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  1. After quite a few booking day meltdowns and fiascos it appears this morning's booking also had problems - HOWEVER it was to do with something which caused the whole building to be evacuated. I was told this by booking office staff when picking tickets up just now - they were surprised I had been able to book them without trouble so early into the booking process this am. I thought I would post this in case others had problems and perhaps to reduce complaints which of course in the past have been more than justified. Seems this may not have been anything to do with the 'system'. ROH seemingly all fine and open as usual by the way . . . no idea what the drama was.
  2. A very mixed evening I thought. A Month in the Country was for once the stand out. I was not enthralled by anything else at all. Yanowsky was wonderful. I had the pleasure of seeing a working rehearsal earlier this week with this opening night cast and the Osipova/Bonelli cast (which I also have tickets for) dance one after the other on the main stage. Yanowsky/Pennefather I felt was very much the better cast - Osipova just seemed far too young (and emotionally young) for the role to move me but that may change in fully staged performance later this month . . . Yanowsky just seems to get better and better . .
  3. Coated - you and I (and no doubt many others) were in the exact same situation - I too have bag of work brought home for exact same reasons and I too have seen I have paid the 'suggested donation' twice - didn't mean to at all ! I also could not see the 'collect from box office' option (in my 1 square inch !!) so have had to bother them to change that rather than have tickets go astray in post. Bah indeed. Feel very sorry for the frontline staff dealing with it all.
  4. It was chaotic in the extreme. I have not ever had trouble booking online but have been aware of various meltdowns most years - often on Friends or General booking days. This the first time I've had trouble on Supporting Friend day. For two hours the site was chaotic - I was signed in and on a calendar page waiting but none of the links worked. I managed to get some tickets into my basket when the site 'froze'. Somehow those tickets were still there (and are now purchased!) around 45 mins later when I suddenly got back in. Along the way even when 'working' the booking window would not open more than about 1 inch square. Did anyone else experience this oddity ?? Imagine selecting seats in one square inch - one tiny slip of the mouse and I may have been up in the upper slips - felt like a Generation Game type challenge to manage to select a seat - 'angels and pin heads' perhaps). There are far far (far) more important things in life of course but I really cant believe ROH can't just get booking days and the public facing ticketing system right. I wonder if there will be an apology on the site (not yet) or any explanation . . . this trouble just seems interminable - year after year of really serious problems. I almost say bring back the old waiting room (almost, not quite). I wonder if Patrons booking day will be next to go haywire ?
  5. I saw this on the last night - May 8th. For some reason I stayed away from reading reviews and posts and have not even read the thread above before posting this. Act 1 was staggeringly exciting - choreography, dancing, sets, acting, score, orchestra everything was fantastic. My eyes were absolutely glues to everything - not one false moment or lifting of the emotional connection felt with the stage. Its been a long time since I have been so excited and blown away by a new ballet. Act 2 was interminable and I could not work out why my feelings were so different. Act 3 was partly ruined by audience behaviour (posted elsewhere and interestingly I only really engaged with it when the photo taking and chatter stopped). This may turn out to be another where I really only attend for the first Act and then sit out (or leave before) the rest - or sometimes return for the final in a Triple Bill. I do this now for Romeo & Juliet & Marriage of Figaro (yes I am sorry I have some residual shame about these but have seen them too often to think I will ever sit through Act 2 of either easily after the sublime joy of Acts 1!) and often when triple bills include something I find dull (Sweet Violets, The Dream etc). If only it could have been around 60 minutes - the whole of the magnificent first Act and the final scenes (yes I know Shakespeare, Wheeldon and Talbot would all have something to say about that). Zenaida Yanowsky continues to be an increasing revelation for me (I used not to appreciate her very much at all) - she was wonderful. Edward Watson (Leontes) was a joy (a terrifying joy at times). I wanted to make a special mention of the very young Joe Parker (Mamillius) whose descent down the stairs whilst watching his parents' torment unfold was spellbinding. Anything negative in the above review is more than counterbalanced by how much I loved Act 1 in every single respect.
  6. I attended the last night of The Winter's Tale on Thursday 8th May (comments posted in another thread). Half of the third 'act' was really spoiled by two women talking and taking photographs throughout. I was in first row of stalls circle - they were seated at the very end of row S orchestra stalls - their phones and chatter were in my direct sightline of the stage. Thanks goodness (because I would have created more fuss by doing this myself) the woman behind them asked them to stop. At the curtain call I thanked her. Not one word of apology from the two women who were both old and 'seemingly sensible' enough to have known better. I really really wish the House would add to their very short mobile phone announcement that phones/camera are not allowed because additionally 'they distract other audience members'. Thank you unknown person who saved a bit of the final Act for us . . . perhaps we should start thinking about asking for a refund whenever the House lets this happen until announcements are a bit better and 'policing' of it a little more effective (I have a friend who is an usher there I am sympathetic to the problems and of doing this at times and also very grateful for everything they do already . . .) Rant over I hope sorry everyone . . .
  7. Apologies for the potty/loo conjunction - haha hmm indeed - unintended ! Agree facilities are very much better (however long the queue/s) than in the older days . . .
  8. Re the loos on the ground floor of ROH - it drives me absolutely potty when everyone queues for one door only. The only way the loos can cope with short time and number of those using them during intervals is if there are two queues - one for each door - one for each side of loos. The doors are big enough for a queue and someone exiting without any trouble. I don't ever use them if there is one long queue and no one at the other door - can't bear the patronising tutting. Nights when more regulars seem to be there we all just form two queues and get through much quicker.
