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  1. As far as I can see it is a programme about Thoinot Arebeau's book Orchesographie which Cyril Beaumont translated and published in 1925. I wonder whether they will mention that the publication of the book in translation prompted the creation of two masterpieces, Peter Warlock's Capriol Suite (1926) and Ashton's ballet of the same name which he made for Rambert in 1930, using Warlock's music ? Capriol Suite is probably one of Warlock best known works . Although he said his suite was simply a reworking of the tunes in Arebeau's book those who admire Warlock's music regard those tunes as simply a starting point for a composition which far exceeds its source material.. Ashton made his Capriol Suite for Rambert's company which premiered it in 1930 and it stayed in its repertory for years. I saw the ballet when it was danced by SWRB sometime in the 1980's I think in connection with Ashton's eightieth birthday. Knowing that Ashton had used a sixteenth century dance manual in its creation I went to see his Capriol Suite expecting to see little more than a choreographic curiosity, a work limited by its source material giving some indication of Ashton's skill but in itself little more than a piece of juvenilia, parts of which would be of interest but only in giving an indication of what the future might hold. for its creator .The reality was completely different,it is not a masterpiece in the way Scenes de Ballet or Fille are, but it is a ballet full of charm, originality and invention in the way that Les Patineur's is. I confess I was surprised by how theatrically effective the ballet was and I came away wondering why it had been neglected for years. Perhaps the problem was that the main auditorium is too big for it but that does not explain why no one else danced it. Perhaps the problem is that most young choreographers would love to have half the choreographic assurance, originality, imagination and creativity which Ashton displays in it and it might depress them if it were seen too frequently or perhaps it is simply the fact that charm and entertainment have not been fashionable for years.
  2. I think everyone needs to remember that Petipa and Tchaikovsky worked in close collaboration on the creation of Sleeping Beauty. As Petipa provided the composer with a minutage indicating what he wanted in terms of the style, tempo and duration of various sections of the score I think it has to be assumed that Petipa expected his choreography to be performed pretty much at tempo throughout the ballet. It really makes all the difference if the ballet is performed at a speed the choreographer would recognise. The 2017 revival which was conducted by Mr Kessels, an eccentric who believes that Tchaikovsky was a great composer whose tempi should be observed, prompted some to post expressing concern that the dancers could not keep up with the orchestra but I don't recall that there were any of the usual complaints which generally accompany revivals of the ballet questioning why such a boring ballet is being revived. It is surprising what happens when you read and observe the composer's instructions . In the case of Sleeping Beauty it restores its structural coherence and its charm and transforms the experience of watching it so that even the divertisement for Cinderella and Prince Charming becomes worth seeing. The problem with taking the choreography at a snail's pace is that Petipa's choreography is concerned with phrasing not the display of individual steps classroom style. If it is danced too slowly it begins to lose its overall shape, enchainements lose their internal coherence and they lose their connection with the enchainements which preceded them and those that follow them.I have no problem with dancers displaying their extensions , if that is what the choreographer intended the audience to see , I have a great deal of problem with them if they are alien to the style of the period in which the ballet was created and style of the choreographer whose work is ,allegedly, being performed. Petipa was being radical when he created a choreographic text for Sleeping Beauty which successfully combined the best of the old French school and the advances in technique made possible by Italian training and developments in the structure of the pointe shoe. Although he later wrote that he feared that he had polluted the purity of the French school by creating choreography which accommodated the technical skills of dancers like Brianzi and Legnani he stayed as close as he could to the traditions of the school in which he himself had been trained including those traditions which regarded specific physical types as most suited to particular types of roles and allocated specific styles of dance to them. In the world of nineteenth century ballet it was still the case that the ideal in performance was ease, elegance and symmetry particularly when it came to the choreography created for princes and princesses. Demi character roles were given more obviously vigorous choreography to dance while asymmetry, essentially the vocabulary of the old grotesque dancer, where it occurred was allocated to those playing witches, goblins , trolls and characters like Carabosse. You might argue that an Aurora who indulges in high extensions which destroy the symmetry which Peitipa gave the role is aligning herself with Carabosse rather than the fairies who who bestowed the gifts of candour,vitality and a mellifluous voice on her. By the way the answer to your question is that it has got slower,with some performances in the recent past looking like Aurora was wading through treacle. The problem is that not only is this wrong aesthetically but it reveals that the performer and coaches have lost any understanding they may once have had of the ballet's style but it also leads to the text being savagely cut so that it will run for three hours and avoid incurring overtime payments. It is years since we have seen the hunting scene with anything more than the dance with the countess and courtiers which is a great pity as the score at that point contains a suite of dances each of which takes the audience further back in time to the point at which the spindle incident occurred. In the original designs it was clear that the Prologue was set in Fontainbleau in the mid sixteenth century and the second and third acts were set a century later in the reign of Louis XIV( the Sun King) hence the arrival of Apollo ( the Sun god ) in his chariot in the apotheosis to bless the happy couple.
