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ChrisG

Scottish Ballet 2020 Season - The Scandal at Mayerling

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Scottish Ballet has just announced its full programme for 2020.  Alongside revivals of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, by far the most intriguing prospect is what is described as a 'reimagined and redesigned' version of Kenneth McMillan's Mayerling.  The full season details can be found here, but I've done a copy and paste below of the blurb about Mayerling. 

 

The year is 1889 and, in the woods outside Vienna, the Empire must hide a terrible secret.

 

At the royal Mayerling hunting lodge, Crown Prince Rudolf is found shot dead alongside his teenage mistress.

 

We rewind the clock to watch this desperate young man, the heir to the throne, plunge into his own paranoia. Trapped by the stifling opulence of the Habsburg court, Rudolf’s mental turmoil envelops all those around him. In a series of increasingly intense duets with his mother, his wife, and his mistress, Rudolf descends deeper into his obsession with death, and hurtles towards tragedy.

 

Rudolf’s morbid fascination, sexual appetite and ultimate violence make this real-life anti-hero as compelling as Hamlet, while Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s breathtaking choreography takes us on a physical and emotional rollercoaster. The sweeping intensity of the ballet is matched by the sumptuous music of Franz Liszt, performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

 

Reimagined and redesigned by Scottish Ballet, this dramatic world premiere will be the first time MacMillan’s iconic ballet is produced in the UK outside of London.

 

Recommended for audiences 12+

 

Content warning: please be advised that this production includes themes of mental illness, sexual violence, addiction and suicide. For more information, please contact us.

 

#SBMayerling

 

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So if it's Macmillan's choreography, I wonder what 'reimagined' means (apart from redesigned)??

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2 minutes ago, bridiem said:

So if it's Macmillan's choreography, I wonder what 'reimagined' means (apart from redesigned)??

 

Probably a bit stripped back - maybe fewer characters, no opera singer, smaller crowd scenes, etc

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19 minutes ago, zxDaveM said:

 

Probably a bit stripped back - maybe fewer characters, no opera singer, smaller crowd scenes, etc

 

I'd agree that given the reduced resources Scottish Ballet have that this is probably how it will work.  I think it's probably relevant that they're not calling it 'Mayerling' but 'The Scandal at Mayerling' and are talking about it as a 'world premiere'.

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Interesting - a chamber version, perhaps?  Wonder how that will play out for the dancer playing Crown Prince Rudolf?

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The credits list says 'Developed in association with Lady Deborah Macmillan'.

 

Also 'Adapted for Scottish Ballet by Christopher Hampson and Gary Harris'

 

Could be a great improvement!

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I will follow this with interest.  Wish they'd bring it further south - I see they are at the Linbury but with shorter contemporary dance works which doesn't interest me so much (mind you, their Rite of Spring packed a powerful punch).

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1 hour ago, Jane S said:

The credits list says 'Developed in association with Lady Deborah Macmillan'.

 

 

 

AAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH.  She's not the daughter of a duke, marquess or earl.

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18 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

 

AAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH.  She's not the daughter of a duke, marquess or earl.

Can you please enlighten me, BBB?  Is this to do with the use of 'Lady'?

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Strikes me New Zealand has found a more refreshing approach which might be more appropriate for an Australian.

 

https://dpmc.govt.nz/our-programmes/new-zealand-royal-honours/honours-lists-and-recipients/information-honours-recipients/titles-styles-knights-dames

 

2. Wife of a knight (courtesy titles)

The wife of a knight may use the courtesy title of “Lady” before her surname, provided she uses her husband’s surname. For example, the wife of Sir John Smith is:

Lady Smith.

To distinguish between other women with the same name and title, it may be necessary to use a forename; e.g.

Mary, Lady Smith.

In the United Kingdom, the style "Lady Mary Smith" indicates that a woman is a holder of a peerage courtesy title in her own right, and is considered incorrect usage by the wife of a knight.

In New Zealand’s more relaxed society, however, as there is no system of hereditary peerages, this convention is not always observed and the following styles may be used on occasions where the holder of the courtesy title considers it to be appropriate:

Lady Mary

Lady Mary Smith.

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23 minutes ago, Sim said:

Can you please enlighten me, BBB?  Is this to do with the use of 'Lady'?

 

Yes.  As the widow of a knight bachelor, she is Lady MacMillan or Deborah, Lady MacMillan.

 

Lady firstname surname is a courtesy title for the daughter of a duke, marquess or earl (as in Lady Mary Crawley or Lady Sarah Chatto).

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Well, I've booked, and after tying myself in knots trying to find reasonably priced tickets for RB Swan Lakes and Sleeping Beauties recently, it made a change to book row D of the dress circle for £30! 

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From an interview with Christopher Hampson by Kelly Apter in The List:

 

'We're using all of Kenneth's original choreography and the same score,' explains Hampson, 'but there will be some adaptations in terms of the scenes we present, and the order we present them in. So it's two acts rather than three, and because there will be far less pageantry around Rudolf, we'll really focus in on those iconic, key dramatic moments in his life.'

