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  1. Yes - the gala that was arranged at very short notice in order to raise funds following the Tsunami in 2004. This remains the best gala I've been to. It had a wonderful mix of many favourites from both opera and ballet, as well as some very poignant pieces/films, and the general overall feeling that we were all there (both performers and audience), very much pulling together, to try to help a little in such a disastrous situation. (Otherwise, like you, I never feel that the balance is right and they never quite work - although I keep going in the hope that "this one" might be different).
  2. Extremely disappointed about the new Scarlett and revival of the Ratmansky. At least it mentions the Scarlett in a future season but with no such promise of the Ratmansky, so I hope it is still planned to schedule a revival.
  3. I've been meaning to add to this topic all summer, so here's my twopence worth before the new season starts: Highlights 1. Matthew Ball's Prince Rudolph (astounding). 2. La Bayadere (all casts wonderful, but particularly Takada/Naghdi/McRae – and the corps de ballet was stunning). 3. Unknown Soldier – very moving – the two main partnerships in particular. 4. Symphony in C - cannot get enough of this ballet! 5. Don Q – love it. Pure joy. 6. Asphodel Meadows (the one performance of Morera/Bracewell being the absolute standout). 7. Two Pigeons – perfect combination of joy and heartbreak, and danced superbly by all. 8. Frankenstein (especially Morera/Bonelli). I really look forward to seeing some of the younger principal casts getting a crack at this next time. 9. Romeo and Juliet (Nagdhi/Ball – proving to me that they could repeat that first heart-breaking performance of three years ago again and again. Also Stix-Brunell's outstanding debut which reduced me to a soggy mess …) 10. The final triple bill of the season. Perfection. I adore Month in the Country, and particularly loved the Nunez/Ball/Hayward/Hay cast. Lowlights 1. Cats – to the extent it took Francesca Hayward away from RB for far too long. 2. William Bracewell's injury – gutted not to see him in Two Pigeons with Francesca and/or Yasmine, and doubly-gutted that he was also denied his chances in R&J as well as Month. I really hope he'll be fighting fit and back soon.
  4. That's really odd because I couldn't get any of the insights - all showing as "sold out" and I was online and through the "queue" within 2 minutes - all very frustrating. And it seems ludicrous that these are sold out at your level of booking, BBB - just who DOES manage to get all these seats, then??? Equally, when I have managed to get a ticket, there are so often a lot of empty seats (on average around 10-15 each time) dotted around, which I find absolutely infuriating … Feeling very grumpy about the whole thing, I'm afraid. :-(
  5. Hayward is a natural "left turner". Therefore, it must be SO difficult for her to dance this since all the turns are to the right, and she obviously has to turn the same way as everyone else. I thought she was fabulous last night - at very high speed, as has been pointed out!!
  6. Gosh - so much to digest. Really pleased to see Luca Acri getting an opportunity at a lead role in Coppélia and with Yuhui!!! Also he should make a terrific Lescaut if his Mercutio is anything to go by. And it’s wonderful to see Hayward’s name well and truly back - really looking forward to seeing lots of her - another must-see Coppélia.
  7. Over the moon to see Takada/Bracewell cast together for Coppélia!!! Also thrilled to see the Naghdi/Ball partnership continue in Sleeping Beauty and Coppélia and very excited for O’Sullivan/Hay in SB! (I think Coppélia in particular is going to cause havoc with my bank balance!). Lots of interesting casting in the mixed bill too. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Matthew Ball tackle Des Grieux which I’m sure he’ll do in his usual intelligent and thoughtful way. However, like others, I’m disappointed not to see Reece Clarke down for Des Grieux as he was wonderful last time around, so a real shame that he’s not being given the chance to develop the role.
  8. I would still very much like to see William Bracewell promoted to Principal, It's probably just wishful thinking but, despite being injured for that last half of the season, personally I think he could still have done enough to gain promotion. He was outstanding in Winter Dreams, partnered Osipova perfectly in Symphony in C in McRae's place, and he and Fumi danced quite a few more Nutcrackers than originally scheduled as a result of various absentees/injuries. He totally blew me away in the one performance he danced of Asphodel Meadows (with Laura Morera – both amazing together) and I've heard from various people who were lucky enough to see him rehearse Two Pigeons with Yasmine Naghdi that he would very likely have been wonderful in that too (and presumably Management would be aware of that). In addition, he seems to be a strong, reliable partner no matter who he is paired with and, to my mind, possesses wonderful dramatic and technical ability. I would have thought, he more than proved his ability to "carry a show" in his exceptional performances of Swan Lake with Akane at the end of last season (I'm praying they will be cast together in SL next season). I'm still keeping everything crossed that he may be back for Month in the Country, but fear that that may be a faint hope. (As you can probably tell, I'm a big fan!!! J) I would also love to see Fumi promoted, as well as Reece Clarke (again, surely he has done enough to be considered worthy of First Soloist despite injury), Luca Acri and Anna-Rose O'Sullivan, and would echo a plea to promote Romany Pajdak and Isabella Gasperini, as well as Theo Debreuil and Leo Dixon. (I haven't mentioned Cesar Corrales since I've yet to see his Romeo – to be rectified on Saturday!!).
  9. Well, I loved this ballet last time around, and love it even more this time. Morera and Bonelli are as wonderful as ever, Morera really revelling in the melting choreography that Scarlett has created for the gorgeous pas de deux for Elizabeth and Frankenstein. Wei Wang makes an excellent Creature, in turn both heart-breaking and menacing – a very powerful dancer. (I would still love to see William Bracewell in this role though – hopefully next time!). And, of course, James Hay is simply fabulous as Henry – so glad he got first cast. I know many think that the ballet needs "pruning" but I don't agree – for me, it conveys the story clearly, and keeps building and building to it's terrifying but heart-wrenching crescendo, aided by the score from which Barry Wordsworth wrings every drop of drama (the music seemed much more nuanced under his direction). Again, the audience on the two occasions I've attended have been very enthusiastic. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what Alexander Campbell and Meagan Hinkis bring to these roles this evening – I have high expectations!
  10. I was (and still am) one of those who was very enthusiastic about Frankenstein last time around. For me (and I realise I seem to be in a tiny minority of one!), of all the new full-lengths that have been created on the Royal Ballet in the last few years (and I've enjoyed them all to a greater or lesser degree), this is by far my favourite due to the musicality of the choreography, some wonderful pdds (one of Liam's real strengths, in my book) the accurate depiction of the novel, and the emotion it stirred up, not to mention the lavish costumes which I love. I'm very much looking forward to re-visiting it this evening. Incidentally, I attended four performances last time, and each time there was a standing ovation from a large section of the audience, which certainly didn't feel like a flop to me. (Just thought I'd give my two-pence worth to counter-balance some of the negativity!!).
  11. So very disappointed not to be seeing William in this (as much as I love both Alexander and James, I have already seen them, and was especially looking forward to the Francesca/William and then Yasmine/William casting). The nature of ballet, I know … I'm now worrying about his Don Q and Frankenstein performances, as I've booked several.
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