  3. I think that there are taxi ranks at both stations in Canterbury. I don't know what days you intend to travel on or the time you propose arriving at Euston on your outward journey or the time you need to begin your return journey so it is a bit difficult to give you any but the most general advice. I don't know where you are staying in Canterbury so I can't tell you which station would be more convenient for you so I shall simply point out that Canterbury East is slightly closer to the Cathedral than Canterbury West is. Remember that Canterbury lies in Kent's commuter belt which means that soon after three o' clock on a weekday afternoon people will begin travelling back home after a long day's work in London and fares are adjusted accordingly. Once the evening rush hour exodus has begun the higher fares seem to remain in force until the end of the day. On a week day morning the commuters are doing their journey in reverse and fares for train services which will get people into town in time for work will be higher than those for non peak hours. If I were you I would look at the National Rail Enquiries website making my enquiry against "London All Stations" and "Canterbury All Stations" to see if I could book cheap advance seats for my journeys. Fares for services out of St Pancras are always higher than those for trains which leave from Victoria and Charing Cross but off peak the difference in price is much less marked than during peak hours.As far as your choice of stations to travel from is concerned, assuming that you arrive in London during rush hour only you will know whether you are prepared to pay a higher fare to travel from St. Pancras thus avoiding travelling on the tube during rush hour. You can buy advance tickets for trains running out of Charing Cross and Victoria but you can't reserve seats on them so catching trains from those two stations can be a bit of a scramble. You might want to find out whether you can reserve seats on the HST. I hope you find this information helpful and that you have a great time in Canterbury.
  4. Of course some name changes can be explained by the desire to lose a name that won't look good on a poster or by Equity's requirements, others by a desire to acquire or impose a more dancer-like name. If de Valois had succeeded in changing Deborah Bull's name it would have been only one of many occasions on which she had done so. Much as we may think it regrettable that someone feels the need to change their name in order to pursue their chosen career on stage or films there are occasions when the combination of given name and family name creates an unfortunate impression. How far do you think that Marion Mitchell Morrison or as he later became Marion Robert Morrison would have got in any form of film career if he had not changed his name to John Wayne, or had it changed for him ? We are discussing name changes many of which took place many years ago from the perspective of the second decade of the twenty first century and it is so easy to overlook the social pressures which applied at the time or how much expectation a name can create. In a world in which the theatre poster was the main form of publicity for most performers ,their name , its length and the impression and expectations it created were significant factors to be considered.when deciding what you wished to be called as a stage performer. De Valois would almost certainly have seen names in terms of billing and the expectations they create from the perspective of one who began her career as a performer in the years before the first World War. We have to remember that during the first half of the last century there were plenty of performers both here and in the US who thought it would help their careers if they lost or adjusted their surnames to disguise their origins, no doubt antisemitism was a significant factor in such decisions as it was rampant in so many countries. Jerome Robbin's choice of stage name was almost certainly influenced by a desire not to sound too foreign, if not too Jewish. Nora Koreff was another dancer who chose to change her name. She became Nora Kaye. As far as Marie Rambert is concerned I seem to recall her saying that it was quite usual for Jewish families in Poland to register each son's birth with a slightly different form of the family name so that they each appeared to be only sons in order to avoid conscription into the Russian army. This suggests that there was a degree of fluidity within individual families as to whether there was a correct form of the family name and individual might choose what form to use when it came to pursuing a career, particularly if that career was one which involved appearing on stage. In some communities the imperative for a name change may well have been to avoid anyone connecting the stage performer with their family. We know that Edris Stannus changed her name. As she was the daughter of a Lieutenant Colonel in the British army I can't help wondering whether her acquisition of a stage name had more to do with distancing herself from her father, her family and the Ascendancy class to which she belonged than to discarding a name which would not look good on a poster. Although Adeline Genee had done much raise the social standing of professional dancers there were still many in society who would have thought that a career as a professional dancer was not a suitable one for the daughter of a senior professional soldier . Perhaps the desire not to cause her father embarrassment was another factor in de Valois' decision. It would be interesting to know whether Rambert's transition from Rambam to Rambert occurred when she was in France to study medicine or whether it came later? I seem to recall that Lydia Sokolova refers to her as "Ramberg" in the John Drummond film about the Ballets Russes. Many of the non Russian members of Diaghilev's company went through a transitional phase before they acquired a more suitably exotic one but not everyone finally acquired a Russian name. Hilda Munnings was initially known as Munningsova before Diaghilev gave her the name "Lydia Sokolova" by which she is best known. Mr Healey-Kay went through a phase of being known as Patrikieff before he became Dolin. Perhaps "Ramberg" was also a transitional name.