 

Well hallelujah. I've been saying, and writing, for so long that there could be fine, strong ballets buried inside MacMillan's blockbusters and I'm so pleased someone is trying this!

 

Hope it's a huge success. Extra doublegood if they drop the brothel scene.

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All the right notes, just not in the right order?! :D

 

Sounds fascinating.

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1 hour ago, Jane S said:

From an interview with Christopher Hampson by Kelly Apter in The List:

 

'We're using all of Kenneth's original choreography and the same score,' explains Hampson, 'but there will be some adaptations in terms of the scenes we present, and the order we present them in. So it's two acts rather than three, and because there will be far less pageantry around Rudolf, we'll really focus in on those iconic, key dramatic moments in his life.'

 

Well hallelujah. I've been saying, and writing, for so long that there could be fine, strong ballets buried inside MacMillan's blockbusters and I'm so pleased someone is trying this!

 

Hope it's a huge success. Extra doublegood if they drop the brothel scene.

Dear Lord, does this mean Rudolf will have even less time to catch his breath between all his pas de deux and solos?

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I'm genuinely curious to see this, although I think I saw Martin Yates is having a hand with some of the music. No comment, given what I think of his adaptations for 'Manon,' ,Don Q,' and 'Carmen'.............😐

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On 06/11/2019 at 21:41, Jane S said:

From an interview with Christopher Hampson by Kelly Apter in The List:

 

'We're using all of Kenneth's original choreography and the same score,' explains Hampson, 'but there will be some adaptations in terms of the scenes we present, and the order we present them in. So it's two acts rather than three, and because there will be far less pageantry around Rudolf, we'll really focus in on those iconic, key dramatic moments in his life.'

 

Well hallelujah. I've been saying, and writing, for so long that there could be fine, strong ballets buried inside MacMillan's blockbusters and I'm so pleased someone is trying this!

 

Hope it's a huge success. Extra doublegood if they drop the brothel scene.

 

This is really interesting considering the fact that Stuttgart Ballet was not allowed to change a single step in their version with new sets and costumes by Jürgen Rose. And he really wanted to change some small details - nothing essential of course, but fitting to his sets. So how does Lady MacMillan decide who changes scenes and who does not? Anyhow, it is a smart approach to make small changes in every new Mayerling production you assign to another company...

 

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On ‎06‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 20:41, Jane S said:

From an interview with Christopher Hampson by Kelly Apter in The List:

 

'We're using all of Kenneth's original choreography and the same score,' explains Hampson, 'but there will be some adaptations in terms of the scenes we present, and the order we present them in. So it's two acts rather than three, and because there will be far less pageantry around Rudolf, we'll really focus in on those iconic, key dramatic moments in his life.'

 

My literal mind is still querying this; they cannot actually be using 'all of Kenneth's original choreography and the same score', otherwise it would be the same length as the original... Or is it being suggested that MacMillan did not choreograph the whole work?! (Or that only the pas deux matter? Seems very reductive to me if so.) And the score must be being cut/adapted and will therefore not be 'the same'. I get the gist, but it annoys me when people are so imprecise especially in what is after all a pretty significant public statement.

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32 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

My literal mind is still querying this; they cannot actually be using 'all of Kenneth's original choreography and the same score', otherwise it would be the same length as the original... Or is it being suggested that MacMillan did not choreograph the whole work?! (Or that only the pas deux matter? Seems very reductive to me if so.) And the score must be being cut/adapted and will therefore not be 'the same'. I get the gist, but it annoys me when people are so imprecise especially in what is after all a pretty significant public statement.

 

They could just cut some scenes entirely (the starting ball, and its walk-on parade; the fireworks show and opera bit; the hunt scene where the gun goes off; the pub scene maybe; the Hungarian officers - that sort of thing), but use the choreography and score the same, for the scenes they do perform.

At least, that's my guess.

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1 hour ago, zxDaveM said:

 

They could just cut some scenes entirely (the starting ball, and its walk-on parade; the fireworks show and opera bit; the hunt scene where the gun goes off; the pub scene maybe; the Hungarian officers - that sort of thing), but use the choreography and score the same, for the scenes they do perform.

At least, that's my guess.

 

Yes, I imagine you're right; but that's not what was said.

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As Scottish Ballet has considerably fewer dancers than the Royal Ballet I would have expected some of the corps scenes and possibly even some of the lesser characters to be cut.

 

Nevertheless it is an exciting prospect.

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On ‎05‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 14:45, bangorballetboy said:

Yes.  As the widow of a knight bachelor, she is Lady MacMillan or Deborah, Lady MacMillan.

 

Lady firstname surname is a courtesy title for the daughter of a duke, marquess or earl (as in Lady Mary Crawley or Lady Sarah Chatto).

 

I love the fact that you've put Lady Mary Crawley before Lady Sarah Chatto! :lol:

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