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Geoff

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Everything posted by Geoff

  1. And very interesting they are too Bluebird, many thanks! Any idea what the grey ones are? Although seats are not yet for sale, it seems these are marked as either already sold or as not to be sold? Or have I misunderstood?
  2. Well, after this pianist’s less happy playing on my second visit (Thursday, the HRH evening) I thought it best to charitably stay quiet, although some of his mistakes and drifting were obvious to everyone, including to those on the stage (when he forgot where he was in the music). But now I see that the Observer’s dance critic (whose lack of musical knowledge I speculated on last year) has again singled him out for high praise. And she uses exactly the same inappropriate description as she did in 2020: “played magnificently”. So, for the record, I apologise for misspelling her surname in 2020 (it is Crompton) but not for my comments. Perhaps she was only being lazy but there are better and more accurate ways of characterising his playing. Sorry to go on but based on what people said last week I am not alone in caring about this music and worrying about the security of this player’s performances of it.
  3. Very good to see the show tonight. I’ll leave it to others to report on the dancers, this is just a brief note to update the critical comments I posted here last year about the Dances At A Gathering pianist Robert Clark. Based on tonight’s performance, his playing of these challenging pieces is now of a standard appropriate to Covent Garden (perhaps he had more time to prepare for this run). I don’t withdraw what I wrote in 2020 but feel it only right to bring the record up to date.
  4. The Royal Opera Season will open with a new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, directed by Oliver Mears – his first production since becoming The Royal Opera’s Director of Opera in 2017. This new production will receive its premiere in September 2021, with Royal Opera Music Director Antonio Pappano conducting the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. In its 75th year, The Royal Opera strengthens its commitment to the works of Benjamin Britten, George Frideric Handel and Leoš Janáček with new productions of Peter Grimes, Theodora and the long-awaited premiere of Jenůfa. Also given its premiere this Season is a new production of Camille Saint-Saëns’s grand-opera Samson et Dalila, while international and British talent are cast in repertory favourites including Tosca, La traviata and Così fan tutte. The Linbury Theatre presents two opera world premieres: Laura Bowler’s The Blue Woman, directed by Katie Mitchell, and Wolf Witch Giant Fairy – a magical new family show in collaboration with Little Bulb opening in time for Christmas. Spring 2022 will see director Adele Thomas bring Vivaldi’s Bajazet to life in a new production – the first Vivaldi opera to be staged at the Royal Opera House. In June 2022 Tom Coult's Violet will be presented off site at the Hackney Empire with co-producers Music Theatre Wales and Britten Pears Arts. Opera for the 2021/22 Season Rigoletto 13–29 September 2021 / 18 February–12 March 2022 The Royal Opera Main Stage Music Giuseppe Verdi Sung in Italian with English surtitles Position of Music Director Maestro Antonio Pappano generously supported by Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE. Generous philanthropic support from Sandra and Anthony Gutman, Charles Holloway, Melinda and Donald Quintin, Simon and Virginia Robertson and the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund. Supported by Rolex. The Season opens with a new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, directed by Oliver Mears – his first as Director of The Royal Opera. This production sees Verdi’s masterpiece as a modern morality play that pits power against innocence, beauty against ugliness, in a pitiless world of luxurious decadence, corruption and social decay. Antonio Pappano and Paul Wynne Griffiths conduct in the Autumn, with Carlos Álvarez in the