  9. Rhapsody - was a triumph (as almost always). McRae danced outstandingly well and I thought Morera was really good - have never been much of a fan of her dancing but she was fantastic tonight. I have a feeling she is developing hugely recently. Everyone was on top form including the orchestra who were tight and together - a real pleasure. Tetractys - I really did not like it. Thought again Bach is difficult for ballet but then remembered the outstanding Tamara Rojo Linbury Goldberg Variations . . . . I liked the set design but need to see it again to understand it I think (very spare geometric neon - I kept nearly understanding the patterns but was then distracted by the dance). Someone I went with does want to see this again. I don't at all. For me there was neither interesting enough set nor wonderful music to make sense if it all. I could not believe that McRae was dancing again and a major part - he must be shattered. Unbelievable cast all of whom danced really well but overall it just felt messy - couldn't work out a theme (ironic really) or an overall shape or pattern to it. Maybe this is one which needs to bed in and be seen a few times ??? Left puzzled. Gloria - I left before this as it is one of my very least favourite.
  10. I was at ROH Monday 27th. Utterly blown away by everything. It felt a very very special occasion. I came away feeling I had seen some truly exceptional dance (almost as good as Rojo perhaps). I have not been convinced by Osipova previously (found her Juliet a little self conscious and thought her 'Rubies' unmemorable). I was so glad to persevere and see her Giselle. I too (like someone above) was a bit too stunned at the end to clap for a bit - I was struggling to process quite what I had seen. Truly a night I will remember for some time.
  11. For info press release today - I am there tomorrow night (Manon) and will wish them well also. Ken Loach calls for no-one to cross picket lines on BAFTA’s strike “No-one should cross your picket lines. The union leaders must call on their members to show their solidarity with you by respecting your picket. BAFTA has a particular responsibility.” Award winning film director Ken Loach has issued an impassioned appeal for support for the porters and cleaners due to strike at the Royal Opera House for the Living Wage during the BAFTA awards. The porters and cleaners who employed by sub-contractor MITIE, are members of the Independent Workers Union (IWGB) – they voted by 100% in a ballot to strike for the London Living Wage of £8.80 per-hour. The BAFTA awards will be held on Sunday 16th February at the Royal Opera House, the porters and cleaners will strike over the whole weekend. Ken Loach who was awarded a BAFTA Fellowship in 2006 in a message of solidarity to IWGB states: “I send you my very warmest good wishes in your struggle for a living wage. Everyone has the right to be paid a fair wage so that they can live in security and with dignity. The Royal Opera House management cannot escape responsibility. They employ the sub-contractor, Mitie. They should make payment of the London Living Wage a condition of the contract. I bet the management don’t have to live on starvation wages! You should have the support of all trades unionists. No-one should cross your picket lines. The union leaders must call on their members to show their solidarity with you by respecting your picket. BAFTA has a particular responsibility. Many of its members would claim to be in favour of social justice and against gross inequality. Let them show that commitment by standing alongside you when the red carpet is rolled out. Good luck from Ken Loach and all at Sixteen Films” Award winning actress, Glenda Jackson MP has joined growing support amongst MPs for Early Day Motion 919 tabled by John McDonnell MP in support for the campaign. John McDonnell states: "People attending the Royal Opera House need to know that when they leave it will be workers on poverty pay that clean up after them. I urge them to join with us in pressing the Opera House management to demand their contractors pay a living wage." Talks took place at ACAS on Tuesday 14th between IWGB and MITIE, discussions continue with the ROH. Chris Ford IWGB General Secretary says: “For a mere 0.15% of the Royal Opera House annual income the poverty pays of the porters and cleaners could be ended. Support for the strike will be solid and already many direct employees at the ROH have stated they will not cross the picket line at the BAFTAs strike”.
  12. I sometimes attend ballet with a friend who is in court all day dealing with child abuse cases and all of the distressing, complex evidence which they of necessity raise. She has always described watching ballet as therapy for her. She says she subconsciously unloads/processes a lot of her day/week despite (no doubt because of) being fully engaged in the ballet. I think this is true for many of us - me too - but I have rather less to deal with during my working day thank goodness . . .
  13. Thanks for posting this here. I had a release back in November from a friend in the IWGB (who knows I am a supporting friend and at the ROH a lot). I agree the position of the management (above) is inadequate. I emailed ROH back in November and have yet to receive any reply (which is not unusual). A few of us who go a lot are thinking about boycotting the restaurants etc (which we use all the time) and letting management know why we are doing it. We have also donated to the union fund rather than ROH coffers . . . . it makes me very angry that such a well run, clean, efficient house is reliant on such poorly paid members of staff who nevertheless do a great job.
  14. I am finding my response to Jewels very unpredictable and I love this about it. I attended 7th January - the fourth time I have seen RB dance it. I very nearly did not arrive until after first interval because in the past I have NOT enjoyed Emeralds at all. Well I am glad I decided to see it - I absolutely loved Emeralds this time round and it was for me the standout ballet of the three. Rubies - hmmm - I have now seen Osipova three times (2 RB R & J and this night). I think I may be about to agree with dallas above in that I find her a little OTT or perhaps obvious/self aware is the thought I have about her. I am seeing her in Giselle and hope (trust) she will be more toned down and less self conscious (literal sense) in that. I know Rubies is camp and 'delighted in self' in the choreography which may explain her stage presence but I also found her first act Juliet skittishness a little too telegraphed for my taste (and I know most won't agree). There were also times during Rubies when I did think her dance in particular came close to gymnastics rather than dance and I have not thought that about the role when others have danced it . . (had quite a heated debate about this on way home with a new passionate covert to Osipova!). Diamonds was rather flat until last part which as ever is rousing and so very wonderful. Dancing was sublime throughout - I thought Rupert P in particular was magnificent.
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