing a joy to watch, his emotions clearly portrayed as they moved across his handsome features, his supportive partnering giving Lauren Cuthbertson the freedom to fully explore the role of Juliet knowing how well he would look after her.

Lauren’s Juliet was so nuanced, from the delightful child dancing with her nurse, to the young lover and then the desperation and hopelessness of her final scene.

Lauren’s dancing was so light and fluid , her acting skills faultless. She paid attention to every detail required to tell her story.

In a very stellar cast, Gary Avis stood out as a ferocious Tybalt, adding a level of inebriation to his wrath in the duelling scene which fuelled the drama.

Valentino  Zucchetti was a lively mischievous Mercutio with James Hay as Benvolio . Itziar Mendizabel danced a frolicsome lead Harlot with great zest. Ryiochi Hirano showed us a baffled Paris who could not understand Juliet’s disdain for him, his grief at the end sincere, his murder unjust. 

Marcelino Sambe was an expressive and energetic Mandolin Dancer .

So many other characters gave their all. So many of the audience were in tears as the red curtains fell.

Bravo the Royal Ballet !  

I agree wholeheartedly! We were also extremely impressed by the swordfighting, and the quality of the acting in the final act by Lauren C and Matthew Ball was so impressive. Wonderful to see such a performance!

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Regarding the sword fighting;  When Romeo and Tybalt were fighting hell for leather, Tybalt sustained an injury! I know because Gary showed me the graze on his hand at the stage door that night 

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1 hour ago, Mandy Kent said:

Regarding the sword fighting;  When Romeo and Tybalt were fighting hell for leather, Tybalt sustained an injury! I know because Gary showed me the graze on his hand at the stage door that night 

It doesn't surprise me too much - it did look very authentic swordfighting! Hope Tybalt recovers quickly!

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Hugely excited at the prospect of today’s double Romeo and Juliet - I’ve been looking forward to the public debuts of Anna-Rose O’Sullivan and Marcelino Sambe ever since the casting was announced (and for some time before then) and I’m delighted that Akane Takada and Ryoichi Hirano are dancing this evening.  How wonderful to escape the everyday pressures, Arts Council pronouncements and ROH management irksomeness etc, and be transported by the fabulous Royal Ballet’s pursuit of excellence.  All good wishes to today’s performers, many of whom I’m sure will be dancing/playing in both performances.

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9 minutes ago, JohnS said:

Hugely excited at the prospect of today’s double Romeo and Juliet - I’ve been looking forward to the public debuts of Anna-Rose O’Sullivan and Marcelino Sambe ever since the casting was announced (and for some time before then) and I’m delighted that Akane Takada and Ryoichi Hirano are dancing this evening.  How wonderful to escape the everyday pressures, Arts Council pronouncements and ROH management irksomeness etc, and be transported by the fabulous Royal Ballet’s pursuit of excellence.  All good wishes to today’s performers, many of whom I’m sure will be dancing/playing in both performances.

 

Have a great time John! 

Can't be there for the O’Sullivan/ Sambe matinee which should be pretty special,  but looking forward very much to Takada and Hirano again this evening, based on their earlier debuts. 

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Magnificent, unbelievably good performances from Sambe and O'Sullivan this afternoon. Somehow they made all the old familiar steps seem entirely fresh and different; even the parts that usually sag (most of Act 2) were livelier. His superb dancing filled the stage out of all proportion to his physical size and it was a pleasure to behold: plush, soft landings, and excellent partnering. His Romeo was ardent and passionate: the final sword fight between Romeo and Tybalt was once of the most ferocious I've seen. She blew me away. Her Juliet was completely mesmerising, nothing like a debut, full of detail, she completely inhabited the role and was absolutely heart rending. 

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I was left weeping, wrung out and blown away by this afternoon’s matinee.  I feel privileged to have been there.  What a partnership, and what incredible artists in their own right.  More later, after I recover.  Wow, just wow.   

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Romeo & Juliet is my absolute favourite ballet. And I love how it is a showcase for rising star soloists to own the stage. So I won’t gush too much but I echo annamk that the matinee today was magnificent. Luca Acri stole my heart and Sullivan & Sambé broke it 👏💐👏

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I felt that this afternoon's cast (Sat. 13th April) was very strong all round - nothing like a 'matinee' cast at all.

Anna Rose O'Sullivan delivered everything a child, young girl and woman should be and Marcelino Sambe lived Romeo's every moment from the heart and danced gloriously well. [My only reservation was the very severe way in which Anna Rose's hair had been scraped back at the front which made her look rather old.]