title role alongside Lisette Oropesa and Liparit Avetisyan. In February, Stefano Montanari conducts a cast that includes Luca Salsi, Rosa Feola and Javier Camarena. Creative Team Conductors ANTONIO PAPPANO/PAUL WYNNE GRIFFITHS/STEFANO MONTANARI Director OLIVER MEARS Set designer SIMON LIMA HOLDSWORTH Costume designer ILONA KARAS Lighting designer FABIANA PICCIOLI Movement director ANNA MORRISSEY Cast Rigoletto CARLOS ÁLVAREZ/LUCA SALSI Duke of Mantua LIPARIT AVETISYAN/JAVIER CAMARENA Gilda LISETTE OROPESA/ROSA FEOLA Sparafucile ANDREA MASTRONI/EVGENY STAVINSKY Maddalena RAMONA ZAHARIA/AIGUL AKHMETSHINA Count Monterone ERIC GREENE/PHILLIP RHODES Giovanna KSENIIA NIKOLAIEVA Marullo DOMINIC SEDGWICK/GERMÁN E. ALCÁNTARA Borsa EGOR ZHURAVSKII Count Ceprano BLAISE MALABA ROYAL OPERA CHORUS ORCHESTRA OF THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE The Magic Flute 15 September–7 October 2021 The Royal Opera Main Stage Music Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sung in German with English surtitles Generous philanthropic support from Bertrand and Elisabeth Meunier David McVicar’s spectacular production of Mozart’s comic opera returns for its tenth revival on the Royal Opera House Main Stage, transporting you to a fantastical world of dancing animals, flying machines and starry skies. This spellbinding setting provides a wonderful backdrop for Mozart’s kaleidoscopic score. McVicar’s production embraces both the seriousness and the comedy of Mozart’s opera, telling a timeless story of one man’s search for wisdom and virtue. With an enduring love story at its heart, complex villains and an unforgettable comic sidekick in Papageno, The Magic Flute weaves an enchanting tale from start to finish. Creative Team Conductors: HARTMUT HAENCHEN/RICHARD HETHERINGTON Director DAVID MCVICAR Designer JOHN MACFARLANE Lighting designer PAULE CONSTABLE Movement director LEAH HAUSMAN Cast Tamino DANIEL BEHLE/BERNARD RICHTER Pamina SALOME JICIA/CHRISTINA GANSCH Papageno HUW MONTAGUE RENDALL/PETER KELLNER Queen of the Night BRENDA RAE/KATHRYN LEWEK Sarastro KRZYSZTOF BĄCZYK/JAMES PLATT Monostatos MICHAEL COLVIN/PETER HOARE Papagena HAEGEE LEE/ALEXANDRA LOWE SpeakeroftheTempleJOCHENSCHMECKENBECHER/DAVIDSOAR First Lady ALEXANDRA LOWE/ANITA WATSON Second Lady HANNA HIPP/RACHEL KELLY Third Lady STEPHANIE WAKE-EDWARDS/GAYNOR KEEBLE First Priest HARRY NICOLL Second Priest DONALD MAXWELL First Man in Armour ALAN PINGARRÓN Second Man in Armour JAMES PLATT ROYAL OPERA CHORUS ORCHESTRA OF THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE Jenůfa 28 September–12 October 2021 The Royal Opera Main Stage Music Leoš Janáček Sung in Czech with English surtitles Generous philanthropic support from Hamish and Sophie Forsyth and Simon and Virginia Robertson The Royal Opera continues its series of Janáček operas with the first production of Jenůfa at Covent Garden since 2001, by award-winning director Claus Guth. Janáček movingly captures Jenůfa’s progression from hope to despair to eventual radiant happiness, while her stepmother, the Kostelnička, is one of opera’s most complex maternal figures. The two courageous women struggle for fulfilment against the backdrop of a claustrophobic rural community. Asmik Grigorian as Jenůfa and Karita Mattila as the Kostelnička lead a star cast with Hungarian conductor Henrik Nánási conducting a stunning score infused with traditional folk melodies of Janáček’s native Moravia. Creative Team Conductor HENRIK NÁNÁSI Director CLAUS GUTH Set designer MICHAEL LEVINE Costume designer GESINE VÖLLM Lighting designer JAMES FARNCOMBE Choreographer TERESA ROTEMBERG Video designer ROCAFILM Dramaturg YVONNE GEBAUER Cast Jenůfa ASMIK GRIGORIAN KostelničkaKARITAMATTILA LacaKlemeňNICKYSPENCE Števa Buryja ANDREW STAPLES Grandmother Buryjovka ELENA ZILIO Foreman DAVID STOUT Mayor JEREMY WHITE Mayor’s wife HELENE SCHNEIDERMAN/ CLARISSA MEEK Karolka JACQUELYN STUCKER Herdswoman ANGELA SIMKIN Barena APRILKOYEJO-AUDIGER Jano YARITZA VÉLIZ ROYAL OPERA CHORUS ORCHESTRA OF THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE Jette Parker Young Artists 20th Anniversary 