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JohnS

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Everything posted by JohnS

  1. Many thanks Sim - I’d been very much hoping you were going to post your substantive thoughts and you have. I couldn’t make last night and will treasure their second performance with such a fabulous cast.
  2. Agreed! Priority booking really helps for more expensive seats which can very quickly be booked up for some productions. 9:00 on booking dates whatever the priority I guess is a busy time with many Friends refreshing their screens as the minutes tick down. I’ve never bought a package, in part because some seats I particularly like are not included. I’m therefore unsure of the detail and don’t know if you end up selecting your actual seat or if you are allocated a seat within the area specified for your package.
  3. Very pleased to see that JennyTaylor enjoyed last night’s performance - and that she has a 3rd ticket for Hayward/Corrales. There was certainly plenty of characterisation in Marianela Nuñez’s Juliet but for me it was coquettishness rather than endearment, more suited to Fille than Juliet with those pulled faces (when Romeo kisses her back) and I’m afraid to my mind underlined that we were not seeing my no doubt idealised young Juliet.
  4. I think we’ve been completely spoiled by recent performances but tonight’s left me somewhat underwhelmed. There were some real highlights - Marcelino Sambe’s Mercutio, Ryoichi Hirano’s Tybalt, and Benjamin Ella’s Benvolio, with Joseph Sissons Mandolin and Anna-Rose O’Sullivan yet again exquisite as Juliet’s lead friend. But ‘Romeo and Juliet’ requires believable leads and I’m afraid I was not persuaded by either Marianela Nuñez or Jacobo Tissi. Juliet in Act 1 didn’t come across to me as a young girl about to fall in love, the teenager on the cusp of becoming a woman. When Juliet was introduced to Paris, the nurse simply took Juliet’s doll from behind her back - Juliet was not active in pushing the doll away from her, putting aside childish toys as she recognised the possibility of something very different. Other Juliet’s have been much more active in wanting to seize that moment. And Juliet did not leap into her nurse’s lap, choosing instead to sit by her nurse’s feet which rather emphasised that we were not looking at a young girl. I found Romeo unconvincing, perhaps because of limited rehearsal time, a debut in the role, and pressures of delivering a performance as a guest principal? At times he seemed out of step with Mercutio and Benvolio - those cross stage leaps in Act 2 for the three were poor. I thought some of the Act 1 pdd lifts were laboured. And given some technical uncertainty I found it difficult to see a credible Romeo. That said, Act 3 to my mind was much better and the final scene genuinely moving. I’m very sorry Reece Clarke was injured as it would have been good to see Marianela Nuñez dancing with her planned partner, having the benefit of full rehearsals. I do wonder about pulling in guest principals although there have been some great performances from guests. And I couldn’t help thinking that on stage we did have a Romeo and Juliet who have only had one public performance ... and, very selfishly, what might have been as I recognise there are many thousands of Marianela Nuñez fans.
  5. Has Anna-Rose O’Sullivan danced Princess Stephanie? Lucky LA.
  6. Many thanks Jan - I’d been meaning to look for the reviews but rather got side tracked by the new season/Alex Beard.
  7. Thanks Lizbie - interesting to read of the research done for the MacMillan and hopefully we might see his Seven Deadly Sins on stage at some point (The Linbury?). I’m very pleased to have gone to the Wigmore Hall for András Schiff playing the Bach partitas as my alternative to Wilton’s changed programme - a fabulous recital and delighted to have heard him playing live.
  8. Which is why it is much better to make the most of the excellent outreach work such as the recent schools matinee Romeo & Juliet with Anna-Rose O’Sullivan and Marci Sambe, perhaps a first ballet for many of the audience and hopefully a number will become regulars.
  9. Thanks Dave - will be interesting to see what comes across in the cinema. But it does seem a bit contrived if audiences need to be on the lookout as to whether dancers are averting their eyes or have their eyes closed. I saw the Triple Bill from Balcony Stalls earlier and am looking forward to seeing it from much closer on Saturday - I was wanting to see the cinema/Saturday’s matinee before commenting as I’m sure a closer view would help.
