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13 hours ago, Tebasile said:

I would go so far as to call it noise

🤣🤣🤣🤣

Glad i am not the only one. Score for Alice is just about bearable but neither WT or Alice listenable on their own. Hope Wheeldon has a different composer in mind for his upcoming offering.

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I don't underestimate the amount of skill or effort that goes into writing a ballet score, and it works on a purely functional level, I guess. I just don't see how a choreographer can be inspired by this stuff, it's wallpaper at best IMO. (And if there are any Joby Talbot fans, please speak up!)

 

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I am a fan!  I have the CD of Alice and enjoy all the various sections which are so explicit and memorable, to me, of the plot lines in the story.  I would probably buy a CD of A Winter's Tale, too, if there was one available.  Quite honestly, I thing that the production team of Wheeldon's 3 Act ballets could not be bettered.  Bob Crowley is also brilliant, plus Natasha Katz with her lighting and effects.  (I can't wait for the new one!)

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I know I'm not the only person who feels the RB online offerings have been a touch uninspiring (unless you're an Ed Watson fan of course!) Given their ten years of cinema broadcasts it would have been great if some of the early broadcasts had been shown or, if they want to attract an online audience who are familiar with some of the current stars, perhaps do what other companies have done and show some recent ballets that haven't been filmed for broadcast. First on my list would be the Firebird triple bill with Vadim starring in Month in the Country. I thought it an inspired triple bill with Symphony in C providing a sparking finish and I was so sorry it wasn't broadcast. Like the Concerto triple it really highlights all aspects of the RB skills in dancing and acting and all the music scores are terrific too. Surely there must have been recordings done that weren't meant for public consumption but given the circumstances could be made available without the usual artistic negotiations? This is only one example. I'm sure everyone would have their favourites, and think of the historic treasure trove of dancers like Fonteyn and Nureyev also.

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I echo what jmhopton says but also in relation to BRB. I know there is not much commercially available but they must have a lot recorded for archive. They occasionally show snippets from works on Facebook (recently Checkmate and Pineapple Poll) which seem to have been recorded at dress rehearsals as you can hear the clicks from photographer’s cameras. They also had a video archivist on the staff at one time. It would be great if some of these could be made available the way NYCB are doing with their archive recordings.

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1 hour ago, jmhopton said:

given the circumstances could be made available without the usual artistic negotiations?

 

why do you think this would be the case?

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It would be interesting to know what negotiations have to take place with regard to streamed ballets and, indeed, copied Instagram posts.

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3 hours ago, toursenlair said:

 

why do you think this would be the case?

I only said this because other companies seemed to be able to show unofficial archive material at this time and I thought I'd seen mention that some companies had waived their usual artistic fees. Perhaps I was mistaken. It's not something I would normally be in favour of as everyone should normally be recompensed for any artistic work but there seems to be a feeling at the moment that to keep engaging with your regular audience and possibly even attract a new audience you need to go the extra mile and possibly stream material that was never intended to be streamed. Given that companies are somehow having to manage to pay staff and dancers with no income coming in I wouldn't expect any of them could afford to pay the usual royalties for broadcasted material. I may be wrong, but I don't see where the money would come from. However I'm just very grateful they are streaming ballet in whatever conditions. 

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They wouldn't even have to show a complete triple bill - just one or two works; or a mix of mixed bills, with 2-3 from a variety of mixed bills, as fresh combinations. Or themed ones - 2/3 Ashton ones, or 2/3 MacMillans, etc

Possibilities endless!

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At a rate of maybe 5 a year, the Royal Ballet has plenty of cinema broadcasts alone it could potentially be showing - including those "duplicate" performances which didn't make it onto DVD.  But of course there may be rights issues involved: some of those have been shown on Sky previously.

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10 hours ago, jmhopton said:

Given that companies are somehow having to manage to pay staff and dancers with no income coming in ..............


My understanding was that dancers and most staff would be on furlough.

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Not for much longer, if rumours that the government are preparing to wind down the furlough scheme over the next few weeks are true.....🙁

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It's a pity that the ROH couldn't have come up with a dedicated web site for their streaming activities. All of the companies I have been following have done this, some fairly elaborate,(the MET), most quite simple (NYCB for example) . A few scrappy bits of information on Facebook is not the same. I know this is an old moan on this forum, but I think most people seeking information go to a website first.

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9 hours ago, capybara said:


My understanding was that dancers and most staff would be on furlough.

 

But are you allowed to take class if on furlough?

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2 hours ago, alison said:

 

But are you allowed to take class if on furlough?

 

I wonder whether it's to do with being purely voluntary, if that is the case?

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People on furlough are not allowed to work for their employer but many (most?) dancers appear to be availing themselves of the daily classes being offered by their companies, presumably voluntarily.

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14 hours ago, ninamargaret said:

It's a pity that the ROH couldn't have come up with a dedicated web site for their streaming activities. All of the companies I have been following have done this, some fairly elaborate,(the MET), most quite simple (NYCB for example) . A few scrappy bits of information on Facebook is not the same. I know this is an old moan on this forum, but I think most people seeking information go to a website first.