27 September 2021–23 July 2022 The Royal Opera Jette Parker Young Artists The Jette Parker Young Artists Programme this Season celebrates its 20th anniversary. In October, Meet The Young Artists Week offers a chance to hear live many of the artists who joined last year and whose performances you may only have seen on screen. The wonderful acoustic of the Linbury Theatre offers the perfect environment for a rich programme of song, piano music, operatic arias and ensembles, curated by the Programme’s founder and Artistic Director David Gowland. In the Linbury in May, they mark the centenary of Stravinsky’s one-act opera Mavra, in a mixed programme with Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. And throughout the year you can catch returning JPYA alumni and graduates of the Link Artist programme joining the Anniversary Company for roles on both stages and recital performances. The anniversary year culminates on 23 July in a special performance on the Main Stage marking the Programme and its artists’ achievements across two decades with Antonio Pappano who also celebrates 20 years with The Royal Opera. Generously supported by Oak Foundation Recitals at Lunch, Crush Room 27 September 2021 ALEXANDRA LOWE 8 November 2021 KSENIIA NIKOLAIEVA 29 November 2021 NEW WORK RECITAL INCLUDING JPYA ALUMNI 24 January 2022 EGOR ZHURAVSKII 7 February 2022 NEW WORK RECITAL 14 February 2022 MICHAEL PAPADOPOULOS and MICHAEL SIKICH 14 March 2022 BLAISE MALABA 11 April 2022 ANDRÉS PRESNO 25 April 2022 THANDO MJANDANA Meet the Young Artists Week, Linbury Theatre 5–9 October 2021 5 October, 7.45pm JUKE BOX 1 6 October, 1pm LUNCHTIME RECITAL | 7.45pm INSIGHT: WAGNER AT THE PIANO 7 October, 7.45pm BRITTEN SONG CYCLES 8 October, 7.45pm JUKEBOX 2 9 October, 7.45pm ALUMNI CONCERT Mavra and Pierrot Lunaire 12–28 May 2022 The Royal Opera Jette Parker Young Artists Linbury Theatre As part of their 20th anniversary celebrations, the Jette Parker Young Artists present a mixed programme in the Linbury Theatre, bringing together Igor Stravinsky’s rarely performed Mavra, 100 years after its 1922 premiere, and Arnold Schoenberg’s 1912 Pierrot Lunaire. Stravinsky’s one-act opera is based on a narrative poem by Pushkin, in which a Hussar disguises himself as a cook in an attempt to spend more time with his lover. Schoenberg’s formally wide-ranging, atonal score, pre-dating the 12-tone technique for which he is celebrated, transforms into Sprechstimme the texts of poems by Albert Giraud on subjects ranging from love, sex and religion to violence, crime and blasphemy. Creative Teams and Casts Conductor MICHAEL PAPADOPOULOS Director ANTHONY ALMEIDA Designer ROSANNA VIZE MAVRA Music Igor Stravinsky Performed in Russian with English surtitles Orchestration PAUL PHILLIPS Libretto BORIS YEVGEN’YEVICH KOCHNO after the narrative poem The Little House at Kolomna by ALEXANDER PUSHKIN Parasha APRIL KOYEJO-AUDIGER The Hussar/Mavra EGOR ZHURAVSKII The Mother KSENIIA NIKOLAIEVA PIERROT LUNAIRE Music Arnold Schoenberg Performed in German with English surtitles Libretto ALBERT GIRAUD Poems from Pierrot Lunaire Soprano ALEXANDRA LOWE Performed in German with English surtitles 20th Anniversary Summer Performance Main Stage 23 July 2022 Jette Parker Young Artists and guests Sopranos ALEXANDRA LOWE Mezzo-sopranos KSENIIA NIKOLAIEVA Tenors ALAN PINGARRÓN, ANDRÉS PRESNO, EGOR ZHURAVSKII Baritone CHUMA SIJEQA Bass BLAISE MALABA Conductors ANTONIO PAPPANO and MICHAEL PAPADOPOULOS
  5. Only just found out about this free online series (can’t find it elsewhere on the Forum, apologies if this is a duplication):- https://www.nycitycenter.org/pdps/2020-2021/studio-5-dancing-across-continents/
  6. A lovely piece just published in the New York Times (behind a wall but one that is easy to climb): https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/21/world/canada/canadian-dictionary.html
  7. Any more info you can share on the booking process this time round? For example, how broken down are the sections of say the Amphi and the Balcony (the video only gives us a glimpse of the booking sections in the Grand Tier)?