  10. Thanks Josephine - like you I can only see the pricing charts for the Autumn and not the detail.
  11. Many thanks Josephine The information by season means I can now see booking dates for each season which I hadn’t managed to find earlier in the week - and I’m not sure why the season guide doesn’t give the booking periods as 9:00 on the appropriate booking day is pretty crucial information. But if I then look at a production from the season menu, I don’t see the pricing charts. Using the Tickets and events route to select a production, the pricing chart is available, albeit the charts don’t seem to be working but at least it’s easy to see the range of prices by production. I don't like carping (honestly) but there’s still so much to do with the website. On a much brighter note, I’m looking forward enormously to the new season - never seen Coppélia, delighted with Onegin, and have high hopes for the Cathy Marston/du Pre and The Dante Project, particularly given Tomas Adès’ commission.
  12. I would add ‘headstrong’ as well - she knew what she wanted and there was a real urgency, determination and desperation about what she had to do. I thought there were even hints of the possibilities of what love might entail when being introduced to Paris (although not with Paris). I found her portrayal irresistible.
  13. All a bit tricky to see what’s going on as we still do not have the 2017-18 Annual report. The 2016-17 Annual Report states: 31% of tickets at £30 or less 38% of tickets at £40 or less 47% of tickets at £50 or less The only headline figure for ‘last season’ we currently have is: 40% of tickets at less than £45. In the Autumn Magazine, Alex Beard refers to the advantages of flexible pricing, setting different prices for each production, including having seats in different price categories and how it wouldn’t be possible to publish the pricing detail for each production on a coloured plan. I don’t have any issues with that. But he is a little disingenuous in suggesting that the flexibility is ‘as much to do with lowering prices where it makes sense as nudging them up elsewhere.’ The overall impact of flexible pricing has been an increase in prices and it would be much better to be open - most seats have gone up in price, a few have reduced, and some low priced seats have gone up very significantly. But Alex Beard concludes that ‘price rises have been held below the rate of inflation over the last five Seasons.’ No data is provided and I have no idea what inflation measure is being used - RPI or CPI or something else? But I would be very interested in understanding the evidence for the statement. It might be box office revenue per audience member. But I’m surprised by the statement as I recall looking at prices for similar Ballet’s from one season to the next and the price increases were significantly greater than any generally accepted measure of inflation. I do like the point he makes that the ROH is the cheapest and most expensive theatre in the West End. In the Telegraph interview there’s an interesting comment: “Audience development is a high priority. As another of his predecessors, Genista McIntosh, once put it: ‘We don’t need more people here; we need different people.’ Although the ROH may be full every night, it tends to be the same crowd, drawn from a narrow demographic that leaves the Government uneasy.” I’m not sure when that statement by Genista McIntosh was made - perhaps someone might help? But it certainly has been strongly repeated in the Baker Richards analysis. Offsetting the concern about the need for different people, it is good that so much is made of all the outreach work, schools matinees, Paul Hamlyn subsidised performances, students etc. I’ll be very interested to read the Annual Report is published and try and get my head around some of the issues. Meantime the Autumn Magazine Alex Beard article is well worth a read, as is the Telegraph interview. Apologies this is a bit scatter gun but I thought it worth saying something now, before looking more closely once the Annual Report is published, which I’m told will be in May.
  14. I thought Saturday’s performance tremendous but tonight's was a step change. Cesar Corrales seemed much more relaxed and the entire cast gave one of those complete performances that will live long in the memory. So pleased to have seen this second performance and enjoy the final performance for those fortunate people with tickets. Here’s hoping that next year such casts will not be scheduled for final performances on bank holiday weekends with major engineering works. Words seem rather superfluous other than congratulations and many thanks to the entire cast, and to Paul Murphy for conjuring some magic from the orchestra.
  15. Many thanks Richard and Rob - I’ve seen some matinee photos on Instagram but I don’t recall any quite as good as Rob’s two above. A friend very kindly let me have a copy of a video of the curtain call/bouquet presentations and I was really just encouraging people for tonight.
