Jump to content

ROH Spring Gala - 30 May 2018


Recommended Posts

Since there isn't a stream on it - and as many may not have attended it may not be apt  - and, as ever, I have little time nowadays doing what I do - I just wanted to say that in the Spring Gala last night the balletic highlights FOR ME were (i) Muntagirov in the Ashton bringing - as he is so gloriously wont to do - heart and soul to each and every step ... and (ii) Naghdi and Hay in the First Movement's close (and I for one can't wait to see both in the whole - and I'll go to every one of their performances) of SinC.  Has she EVER looked happier???? Not in my experience.  This dazzling artist jumped - nay was released - unto her own natural waters ...  aside the brilliant Hay who, as ever now, was buoyed by his own distinctive eminence - and it was as if a cork had been thrust from the most heady Champagne.  Would that she could dazzle in more Balanchine.  Here's hoping she shall over a long and I'm now convinced glorious career.  Agree wholly about Kaneko.  She too exhibited an emancipated liberation in the 2nd Movement's finality that was beyond heartening - and that aside Bonelli who - it must be said - simply struggles I fear now in this capacity.  There should be a health and safety concern launched in this instance methinks .... (Bracewell - aptly named - will I'm certain come to the humane fore) - as there should with Choe - should she have to dance a full fourth movement which - albeit short - is without exception - challenging (and that's being polite).  Sadly she simply does not possess the core strength in order to deliver the speed and (therefore) interpretation that can make it fly, however endearing her smile can on other occasions be.  Last night in this capacity it was I fear rather (and understandably) fixed.  I think O'Sullivan would be a good candidate.  Certainly it would be a rightful testing ground.  But - ALL IN ALL - Naghdi flew in her rightful rapture.  It was ENTIRELY life-enriching.  

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just for clarification, the RB danced only the 4th Movement of Symphony in C at the Gala. Therefore, the casting was, in effect:

 

!st Movement Couple: Kaneko/Bonelli

2nd Movement Couple: Lamb/Kish

3rd Movement Couple: Choe.Campbell

4th Movement Couple: Naghdi/Hay who, of course, led things off

 

A nice taster of things to come next season.

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Favourites from last night :

 

Symphony in C -fabulous, danced with great panache by the company (huge bravos to them for preparing this in the middle of the massive Swan Lake run). Naghdi was outstanding, as Bruce said above she simply dazzled. I loved her being paired with James Hay, what a technically outstanding partnership. A shout out for Fumi too. 

 

Sidi Larbi Nutcracker -  to hear that familiar thrilling music but see a completely different style of choreography seemed at first surreal but it really worked and was certainly a crowd pleaser receiving some of the loudest applause of the evening.

 

Spuck's gala piece Le Grand Pas de Deux - hot on Larbi's heels for applause was well performed by Alexander Jones and Elisa Badness (replacing Lauren Cuthbertson). 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought ballet came over much better than opera last night.  I was quite disappointed with the singing overall.  Maybe it's because I was standing in the SC and the sound does get a bit snuffled there, but not much stood out for me.  I think my favourite was 'Kuda Kuda' from Eugene Onegin.  Sung with real feeling by Liparit Avetisyan.  Also wonderful to hear Pappano conducting any opera at all.  The Forza del Destino overture almost made me cry with its beautiful playing here.

 

Agree about Symphony in C....a fabulous rendering and on the female side Naghdi and Kaneko really stood out.   I liked what I saw of The Unknown Soldier and thought that Ball/Hayward danced it with lots of feeling.  I look forward to seeing the whole piece in the autumn.   I wasn't too enamoured of the Cherkoui Nutcracker pdd.  I didn't think the choreography fitted the music, and this seemed like something sad or tragic unfolding.  Yes, interesting to see something that is so completely opposite to what we are used to, but it didn't float my boat.  Maybe I'd have liked it more if I'd had some context.  Vadream was lovely in the Ashton piece;  so much feeling in every move he made.  What a star he is.  Loved the Grand Pas de Deux.   Great to see Cope/Fairchild onstage together once again.  

 

On the whole I thought this was a rather muted affair,  and for some reason didn't have that usual 'gala feel'.  Not sure why....maybe it was just me.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Sim said:

I thought ballet came over much better than opera last night.  I was quite disappointed with the singing overall.  Maybe it's because I was standing in the SC and the sound does get a bit snuffled there, but not much stood out for me.  I think my favourite was 'Kuda Kuda' from Eugene Onegin.  Sung with real feeling by Liparit Avetisyan.

 

I thought ballet "won" the 1st half and opera the 2nd, at least in terms of programming. Agree that Lensky's aria was the real operatic highlight, I can't remember hearing it that well sung.

 

On a (literally) sour note, it was depressing to hear more than one of the trumpet solos fluffed.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Sim said:

I didn't think the choreography fitted the music, and this seemed like something sad or tragic unfolding.

 

Taken out of the familiar context, though, isn't there (as with so much Tchaikovsky) a tragic bent to the music? I've always thought so, anyway!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ballet performances - just a quick list for the record

 

Ashton, Voices of Spring , Choe, Campbell

Ashton, Dance of the Blessed Spirits, Muntagirov

MacMillan, Winter Dreams, Farewell pdd, Nunez, Soares

Cherkaoui, Nutcracker, Osipova, Kittelberger

Balanchine, Symphony in C 4th movement finale

Kaneko, Bonelli

Lamb, Kish

Choe, Campbell

Naghdi, Hay

 

Part 2

Spuck, Grand pdd, Badenes, Jones

McGregor, Limen pdd, Lamb, Hirano

Marriott, Unknown Soldier pdd, Hayward, Ball

Wheeldon, An American in Paris, Cope, Fairchild

 

 

 

Edited by Lynette H
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The opera was pretty impressive, although  I am not a committed fan. But unfortunately  the evening had to end with  Carmen being throttled  dead  (still standing)  at the end of a rather interminable " take me back...no I won't"  back and forth  duet. She literally died on her feet. 