  5. I have to say that I never cease to be surprised at how quick some dance fans; the fans of particular dancers and those who loathe the same dancers are to take offence when none is intended. Perhaps it is me, and I have to admit I have not been keeping tally, but we seem to have lost several interesting voices from this site over the years as a result of people taking things the wrong way. It is not always the people who take things the wrong way who choose to leave the site. No one has to like the dancers I admire nor are they compelled to share my tastes in choreographers. if I say that I find a particular dancer unmusical and over reliant on technique or that a particular choreographer relies too much on technology for his stagings or bores me with a limited dance vocabulary that is simply my opinion and you are free to agree or disagree with me as you wish. One thing I will pray in aid is that I do try to show my "working out" when I really dislike something or find a performance or a revival unsatisfactory. Now to the point. I am always grateful to those who take the time to tell us what is happening elsewhere in the world of dance whether they are writing about what is happening in Europe or further afield. It is always refreshing to read about new works and new choreographers even if the description suggests that the work might not be something I would travel vast distances to see or the choreographer is unlikely to be of interest to me. should any of his works be taken up here. It so happens that I should like to have some idea about what Kobborg's new ballet is like as a piece of choreography and a piece of theatre as it seems to me that it marks an important stage in his development as a choreographer.This will inevitably mean that someone will have tell us what the performances of the leading dancers were like .Those who have an aversion to Polunin being mentioned will simply have to look away. I just hope that comments posted on this thread have not deterred those who might be in a position to tell us about the new Romeo and Juliet. A final thought, perhaps it would have helped if Kobborg's name rather than Polunin's had appeared first at the head of this discussion as sacrilegious though it may seem to some I think that his involvement in this enterprise is of far greater interest and far less controversial than that of Polunin.
  6. Could it be that they are simply applying their own own rules , if any, about working hours and noise levels? The Bolshoi is only resident at Covent Garden because the impresarios who have arranged their visit have arranged that the theatre should be rented out for the company's use .I don't know whether the working hours directive and other regulations intended to protect people at work and provide for safe systems of work have exemption clauses which apply to visiting foreign companies or not. I somehow doubt that they do provide for such exceptions but in real life the fact is that an awful lot of health and safety regulations are ignored by employers and those breaches only come to light when someone complains about it. In a workplace with strong union representation the regulations tend to be followed because the union rep is the built in policing system. In workplaces which have no internal policing system because there is no union representation or the union is weak you tend to find that regulations are ignored and you only find out about breaches when someone is so seriously injured as a result of noncompliance that they sue. In the context of the Bolshoi's visit who among the company's employees is going to complain about what may well be to them no more than their usual system of work ? If no one speaks up we shall never know. It is all too easy to make fun of health and safety regulations if you have a mind to do so. When you read about such regulations in the popular press they speak in terms of red tape and the nanny state but I always bear in mind that one person's unnecessary red tape is someone else's safe system of work. It is all too easy to persuade people who have no experience of a particular occupation that the regulations which govern it are an unnecessary fetter on the freedom of employer and employees to work things out between them ignoring their relative bargaining power. Many publications seem to employ journalists skilled in exaggerating the effects of regulations governing working conditions, making them sound ludicrous in the extreme and in some cases going so far as to invent regulations to make their point. Last year we had a discussion about the potential damage to musicians' hearing prompted by the news that the ROH was being sued by a member of the orchestra. It is well worth reading for the range of opinion expressed in it.
