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Rachel H

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Posts posted by Rachel H

  1. Great survey!


    Working in a school, means I have to fit my holidays round term dates. I was fortunate to be able to fly to Madrid 2 years ago to see the RB dance 'Swan Lake.' It might not have occured to me to go otherwise, plus the dates fitted perfectly for me to catch the last couple of shows. It was fascinating to see the company perform in a different setting, and to a new audience. It seemed to be very well received 🙂


    I was also able to see 'Jewels' in Berlin 3 years ago. As the RB were performing it in London at the same time and it was great to have the opportunity to compare how both companies performed it, and it definitely added to my experience, and enjoyment of the piece!

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  2. On 23/06/2020 at 23:39, Irmgard said:

    Unfortunately I had no idea, as Khan's version is  far removed from Mary Skeaping's production which I look after.   However, I have asked my good friend Stina Quagebeur, who created the role of Myrtha in the Khan version, and she said  Khan wanted them to have weapons as they seek revenge and he thought that holding them in the mouth made them belong to another world, not the real world.  Of course, the need for them to have weapons is completely contrary to the original legend of the Wilis, who were meant to ensnare their victims with their beauty (which is why in the Skeaping production designed by David Walker the Wilis look beautiful and feminine).  Personally, I am not at all fond of the ladies having to hold bamboo poles in their mouths as it cannot be good for their teeth! 


    Whatever the dramatic intention of the bamboo sticks might be, they always make me flinch, as they remind me of the time I needed root canal! Having said that, I have enjoyed it both times I have seen it, and the dancers have performed it brilliantly 🙂

  3. 16 hours ago, annamk said:

    Oh yes me too, it was so lovely and utterly heart rending. 

    The Scarlett version (choreography and ending) has destroyed the emotional impact of Swan Lake for me - the only good thing is that I can leave after the Black Act and get home earlier !


    I also loved Dowell's version of act 4.  Good to know it wasn't just me :-) It was one of the things that got me hooked on ballet as a kid.


     I must confess to ducking out after act 3 on the first night the other night, even thought the whole thing was brilliantly danced etc. Too tired, and am not keen on the current act 4 at all (to put it mildly), although I do quite enjoy the current act 3.

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  4. 2 minutes ago, Sim said:

    That definitely sounds like something he would say, which is why I never buy programmes with his lengthy explanatory notes in them.  



    That reminds me of one my favorite memories of recent years. One of the group I was sitting with had brought a programme.  Before the show started, we were sitting there, trying (and failing) to decipher what on earth 'his lengthy explanatory notes' actually meant!

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  5. 2 hours ago, Fiz said:

    Is it me or is people’s behaviour in public getting even worse than it was? It seems that some of them go out of their way to be as rude and hurtful as possible. I’m so sorry for those who have experienced it. It leaves a sour taste to what should be a great experience.


    You're right - I've often felt the same recently. Some people are in their own little bubble, and only concerned with what THEY'RE doing, and their own needs. They are then furious when politely challenged.

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  6. 15 hours ago, zxDaveM said:


    what a nightmare! Were they on drugs or something?

    Shame you couldn't have reported them during the interval rather than the end of the show, and got them slung out!


    I did wonder if they were on something! At least there was a wonderful performance going on to try and take my mind off it, but still.........

  7. I had a classic this afternoon.


    I was sitting in Lower Slips Left, on an aisle. During act 2, just as 'the doll' comes to life, a bloke came and stood in the gap, which is against health and safety guidelines etc. I whispered 'Oh, that's not a standing place' in a calm way. Off he went. Fine. About a minute before act 3 started, his companion appeared. I put my hand on the rail, as she appeared in a very intimidating way. She then was virtually yelling at me about how rude I was, so I repeated, 'that's not a standing spot.' She then started yelling at me about my bags, but off she went. The bloke then reappeared, and started having a go in a loud voice, saying I was rude, I against health and safety, and making personal remarks about my weight (I am on the large side). It's not like he was exactly a pixie himself!!!' Other people along the row form me were gobsmacked at how rude the couple were too.


    Needless to say, I reported both of them after the show to both the usher on the door, and the supervisor in the Amphi. Sad really. It's a shame, as it was a terrific show.

    • Like 1
  8. Regarding phones, I had a classic exchange at the proms in the summer. A woman sitting in the row in front of me had her  phone on, texting whilst the music was playing. I asked her politely, but firmly to 'turn you phone off please.' She ignored me, so I asked her again. She looked round at me furiously, and replied in no uncertain terms 'mind your own business!' She carried on arguing the toss, so I made sure she saw me reporting her to the stewards during the interval. Good as gold after that, although I think my mum had a similar exchange with the same woman at a prom a couple of nights later. Likewise, she was reported, and apparently started arguing the toss with the steward!  Unbelievable!