 

I would have preferred the Symphony in C as the finale (instead of having  the pre-interval spot). This  was indeed  a fabulous company performace,  a real joy - and Naghdi shone for me too - I haven't seen her since Giselle, but it looks like  her Swan Lake debut success has brought her on in leaps and bounds (sorry).  

 

Voices  of Spring - a joyous opening from Campbell and Choe.

 

I liked the Blessed Spirits but there was only one Spirit on show  (Mr Muntagoriv). I  would have preferred a full compliment as here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oou2ywIbRxc   I was a little worried that he had to keep his shirt off from early on in Part 1, right until the curtain calls - I hope he didn't catch cold !

 

Winter Dreams - Beautiful dancing from Nunez and Soares, notwithstanding a minor rear end clothing malfunction on his part...

 

Sidi Larbi Nutcracker  -  a very sensual approach and very enjoyable it itself, but probably  not as part of a fully realised  Nutcracker  - I gather the production it was from (which included other choreographers)  was largely panned by the critics. The "Prince" was seemingly dead on the floor, or at least well out of it, at the end - but perhaps that's what a full  round with Osipova does to you!

 

I loved the Le Grand Pas de Deux too, and somehow  it looked a lot funnier live with Badenes (Badness, annamk!?) than when Jones danced it with Cuthbertson (youtube). Within  the comedy, there was some brilliant technical dancing. Laughter throughout and probably the most "ballet" applause of the  night, including for Jones' turns......

 

Limen - basically some exceptional  body bending and interesting poses. Well performed by Lamb and Hirano, but not my favourite sort of dance. I know McGregor thinks ballet does not need to have a narrative, and I am sure he is right, but I prefer there to be  flowing movement - in fact  actual dancing, helped by music you can relate to.  

 

It was lovely to see Hayward and Ball in the preview of The Unknown Soldier - it looks very poignant and moving, even if it is not quite clear, from this snippet,  what  is the exact context beyond a WW1 soldier and a girl. Is it a dream of his? of hers? Hayward expressed  some clear doubts/sorrows about the soldier, as part of the dance, amidst her joy, and I think it will help greatly to know what this represents once the full piece is premiered. 

 

Anyway, looking forward very much to this, along with the full  Symphony in C  as part of the triple bill later this year...

 

An American in Paris - I can understand the show's success. 


Finally it was just great to see the talented guest artists as well as such a good turnout of RB's best - including  all the Principals, apart from those injured, and Takada, who would have been saving herself for tonight. Bravo!

Edited by Richard LH
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

Taken out of the familiar context, though, isn't there (as with so much Tchaikovsky) a tragic bent to the music? I've always thought so, anyway!

Yes there is.....Tchaikovsky wrote this pdd music soon after his beloved sister had died.  So it does make sense to have something sad to this music, but it just seemed a bit random out of context of the whole.  Has Cherkoui choreographed the whole ballet?  I hadn't heard of this before. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, Sim said:

Yes there is.....Tchaikovsky wrote this pdd music soon after his beloved sister had died.  So it does make sense to have something sad to this music, but it just seemed a bit random out of context of the whole.  Has Cherkoui choreographed the whole ballet?  I hadn't heard of this before. 

Sim, you might like to see http://www.euronews.com/2016/03/17/the-nutcracker-unwrapped-as-never-before and 

 

https://bachtrack.com/review-iolanta-nutcracker-tcherniakov-yoncheva-barbeau-opera-ballet-paris-march-2016

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Richard LH said:

But unfortunately  the evening had to end with  Carmen being throttled  dead  (still standing)  at the end of a rather interminable " take me back...no I won't"  back and forth  duet. She literally died on her feet. 

 

I would have preferred the Symphony in C as the finale (instead of having  the pre-interval spot).
 

 

 

I agree it would have made a lot more sense.  Possibly easier for the dancers to get changed for the reception afterwards that way, though?  (I did feel sorry for them, though, with a rare night off from Swan Lake, still having to don white tutus!)

 

Quote

I loved the Le Grand Pas de Deux too, and somehow  it looked a lot funnier live with Badenes (Badness, annamk!?) than when Jones danced it with Cuthbertson (youtube). 

 

And I was really regretting missing the opportunity to see Cuthbertson dancing it, given her abilities as a comedienne :(  Perhaps it's just me and the German sense of humour again.

 

And great to see Cope and Fairchild again.  I didn't think his pzazz fully came across during the recent cinema screening, so it was good to see him on stage again in the role.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As people have been asking, no doubt with the casting for the autumn in mind, the supporting pairs were composed of:

 

Ball/Bracewell; Edmonds/Clarke; Acri/Ella and Montano/Dyer

Magri/Heap; Stix-Brunell/Calvert; Hinkis/Harrod and Hamilton/(Grennell, I think)

 

I dare not offer my version of who was matched up with who or which main couple they appeared with.

Edited by capybara
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...