  8. The comments which follow this article present a variety of opinions and some information I didn’t know: https://slippedisc.com/2021/03/was-pappano-a-panic-measure/
  9. Given the discussion Polunin’s career has provoked here in the past, might I draw attention to some reviews of his latest feature film, posted here in Links (under Friday 5th February):
  10. Just to second the comment that trade mark issues can get expensive (for whatever reason these legal specialists charge, in my experience, even more than regular lawyers). That's not to discourage the poor teacher from ringing round to find someone who will help out: the case seems potentially winnable to me so I hope she finds a pro bono adviser. To see this from the other point of view, it may not be the RAD that is being heavy-handed but whichever outsourced company they use. That office has maybe spotted an opportunity to bill for doing some work. But that's probably me being cynical. Sylvia from Vienna is on in a minute, that should cheer us all up.
  11. As I understand it, streamed operas from Vienna are currently free: https://play.wiener-staatsoper.at These casts suggest there are some good shows coming up shortly: https://www.wiener-staatsoper.at/en/staatsoper/media/detail/news/the-vienna-state-opera-opens-its-digital-archive-during-lockdown/
  12. Some of us may remember this discussion: A professor from Royal Holloway has just reviewed an academic article about this sort of cultural activity. Here is a link in case of interest (to the review, not to the article itself, which is sadly only free to those with academic access): https://issforum.org/reviews/PDF/AR989.pdf
  13. For those who haven’t seen the news: https://slippedisc.com/2020/09/breaking-anna-netrebko-is-in-hospital-with-covid-pneumonia/ Wishing her her all the very best.
  14. The usually well-informed online gossip site Popbitch had this story this week: Earlier this month, the government pledged £1.6bn to save Britain's cultural industries as they face an uncertain future under the coronavirus. At the front of this effort was theatre and film director, Sam Mendes. As part of his consultation with the government, Mendes was required to ring 10 Downing Street, where he was told to hold for the Prime Minister. But there was no hold-tone or background music. The PM's phone was simply left upended. Whether or not Mendes heard the ins and outs of the discussion happening on the other end of the line, we don't know. Dominic Cummings will just have to hope he growled the phrase "Tell the ****ing dancers that they're at the back of the queue" quietly enough that it was masked by the sound of Boris picking up the receiver. (Link to the original — https://popbitch.com/emails/grass-grasss-grassss/ )
  15. You are quite right Fonty: the film was cranked at one speed but played back at another, creating the effect of the dancers going too fast. This is either lazy or underfunded television production, or perhaps the programme was made before variable speed mechanisms were available (do you happen to know what these two extracts come from and who made this?) By the time of Kevin Brownlow’s various wonderful series about the early days of cinema - made from 1980 onwards for Thames TV - there was more than enough technical expertise around to sort out these sorts of issues.
  16. Not ballet, but this useful link probably belongs here (rather than in “Not ballet”) as it is unlikely to interest those who don't speak German: https://www.nachtkritik.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17785:sammlung-corona-theater-online&catid=1767&Itemid=100089
  17. Many thanks Stucha, I would have missed this otherwise. Just to add that the production goes back to 1952 but the recording is (I think, corrections welcome) from 2015.
  18. The list is something of a nonsense Fonty, you are right to query it. As I have received similar (maybe identical) attempts at social science polling from different Arts Council-supported organisations I can only imagine that the ROH is required to gather this non-data as part of the Maoist requirements that lie behind receiving ACE support.
  19. So let LS have the rights to his inept fiddling. Then let someone else with a better grasp of stagecraft do a new production, using Petipa/Ivanov and MacFarlane’s magnificent designs. What a show that could be. But no doubt too simple and straightforward a solution.
  20. Wonder if the various booking dates will stay? For example Friends are currently set to book rehearsals from tomorrow morning, General booking from April 15. Alex Beard's announcement - to "close the building to the public and cancel all performances" - leaves open the possibility that booking will go ahead as normal. Anyone know any more?
  21. From the live report on the Guardian website: Q: When will we know this is going to be over? Whitty says this will run for some time. "This is not two weeks and we’re done. This is a significant period of time."
  22. During today's official press conference, I think it was Chris Whitty who said this is not "two weeks and we're done" but significantly longer (the BBC probably has the exact quote). Some bodies have made date announcements, others (like the government or the ROH just now) are leaving things open. The experts are clearly monitoring events as they develop and it is far too soon to set an exact timetable. So when we see announcements saying such-and-such is closed "until April 10th" we should prepare for the possibility that the date will be extended.
  23. I apologise. I was sent this link by one of my senior UN colleagues who told me it is a good example of how to communicate these complicated issues to a general audience.
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