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Everything posted by Geoff

  1. One highlight from a Friends email just received:-- >>the Box Office has moved back into our Ground Floor Foyer, alongside the cafe. Have not yet tried this in the new location: do they have enough room to deal with everybody and everything?
  2. I hope I may be forgiven for posting this separately from the new dvd list as this is a rather different kind of production (I heard that copies have already turned up in the shop, can anyone confirm?)--- https://shop.roh.org.uk/products/the-enrico-cecchetti-diploma-dvd-bluray Given the importance some of us place on Cecchetti, this significant record of what was taught at White Lodge for decades is very welcome. Hope those with specialist knowledge will post about it; I for one would like to know more.
  3. The person who did this lousy job is sadly also hired to conduct it, so it seems we may be stuck with it for a while. Oh for John Lanchbery!
  4. How sweet. But there is always an excuse. Just imagine if an accountant asked for sympathy when submitting false tax returns because of being “tired”. What is the right amount of sympathy for people unable to do their jobs professionally? By way of recent comparison I have just been to Wagner’s Ring in Budapest, where the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra played the four shows of that enormous operatic cycle on four consecutive nights (a schedule forbidden in Britain by the MU, I understand, “not enough rest breaks”).The all-important brass section sounded world-class at the end of the last show (after six and half hours in the theatre today) just as they had at the beginning, seventeen hours of playing ago. Bet they were “tired”. Incidentally, if you are going to quote an unnamed member of what is possibly the most complacent orchestra in Britain, maybe I can quote an unnamed senior member of the ROH music staff. If I understood correctly, the ROH is not allowed to introduce regular re-auditions (but if the MU is so convinced their members are immortal and never get lazy or sloppy or drunk or whatever, why not have the courage to let that be tested occasionally?) And although management have apparently calculated the cost of moving on the worst players, the bill is supposedly too high to be countenanced.
  5. Yes indeed Mary, not (as some recent performers seem to have been trying to indicate) that he is forgetful because he is an old man: he’s only in his thirties.
  6. https://checkout.timeout.com/london/33-off-the-mother-at-southbank-centre-58096/
  7. Dunno, but there is currently a 33% off deal out there:- https://checkout.timeout.com/london/33-off-the-mother-at-southbank-centre-58096/
  8. At the risk of repeating myself, maybe take a look at the YouTube recording I posted earlier (see https://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/20401-the-royal-ballet-firebird-triple-bill-june-2019/?do=findComment&comment=286956 ) Imho this section of the old recording is funnier because it is so much faster (so there is less of the now-we-dancers-are-doing-something-funny style we have been seeing this run: it is impossible to be mannered when going as fast as they were in the 1970s). If the differences in tempo are linked to who is conducting; whether today's casts are not as versed in Cecchetti as in the old days; or a grumpy Sir Fred got everyone to go as quick as possible, I leave to experts to say.
  9. "Old hat" is the phrase which comes to my mind. Manon, R&J, even my beloved Mayerling look tired in so many ways these days, however much oomph our various favourite casts put into them. Except I know that I am wrong about this, because of what we are told: happily we can rely for many years to come on the MacMillan family guaranteeing the absolute truths that Kenneth MacMillan is the sharpest knife in the box, the greatest choreographer, and above all, the most exciting and cutting-edge radical possible, who finally did away with all those fusty dusty twee works by lesser artists such as Petipa and (mostly) Ashton.
  10. Lindsay, didn’t mean to smack anyone in the gob: obviously I meant, does not *necessarily* need specialist training or skill, and apologies for not spelling this out. I can promise you (don’t want to name names for fear of diverting the discussion on to private information) there have been artists who have exhibited at the Tate who did not have what anyone (including themselves) would call training and whose work required skill in marketing above all else. That cannot apply to anyone who has performed on the stage or in the pit of the ROH, as these are fundamentally different activities, requiring hours of work every day since childhood, which is the only point I was trying clumsily to make. This does not take away from any artist or movement you like, admire or support - “fine” art or not - it is a simple distinction between what is necessary and what may be optional. Apologies for not having been clearer.