    We also had someone reply 'why?' when we asked to turn her phone off. As she left at the end of the performance, let's just say if looks could kill, I don't think I would be sitting here now typing this!

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  9. 1 hour ago, Dawnstar said:

    I have another seating query, if anyone has a good memory. Can anyone remember from the 2006 run (or indeed earlier) of Coppelia if one side or the other of the stalls circle has a better view or if you miss about equal amounts sitting on either side? I want to pick a couple of the cheapest row C side stalls circle tickets & I'm not sure if I'd be better going for one side or the other or if I should split the difference & do one performance left & one performance right!


    I prefer to sit on the left for 'Coppelia,' as you get the better view of Coppelius' balcony in he first act. IMHO.

    • Like 1
  10. 19 minutes ago, jmhopton said:


    She certainly was going for it in my opinion last Saturday matinee and I too was disappointed when she wasn't cast for it in the cinema relay. But then I saw her do an equally fabulous variation in Concerto so it's swings and roundabouts really. 

    To change the subject to cast changes there were a whole list of them read out before last Saturday's matinee. When I went to the main desk in the foyer and asked if they had a cast change list I was told they didn’t do them any more and I either had to copy them manually from their list or photograph it on my phone which I did. Leaving the theatre at the end of the performance I walked past the same desk which now had a pile of cast change lists on it which would probably end up being thrown away as being too late for most people. 


    When I asked about a cast change slip on Saturday, the reply was 'oh, just take a quick photo.' I replied, 'not everyone has a smartphone!' I hope I didn't sound too harsh, and I would say at least some feedback has been taken on board by the ROH, as they did make an announcement before curtain up, but it would be nice to be able to have a sheet to read at leisure.


    Perhaps they could place the paper a little higher up, so any changes are easier to see, and make a note of. The programme desk can get very congested, it seems to me, as people are hurriedly trying to take any cast changes on board. Placing the note a little higher might avoid some of this congestion. Just a thought 🙂 

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  11. 15 minutes ago, alison said:


    I don't think it's ever been done in all the time I've been watching the RB, and I'm not sure it ever will be.  (Didn't we have this conversation a few months ago?)  Quite a shame, in a way, as I'd loved to have seen Zenaida Yanowsky reprise her Carabosse.  Mind you, I suppose people like David Drew and Derek Rencher must have made that transition in the past?


    David Drew and Derek Rencher's names occurred to me too as having made that transition. 

  12. I'd be very happy if they reverted back to the Leighton Lucas orchestrations.  I don't know why the cello solo in the final act is there, as for me, it kills the mood, and breaks the tension of the piece at that point (however well played it is). If I like the music,  it goes a long way with me.


     I'm not a fan of the new lighting either.


    That said I think the dancers have given fantastic performances 🙂 Seen 3, with 1 to go.

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  13. 1 hour ago, ninamargaret said:

    For more years,than I can remember, designers have come,up with splendid sets that are fine for an audience sitting about 15 rows back and bang in the middle. Ballet probably a bit more tricky in that sets tend to be pushed more to the,sides to allow space for dancers, but in the main the poor paying audience frequently gets a raw deal.


    I've experienced this with the opera a couple of times recently. For the current production of 'Lucia di Lammermoor,' the front cloth was so low down, that the chorus in particular were  headless for much of the time. I don't expect to see all of the action where I  sit by any means, but can't say I enjoy looking at headless singers! This also happened with 'Lessons in Love and Violence.' Simple solution - raise the front cloth by 5 - 10 ft, and VOILA!!!!! No headless singers. It looked like the productions had been designed with viewing from the stalls, Stalls Circle and Grand Tier viewing in mind only. Ditto 'Billy Budd,' where Jaques Imbrallio was completely invisible during his main aria! This could have been solved if they'd brought him forward by a couple of foot. If someone from the production teams had thought to go round to all parts of the house in the rehearsal process these things could have been picked up on.



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  14. 16 hours ago, jmhopton said:

    Might be able to see Giselle at Sadlers Wells this November and was wondering about seating as I haven't been there for ages. Is it better to be on the back row of the lower circle or nearer the front of the upper circle? I don't usually sit in the stalls as I'm not very tall and dread getting someone tall in front of me. 


    I'd go for front of the Upper (2nd) Circle rather than back of the 1st Circle, as the overhang from the Upper Circle might affect the sound.  The rake is good too. IMHO of course 🙂

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