There was terrific support from Luca Acri as Mercutio (also making his debut?) and Teo Dubreuil as Benvolio (an excellent 'break through' into a significant named role). Thomas Whitehead died a very convincing death as Tybalt, Alastair Marriott made his presence felt as Escalus, and the Gary Avis/Elizabeth McGorian combo as the Capulet parents added their usual, believable detail to the drama.

There are times when I watch R&J and find my attention wandering around the stage to see what the bystanders are up to. The fact that that didn't happen at all this afternoon speaks volumes about the quality of the dancing and the storytelling given us by the leading players.

 

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I'm so glad I was there this afternoon. It was a very fine performance all round, I thought.

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A fabulous afternoon. I was mesmerised by Anna-Rose O’Sullivan’s journey from young girl to lover and how towards the end of the Act 1 pdd she took control.  Immaculate dancing as expected but so much more and a wonderful portrayal of the absolute horror she found oppressing her.  Marci Sambe was tremendous - a complete performance and I think one of the best Romeos I’ve ever seen.  I very much agree with the plaudits for Luca Acri’s Mercutio and I thought Teo Dubreuil an equally fine Benvolio.  How good to see Kristen McNally as the lead harlot (she is such a fine dancer), with Mica Bradbury and Romany Pajdak.  Elizabeth McGorian ‘s Lady Capulet was gripping at the end of Act 2, such a contrast from Alastair Marriott’s weak Escalus - would the Capulets and Montagues give him the time of day, let alone give up they’re swords?

I’d had a quick pasta before going to the Stage Door to hear that Marci and Anna-Rose had already been out but whilst chatting to a couple I was delighted to see Anna-Rose emerge from the Stage Door and was able to have a quick word.  It certainly added to my sense of occasion.  We’ll see how this evening compares.

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This really was a tremendous debut. I hope to see the Sambe/O'Sullivan pairing in many more roles to come.

 

Luca Acri was fabulous as Mercutio, such sharp and fast movements. 

 

I thought the whole company and the leads were excellent throughout, but need to find a superlative for the heartbreaking crypt scene. Anna-Rose's eyes are so very expressive and their expression seem to reach the very back of the auditorium. Her scream of despair reverberated through my marrow. Sambe always excelled at bravura, now his acting matches the rest of his stagecraft and his dancing has become beautifully nuanced. His expression when he found Juliet will stay with me for a long time to come.

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Lovely photo BBB. I have none :( The usher came up to me twice and told me to stop taking curtain call photos - I wondered if the RoH policy has changed because it's the first time I've encountered it ........ 

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What a brilliant performance this afternoon. O'Sullivan was a wonderful Juliet, bringing fresh nuances and sculpted beauty to the familiar steps. So many interesting and moving details. When her nurse took the doll away and placed her hands on her breasts, O'Sullivan's expression was one of total fear; as if she somehow foresaw the tragedy that lay ahead. When she was being courted by Paris, she was flattered and curious and happy to flirt shyly with him - until she saw Romeo. That moment when they set eyes on each other was stunning - the proverbial thunderbolt, leaving both of them stunned, shocked, unable to comprehend what had suddenly happened. And thereafter, she couldn't bear even to touch Paris, or have him touch her. Her heart and mind and body were with Romeo, and his with her. Only gradually did their shock soften into the realisation of love, the joy and wonder and opening up of their worlds to each other. Sambé was perhaps the most passionate Romeo I have seen - expansive, powerful, musical, and absolutely in thrall to Juliet. Both danced so quickly, so lightly, but with great physical finesse. You really believed that this couple were in love, and the terrible finale was unbearably sad.

 

I thought that Luca Acri was a fantastic Mercutio - incredibly fast, dynamic, laddish, charismatic; his death was traumatic. And Romeo's revenge on Thomas Whitehead's domineering Tybalt was shockingly fierce and realistic. Gary Avis dominated the stage as Lord Capulet, and all the dancers performed with such commitment. The female townspeople in Act I fought each other so violently I was a bit afraid there would be a higher than usual pile of bodies in the middle after Escalus's appearance...

 

What a performance, and what a ballet.

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Q'Sullivan and Sambe were stunning, as many upthread have said. Performances to treasure. I also enjoyed the supporting cast , particularly Acri, Dubreuil,  McGorian and Avis and a wonderful mandolin dance from Yudes that I wished it was at least twice as long.

 

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