I went to the screening last night with a poorly hubby. I volunteered to leave after Enigma but he gallantly insisted on staying to the end, trying to contain his coughing. Valuable though a cinema screening is it makes you view the performance with different eyes from a live show. This being the case I am not sure that my opinion of Concerto is that valid, but here goes. The second movement was excellently danced but it didn't get me the same way as when I saw with BRB. On that occasion I thought Jenna Roberts and Tyrone Singleton were just sublime. It had something extra. That may be down to my adoration of Mr Singleton but there you go.
The movement I would like to single out was the third with Myara Magri just sailing through its huge demands.
I first saw Enigma Variations in the 80s, led by Derek Rencher and Monica Mason. I must confess that I didn't get it at all. As time went on I saw Sibley as Dorabella and things began to drop into place. When I moved to Worcestershire my appreciation of Elgar really started to blossom, not least as I had a few seasons listening to the CBSO. I think it was 1993 when BRB acquired the work, coached by Michael Somes not long before his death, that I really started to value the work. Our Elgar was Desmond Kelly and he was just fabulous.
Kevin O'Hare was Troyte and I was very pleased when he reminded me that he also appeared as Elgar not long before he retired. To be honest I didn't think that much of Christopher Saunders and, being so close, I must concur with the view of an earlier poster that I felt that the way her looked at his Dorabella was slightly uncomfortable. One of the drawbacks of this type of viewing.
I was very taken with Matthew Ball bounding through Troyte and Francesca Hayward as the only brunette Dorabella I have ever seen. I also looked at Luca Acri as George Robinson Sinclair with different eyes, greatly helped by Wayne Sleep's explanation of some of the details of the role he had reintroduced.
However, the whole performance was remarkable for the truly tremendous Laura Morea as Lady Elgar. I am so pleased to have seen her in an Ashton role, and one she so obviously understood. I never saw Beriosova in the role but I felt, accurately or otherwise, that I had seen the nearest thing. She was Alice Elgar as she would like to have been, to partially quote the bon mot about Monica Mason being Alice as she actually was. It should never be forgotten that Elgar had all his major successes during the time he was married to her and that they ceased with her death. She was his true inspiration and I really felt that with Morea.
So, on with Raymonda, something of a favourite of mine. I was very curious to know how Natalia Osipova would fit into the Nureyev version. I will just say quickly that I saw Nureyev dance in this production towards the end of his career. He was no Vadim Muntagirov by that time! So, would Natalia clap or not clap. No, apparently ballerinas are not supposed to make a noise. It looked a bit odd without the slap as she was so imperious in the role.
My favourite bit of the ballet is her demi-solo when Raymonda starts at the back with her slow relevè passes progress to the front of the stage. The Russians do it differently, starting at the front of the stage and moving backwards very fast. I prefer the Nureyev version and I once saw Sylvie Guillem (in the wrong tutu, her loss) take it so slowly you could have done your shopping list between each balance, but it was so exciting as she accelerated forward.
I was very taken with Osipova although I do prefer my Raymondas to be more radiant and less triumphant. However, she danced with palpable authority which is difficult when the character has so little opportunity to show off.
As for Vadim, there are no words. I feel so privileged every time I see him.