  7. We are nearly at the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century and seasoned ballet goers in Britain, France, the USA and perhaps elsewhere are concerned about the loss through neglect of major works created during the twentieth century which having all but disappeared from the active repertory as on the rare occasions they are staged they look more like resurrections than revivals. Imagine you could save some of these ballets , which would you choose for preservation as part of a company's living repertory as its " twentieth century classics" ? Whose ballet's would you be prepared to describe as "twentieth century classics" and which of their works would you select for preservation through regular revival ? I am interested to see whether there is any sort of consensus as to what a company's twentieth century repertory selected to illustrate the best of that century's creations would look like. In order to discover what we each think a repertory which included the essential works of Ashton and Balanchine would look like I am imposing an arbitrary limit of ten works apiece for the two men generally regarded as the greatest choreographer's of the twentieth century and five apiece for the lesser choreographic luminaries of the period.
  8. Many years ago the RBS main stage performance was essentially an opportunity for the Upper School, particularly the graduating class, to show what they could do. The first half of the performance was closely connected to de Valois' syllabus for the youngest students which emphasised indigenous national dances which she thought encouraged fast clean footwork and enabled teachers to identify students who were not that musical and take action to remedy that defect. The format gave students at the Lower School the opportunity to perform national dances from England, Scotland and Ireland. The girls would generally dance a sequence of English country dances; the bulk of the boys would dance English sword dances; generally three students would dance an Irish jig and usually one boy danced a series of Scottish dances. The second half was generally devoted to the Upper School's performance of a ballet in the company's repertory. The Two Pigeons was a very regular and popular choice. I have the impression that the format of the matinee changed when Gailene Stock took over the directorship of the School. At that point the purpose of the performance seemed to shift from enabling the students' relatives and former teachers to watch junior students perform folk dances and senior students dance a repertory piece and became an opportunity for the school to provide a shop window for its teaching activities.The pieces selected for Upper School students to perform began to emphasise the range of dance styles which its students had mastered during their studies and their all round adaptability as performers. This was the point at which the School seemingly began to distance itself from being seen simply as the feeder school for the two Royal Ballet companies, with all that entails concerning teaching and maintaining a company specific performance style, the reason for de Valois founding it, to becoming known for training infinitely adaptable dancers. I have no doubt that this goes a long way to explain the wide range of styles displayed and the predominance of abstract pieces performed at the main stage performance. If the school is to maintain its position in the market it has to show that it can produce dancers who can tackle a range of abstract works as so many companies perform a repertory largely based on such works. I have also heard it suggested that another factor which led to the format for the main stage performance being altered was that the school began to find it expedient to put everyone on stage at some point during the Covent Garden matinee because those who pay the fees and sponsor students wanted to see what they had spent their money on.
  9. I wish Cope success in whatever he decides to do next, but I have to say that I find his departure a little odd. Like Cervera he had personal experience of performing a wide range of key roles in the Royal Ballet's core repertory and his move into coaching seemed to be part of a deliberate effort on management's part to create a link in the chain which would sustain the company's performance style and traditions by the appointment of coaches who had been taught roles by the dancers who had created them. Cope of course had also worked with MacMillan towards the end of his life. The arrangement seemed to be a recognition that neither Collier nor Dowell could go on forever. Cope's presence in the rehearsal room seemed to guarantee that future generations of the company's dancers would have coaches who would provide continuity of performing style and tradition and a fund of practical experience not only from the experience of dancing roles but from the experience of working with the dancers who created them. The company has increasingly tenuous personal links with the two choreographers who created the company's repertory and its characteristic house style.Cope's presence seemed to guarantee the continued development of the company's traditions. The fact that Cervera has gone to teach at the school and Cope has stepped down as a full time coach represents the loss of an awful lot of experience in Royal Ballet specific repertory in the space of a few months. As far as Character Principals are concerned they were certainly around in the 1960's and 70's even if not acknowledged as such. Dancers like Gerd Larsen, Leslie Edwards, David Drew and Derek Rencher were all described as Principals but were essentially character Principals.
  10. MacMillan may be universally popular with dancers and much loved by audiences in this country but that does not make his ballets masterpieces and it does not make him a master of the narrative form. I rate Song of the Earth very highly and I should like to see some of his neglected classical one act ballets such as The Four Seasons revived, but overall I rate the works which Tudor created for Ballet Rambert and some that he created in his early years in the US far more highly than MacMillan's output. Tudor's output after that seems to be uneven at best but I think that a ballet which he made for the Swedish Royal Ballet which was at one time in ENB's repertory called Echoing of Trumpets is a major work that London needs to see again.