  16. Agreed Bridie - fabulous photos and flowers. And I hope very much there’ll be some photos from tonight! I don’t recall seeing any from Saturday’s matinee.
  17. Isn't this Alice Opera? https://www.roh.org.uk/events/4fxcy I only looked at calendar when you’d posted a link to mixed bills and the programme was being loaded. I’ve got calendar bookmarked as it’s so useful and I just hope the website eventually provides a direct link. Small point but very welcome to see the Royal Ballet School Annual Performance back to Saturday 12:00 - Sunday travel is hopeless for trying to attend a matinee from Cumbria (and many places I guess).
  18. Looks as if the whole programme is available via the calendar link above, month by month.
  19. If you look by the old calendar you’ll see Manon: https://www.roh.org.uk/events/calendar/2019/09
  20. Just received this from ROH: “... due to injury, Reece Clarke is replaced by guest artist Jacopo Tissi as Romeo on Friday 17 May, Thursday 23 May and Wednesday 29 May.” Very sorry for Reece.
  21. And (apologies if this is repeated) but I thought it worked incredibly well having such a matching set of lead men - all looking young, fabulous dancing, unrestrained sword fighting, and real energy/charisma/stage presence. I may well be wrong but haven’t Tybalts tended to be older dancers? To my mind the matinee seemed so refreshingly young and balanced for the quartet.
  22. Back from the evening performance and certainly very enjoyable, if not to me as moving as this afternoon. I find Sarah Lamb’s Juliet a little cool. Much is executed extremely well and the final moments were exquisitely shaped. But there were times when things felt a little tidy. I got very little sense of Juliet’s desperation in seeking out Friar Laurence for help. She scarcely got to the curtained openings let alone looked in the rooms. This afternoon Francesca Hayward entered the rooms in her desperate search. I thought Sarah Lamb almost came to grief on the last step as she came down the steps from her balcony but fortunately no slip, I very much enjoyed Vadim Muntagirov’s Romeo - fabulous dancing and effective sword fighting. But again there was a tidiness about his performance which contrasted with an edge of seat, raw feel to parts of the matinee. The Romeo/Tybalt sword fight was lethal, perhaps too free at the start with swords not actually clashing, Tybalt losing one sword which Romeo attempted to give back but which Tybalt had to retrieve which made for a great recovery. But after that it really was a hammer and tongs fight and Matthew Ball’s final leap at Cesar Corrales was astonishing. I don’t want to give the impression that the matinee was untidy or rushed. Some of the most affecting moments were the stillnesses where you could see exactly what Romeo and Juliet were thinking, the all encompassing love they were feeling, and the enormity of the decisions they were taking. That wedding service was so powerful with the lovers gazing at each other. In the evening, certainly to start with, Romeo and Juliet were a model of restraint at their wedding. And Francesca Hayward seems to have so much time to make the most of those moments of real pathos. I fully agree with all the plaudits for Marci Sambe - double Mercutio. Matthew Ball was a tremendous Tybalt and I very much enjoyed James Hay’s and Benjamin Ella’s Benvolio. And I agree with the praise for all the harlots, Juliet’s friends, and corps. A fabulous double performance, the Corrales/Hayward cast is a ‘must see’, and I’m looking forward immensely to Tuesday’s repeat.
  23. The matinee was wonderful - I’ve never been so moved by the wedding service. Just managed a quick word with Francesca Hayward at the Stage Door and absolutely delighted to have picked up a good ticket for Tuesday. No chance of making her final performance given train services over the bank holiday weekend and thought I simply must come again. The cast really was a dream - Anna-Rose O’Sullivan as Juliet’s lead friend just an example of the luxurious casting.
  24. Does anyone know if there are Met encores - I’m looking forward to double Romeo & Juliet but would like to catch the relay?
  25. Just hoping there’ll be another change to the title of the thread tonight and Arsenal (and Chelsea) are added. Given Arsenal’s ability to waste so many chances in recent weeks, I’m not greatly optimistic.
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