  11. In case anyone has forgotten, before joining ROH Alex Beard spent 19 years with the Tate (having previously worked for the Arts Council for seven years): www.roh.org.uk/news/alex-beard-announced-as-new-chief-executive-of-royal-opera-house It is open to question - as FLOSS hints - whether those who have spent their formative years working with art that does not need specialist training or skill (true of so much of what has been one of the most successful elements of the Tate offering in recent years) can fully appreciate just exactly what level of dedication over so many years goes into becoming a great ballet dancer, a leading opera singer or indeed a high-grade orchestral musician, many of whom started on their professional journey as toddlers (rhetorical question, what was Damien Hirst doing as a toddler?) There is, I feel, a distinction between the work celebrated at this country's leading opera, dance and music venue - art that can take a lifetime to learn to make and a lifetime properly to appreciate - and what passes for "the arts" industry elsewhere. Whether Alex Beard both appreciates that distinction and understands what necessarily follows from it, in terms of how to lead the companies and treat his audiences, is for him to demonstrate. He is clearly a good and smart bloke (and as to passion, there is a nice story in the comments after the story linked to above): that is not in question. On the specific point I raise, the jury is still out, imho.
  12. And there is a separate thread on it too: https://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/20136-new-osipova-documentary-live-qa/
  13. As has been mentioned already, the recording from the 1970s is available complete on YouTube: Very lovely it is too and very nostalgic for me (I saw this ballet during its first run, to think we almost took such genius for granted in those privileged days).Watching this is no doubt instructive for those who hold to the ever-improving-standards theory: the marvellous cast take things at such a lick compared to today that at times one almost feels the film has been speeded up. Yet SO expressive. Magnificent, thank you Sir Fred.
  14. Yes: a wonderful debut, tremendously exciting. Very much hoping to see Magri in this role again soon. By the way, does anyone know anything about the rather gorgeous shoes she wore to the Insight evening on Tuesday?
  15. Was anyone there last night? What's the film like? And how was the Q&A? A report would be great!
  16. Readers of other threads about the "new ROH" over the last year might be interested in this news: https://slippedisc.com/2019/05/covent-garden-chief-is-plucked-by-google/
  17. Good to know who’s really running the company! Does she have wider responsibilities or just in the MacMillan rep?
  18. That is not really the situation I am describing: one gets in quickly to find none of the Rush tickets available (rather than “barely any”) but then, ten minutes later, a whole lot appear. It’s a mystery.
  19. Well Ruth, the experience definitely showed at least one of two things to be true:- i/ Either the website is still dodgy and prone to computer glitches ii/ Or procedures which we think are automated are in fact - at least in part - down to human beings clicking buttons, and so prone to human error. I followed your advice and got in early in the queue - in the low 40s - and then on to the "choosing seats" page, which was a good start, thank you! However from then on all was weird: * They said Friday Rush tickets had been released * But no tickets - except the few expensive seats previously on sale - were showing, however many times I refreshed, went round the loop of the site again, logged off and on, etc * Until about ten minutes in, when some Balcony Standing and Rear Amphitheatre suddenly appeared (for all the world as if someone had forgotten to click something and just went, oh dear let's release these) * However none of the Stalls Circle seats ever appeared (I waited until 1.45pm) so presumably they all went to those even earlier in the queue than me What do people think? Any further advice?
  20. Bumping this up as I have had mixed experiences with Friday Rush in the interim, as the ROH has tried various "upgrades" to the website. Which page do people find works best, the actual page for the performance one is interested in? Or the "count down" general Friday Rush page, ie https://www.roh.org.uk/events/friday-rush Any comments on how to do at least as well as those with (for example) access to superfast work computers would be most welcome.
  21. I for one will be interested in any reports of the show from those who go.
  22. Friends are given access only to (some of) what ROH refers to as the General rehearsal, ie the dress rehearsal. This is as near as possible simply a full run through of the whole show, exactly like the first night (in the theatre world this might be labelled a “preview”). So for the opera you (usually) get the first night stars who, although one is alerted to them possibly not “singing out”, they almost invariably do, giving their all. Which they can manage as the final opera rehearsal is always scheduled at least a couple of days before the first night. For ballet it can be different, in that the final rehearsal will often be on the day of the first night and so at least some different dancers tend to appear (meaning that dedicated types can see two different casts on the same day, just like booking a matinee and an evening performance).
  23. Good questions and (some) good analysis JNC, welcome to the Forum. I am sure the Forum will be quick to tell you that many (most?) rarely if ever sit in the stalls, so you will find like-minded folk here. You make a lot of specific points, which I am sure others will go through with you in detail in due course. I’ll just make one observation: over the years I have been reading this Forum there have regularly been posts saying, in effect, not enough left over on General Booking day. So at just over a quid a week (which you can cancel after a year if it turns out not to work for you) I would try being a Friend for the next seasons and then reassess. Imho.
  24. Anyone see this 20th anniversary show? MacMillan’s Playground + Communion + Between and Within + Imprint.
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