  11. No one is obliged to admire MacMillan or treat his works as if they were the culmination of twentieth century choreographic developments or him as the greatest choreographer who ever trod earth. There are those who think that most of his works are overrated and Lewis Segal would appear to be one of them. He does after all have the benefit of living in a country where he is not exposed to annual revivals of MacMillan's three act dram-ballets or subject to the influence of the institutionalised cult of Kenneth MacMillan master choreographer. I tend to think that the Royal Ballet's neglect of Antony Tudor's major early works has little to do with the fact that they were made for Ballet Rambert and a great deal to do with the fact that MacMillan's works would suffer in comparison. If you compare Tudor's Jardin aux Lilas and Dark Elegies or his later work Pillar of Fire with MacMillan's output Tudor is a master of succinct narrative and subtle characterisation where Macmillan tends to be long winded,resorting to complex Bolshoi-style lifts where Tudor would say it all with a glance , a shift of the head and natural body language integrated into his choreography.
  12. Thank you for posting this material. It is sad to think that most balletgoers would be far more interested to learn that Liam Scarlett or Christopher Wheeldon had been commissioned to stage a new production of Sleeping Beauty which gave the Prince even more to dance than they are in discovering what the Sleeping Beauty may have looked like in the first twenty years of its existence. Perhaps it might be different if ABT had brought their production to London or showed some signs of doing so but I somehow doubt it. I base my assessment on the enthusiasm with which Scarlett's wrong headed revised Swan Lake was greeted. As far as the text of Sleeping Beauty is concerned I suspect that most audiences given the choice between a version in which the prince is all elegant ease but does very little to win his bride and one in which the prince displays his heroic nature by overt displays of energetic athleticism will go for the athletic version. It is what happened in Russia in the aftermath of the Revolution when ballet companies found themselves performing for a new audience who had limited knowledge of the artform and its conventions and were thought to require more athletic choreography to maintain their interest. As I understand it the Gerdt version of the Act III grand pas de deux which ABT is performing this year only came to light because someone looked in the archives in Moscow and unearthed it for a documentary about Petipa which Ratmansky happened to see. Presumably the version they have performed until now was one created for the 1903 revival. Both these versions make sense of the notes which used to appear in the Royal Ballet programmes for the Petipa classics many years ago which said that senior male dancers at the Maryinsky were in the habit of going to see Christian Johansson to devise the choreography for their solos.
  13. It is always interesting to read the range of views about likely end of season promotions. I shall be surprised if another male principal were to be appointed this year. Kevin is not under any immediate pressure to appoint a second one and if he approaches the question of promotion pragmatically he might well conclude that while Corrales and Bracewell show great promise both need to add a wider range of RB repertory and roles before they are promoted. He might feel that while Corrales may be exciting he could do with a little more Royal Ballet polish. From a purely practical perspective Reece Clarke who is still only a Soloist has a far wider range of RB repertory at his command than either of the men whose promotion to Principal has been most discussed have at present. This plus his height makes him, even at this stage of his career, a more versatile and useful dancer than they are currently. To put it bluntly he could partner O'Sullivan, Heap, Stix-Brunell and Storm-Jensen with equal ease. As far as his repertory is concerned we need to remember that he has danced the Princes in both Sleeping Beauty and Nutcracker in the company's traditional stagings; MacMillan's de Grieux; Nureyev's Jean de Briene at his RBS performance; Wheeldon's Camillo and Polixenes,; in the Ashton repertory he has danced a fine Aminta, given a good account of the Young Man in Pigeons and of the Somes role in Symphonic Variations and that he has recently added Acosta's Espada to his repertory. I don't think that Kevin is going to promote him to Principal this year but I think that along with O'Sullivan who has proved her worth and range during the last two seasons he will be promoted to First Soloist. I think that Kevin may let the three men compete for the immediate vacancy and use the money freed up by not filling the gap elsewhere in the company this season. After all further vacancies will arise at Principal level in the not too distant future. Kevin has three vacancies at First Soloist created by the retirement of Kobayashi and Crawford,and Sambe's promotion . He does not have to fill all three of them at present and among the other Soloists it is not entirely clear who should be promoted. Should he promote Edmonds or Richardson when that might block the advancement of a younger dancer who has even more to offer in a season or two ? I am glad I don't have to make the decision. Assuming that there are two promotions to First Soloist then Kevin will have three soloist vacancies to fill as Emma Maguire who retired earlier in the season has not been replaced. As Alec Beard has said that he is not going to tell Kevin how many dancers he can employ I assume that he isn't going to tell him how many dancers he must have in each tier of the company hierarchy. If that is the case