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Onegin, La Scala Milan, Nunez/Bolle

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I treated myself to a trip to Milan to see the opening night of Onegin (last night 24th October), at La Scala, with Roberto Bolle and Marianela Nunez.  It was my 3rd trip to La Scala, having been overwhelmed by my first experience 3 years ago, to see the same ballet with the same dancers.


On the basis that any performances by these 2 dancers as a partnership is now finite, I'm keen to make the most of any opportunity to see them, such is the electricity between them. I was not disappointed.  Who knows, this might be the last time I see them together. 


Other major members of the cast were:

Lensky: Nicola del Freo

Olga: Martina Arduino

Gremin: Gabriele Corrado


Going to La Scala is such a pleasure because it is such a beautiful theatre, so it's an aesthetic experience before you even start. It's easy to book on line BTW and tickets are sent online. There is an English option on their website. Arguably, easier to navigate than the ROH website.


I was in Row B1 so 2nd row of the Stalls on the extreme left. A very good seat, with no rake problems with Row A and I don't think I missed any action on the left hand side of the stage. Also, I could see the dancers feet, so definitely better than equivalent at ROH.


The audience were quite subdued throughout, until right at the end, which quite surprised me. No clapping for Bolle's entrance (amazing, and counter to what happened at the ROH!).  In previous performances I've seen, they've been more energetic.


Onegin is a ballet I love so no problem for me enjoying it. Having seen Bolle/ Nunez in Manon so recently, it seemed a bit strange to see them playing such different parts. Another card game, different side of the stage I thought during Act 2, when Bolle acted out disdainfully playing a card game with himself on the left , as opposed to reluctantly taking the cards against M GM on the right hand side, in Manon.


Marianela, was as ever,  Marianela. Beautiful, expressive dancing, delightful personality and I feel the part of Tatijana really suits her.  We went on a journey with her and that's how the whole ballet pans out as the story unfolds.  It was also very interesting to have seen their rehearsal during World Ballet Day.   The Mirror pdd was of course, the highlight of Act 1 - degree of difficulty - high.   


Roberto Bolle was a superb partner as ever and really got into the rather unpleasant character that is Onegin. His rejection and impatience of Tatijana and her letter to him in the ballroom scene was emphatic and I found this particularly interesting in comparison to his depiction of Des Grieux only just over a week ago.   


The final pdd in Onegin always gets to me, I think it is superb choreography and Tatijana's rejection of Onegin is high drama. Bolle/ Nunez gave it their all and wrung every emotion from it.  Wonderful and it brought the house down. There were so many curtain calls, I lost count.


In terms of the company performance, I enjoyed Nicola del Freo as Lensky. Very dramatic particularly in the Ball scene but not quite Vadim!  The production went with pace but it brought home the strength in depth we have in all departments in the Royal Ballet as a comparison.


As I've said, the audience were luke warm to moderately enthusiastic, to loud applause and multiple curtain calls at the end.  They nearly all stay in their seats during the interval, presumably because there aren't many places to actually go in the theatre if you do get up. I always go for a walk round the building as I enjoy the ambience of the surroundings.           


24 hours later, I'm home and  still on a high. There are several more performances - I'm jealous of anyone else who is going. 


Never mind, more Manon's next week, but in the meantime, I've downloaded the music and am playing it to refresh the memories.   

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5 hours ago, penelopesimpson said:

Jenny.  Such a beautifully written review which I appreciate your sharing.  All the little nuances rather than teams of technical stuff much appreciated by this amateur.  It remains my dream to visit one day.

I'm an amateur too, so I don't know the technical stuff: I just know what I like! It's not so difficult to do, I was overwhelmed the first time I did it because I had never imagined I would, but tickets are easy on line, flights are cheaper than a train ticket to Manchester and back, and then it's up to you where you stay.  Public transport v reasonable in Milan so no need to stay in the centre where hotels are expensive. The first time I went, I also booked a tour in English which I think they do every day, so got to see all of it and a bit of history before I went to the performance.  I think the auditorium beats the ROH for sheer beauty although the ROH comes up trumps with the Floral Hall (but not the new Open Up areas I hasten to add).


I justify it to myself each year I do it, as a birthday treat (my birthday is in September!)  I just can't resist when it's those 2 dancing. 

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