then presumably Kevin could choose to use the money saved from not appointing a third First Soloist to fund a fourth dancer at Soloist level. That might make some sense as there are a number of dancers at First Artist level who have proved their worth and have expanded their range during the last two seasons. They include Donnelly, Dubreuil, Sissens and then there is Yudes who, apart from the quality of his dancing revealed his versatility by delivering a fine account of the role of Sancho Panza earlier in the season. Then there are stalwarts like Gasparini and Pajdak who pop up all over the place and inhabit their roles. Pajdak seems to have been in everything this season some times playing markedly different roles in the same ballet with different casts.As well as leading the Bayaderes down the ramp at every performance of La Bayadere which I attended she has added the character role of the Nurse to her repertory. I know that she has been with the company for some years but Kevin might decide to reward a couple of strongly committed team players in this round of promotions. We need to remember that Ashton once said words to the effect that a director has responsibility for an entire company not simply the favoured few. It boosts company morale if management is seen from time to time to acknowledge and reward loyal service delivered in the form of consistently high quality performances in supporting roles rather than always rewarding youthful promise. I say this because Morera said that after her appointment to Principal her colleagues had told her that they felt that her promotion made all their hard work worthwhile. It can be difficult to identify likely candidates for promotion at Artist level simply because they usually appear in roles in which conformity and uniformity are the order of the day and unless they are one of those rare dancers who draw the eye without apparently doing anything different from their colleagues either because of their presence or the quality of their movement or they are given a solo of some sort they are not always immediately identifiable. Having said that I think that Dixon must be in the running to move up a rung. Others who may be considered for promotion include Allnatt, Dias, Katsura and Maeda.
  14. its iThe DVD seems to contain the best part of four hours of film. It looks fascinating, if expensive. I hope that it is more successful than the enterprise which Julie Cronshaw and Katherine Kanter were engaged in some years ago which involved funding and filming the Cecchetti Method in use with Muriel Valtat demonstrating its application. That enterprise was referred to on the Auguste Vestris Society website in 2014. The idea was that the filmed material would eventually end up on the website which Cronshaw runs. So far the film of Valtat does not seem to have made it to the website. Perhaps they are still looking for funding. By the way Cronshaw has some interesting short essays on her website and a six minute video which includes snippets of some of the great and the good of early twentieth century classical ballet including Pavlova, Karsavina, Markova and Ashton all showing what the training enabled them to do. I hope that this DVD rekindles interest in the Cecchetti Method if only because of its importance .The dancers involved in it are something of a bonus. I fear that even with endorsements by both Bintley and O'Hare that it may seem too remote from what are perceived to be the needs of today's dancers to have much effect. But who knows? I thought some time ago that there was talk of Cecchetti classes being reintroduced at the RBS. I wonder what happened to that initiative?According to Sibley during her time at the RBS only one day a week was devoted to Cecchetti.
  15. An arts apparatchik whose relevant experience and transferrable skills were gained working at the Tate where, perhaps, the public persona required is rather different from that required at an opera house with resident opera and ballet companies. Of course in both cases there is a need to be able to generate income and keep the public reasonably happy but in the case of an art gallery those who choose to attend have been socialised and educated to appreciate the artform by family, a teacher or two and even most of the media will pay lip service to the idea that artists like Leonardo, Turner and Picasso matter. Few would dare to question the value of their works except when it comes to raising huge sums to" save a work for the nation". When it comes to opera and ballet the popular view is somewhat different as both are easily portrayed as expensive and elitist , a view which the current pricing policy at Covent Garden does nothing to dispel. In the medium to long term being a blandly efficient bureaucrat with the ability to raise money may not be seen to be quite enough of a skill set for the job. If the Ballet Association meeting is anything to go by his main concern is not to go into the red. As he told the meeting that he was not going to tell Kevin how many dancers he could employ I assume that he applies the same sort of arm's length approach to the opera as well. It will be interesting to see whether there are any repercussions over the opera's inability to shift tickets for popular operas such as Carmen and Boheme which in decent productions sell themselves because everyone has heard of them. The Tate connection suggests that he might value novelty over quality. Only time will tell whether he is the right man for a job which requires a modicum of showmanship and some knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm for the opera and ballet repertory and the companies resident at his theatre. I thought his involvement last night was both embarrassing and unnecessary.
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