 

Details of the current and upcoming streamed performances are on the ROH home page (so not sure I get your point).  It's a whole one or two clicks (depending on the piece) from there to the stream itself.

 

There is also a link to the Create & Learn page.  I've not seen any other major opera or ballet organisation having a similar programme for children at this time (though I've not looked too hard).

 

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A first glance at the ROH website would give the impression that it's business as usual - you need to scroll down 3 items to find out that anything's wrong.  I'd have preferred something on immediate glance to say we're streaming/putting on children's activities/whatever - just to indicate that there is some activity somewhere.  And, linked to the streamings, a "want to find out more?" link to the production pages/insights/whatever related info is already there, so that if someone is hooked by, say, La Traviata they could immediately find out about other Verdi operas, or whatever.  The information is presumably all on the website already, just needs some linking to.  Looking at the equivalent New York websites, I think the ROH are missing a trick here with their potentially captive audience (the Met Opera's website is very good - and the fact that they have 3 columns shows you so much without having to scroll much: streams, donations, education), but possibly the new design doesn't make this so readily possible?

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14 minutes ago, alison said:

A first glance at the ROH website would give the impression that it's business as usual 

 

I'm quite surprised that you think the streaming of opera and ballet is business as usual.  The first two items on the webpage relate to streaming and they do so very clearly.  There are no references anywhere to live performances.

 

You may not like the layout compared to others, but that's another thing entirely.  

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I agree that the homepage shows two items being streamed.  But when you click on the Dance option on the menu, it would have been good to have something other than the list for the entire season, with "Cancelled" written beside it.  

 

And I feel rather short changed as far as ballet is concerned.  Anastasia would not have been my first choice, given all the options the ROH must surely have at its disposal?  

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I actually quite like Anastasia, especially the music. But what I'd really look forward to is La Fille with McRae and Osipova. More Ashton please! 

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ROH has announced they’re showing The Cellist on 29th May and La Fille ( with Acosta and Nuñez) on 12th June 🙂

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18 minutes ago, Rob S said:

ROH has announced they’re showing The Cellist on 29th May


Excellent - dare we hope that Dances at a Gathering might follow in the next month or so? And perhaps the start of some cinema relays which have not yet made it to DVD?

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5 minutes ago, JohnS said:


Excellent - dare we hope that Dances at a Gathering might follow in the next month or so? And perhaps the start of some cinema relays which have not yet made it to DVD?


That’s what I’m hoping for, perhaps anything from the Firebird mixed bill 🤞

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I am going to be controversial here - in my first post - but I think the ROH (and Royal Ballet particularly) has missed a trick here. They are able to reach an audience they perhaps wouldn't normally, those people who are stuck at home and perhaps would not go and spend money on a ticket but would flick it on the tv. I know there is scoffing at ROH trying to draw in a new audience rather than look after the old, but its a fact of life that they need to continuing to refresh the audience from those who inevitably stop coming. Some of the ballets they have chosen and are continuing to chose - whilst brilliant for balletomanes - are not visually that impressive (its terms of the production rather than dancing) or well known. What has been the RB equivalent of La Traviata? Where is R&J, Manon, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake or the Nutcracker etc?

 

I think something, even like Frankenstein - which I know most people on this forum hate - but every single person i know who went on reduced priced tickets loved, is a visually impressive modern production and a household name, would be far more popular than The Cellist and has a greater chance to draw more people in in the future. 

 

Just some thoughts!

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Very excited about The Cellist! I'd been looking forward to it all season, but missed both the cinema broadcast and the performance I booked for due to illness.

 

I guess it's a tricky balance choosing the right things to show, but this at least fulfils one wish (showing something not already available on DVD). I guess Winter's Tale would have been quite a good one for less experienced ballet watchers?

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43 minutes ago, Rob S said:


That’s what I’m hoping for, perhaps anything from the Firebird mixed bill 🤞

 

Yes Month in the Country would be number one for me with Symphony in C a good second. However, these weren't shown at the cinema so it depends whether or not the ROH want to stick to cinema relays or be a bit more adventurous. I personally would pay to see Month in the Country or Symphony in C so if they could have some sort of PAYG scheme perhaps in tandem with a free offering to encourage newbies to ballet that would bring in some much needed cash as well. However, I don't know if it would be logistically possible.

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Just received (apologies of this has been posted on another thread)

 

A very warm welcome from me, Alex Beard, to this week’s Supporters' e-newsletter.

I do hope that you, your families and your friends are well and keeping safe.

These are such difficult times for so many. The health emergency, the profound economic impacts, and the suspension of our shared cultural life is a huge challenge across all society.

For the ROH community, we have been doing what we can to lift spirits on social media, share our work online, support parents and carers at home through Create and Learn, and donate PPE to front line carers, including the costume team busily making scrubs for the NHS at home. These are small gestures in the face of such a crisis, but we must all do our bit.

Your messages of support since we closed in March have been an inspiration to the staff and artists, and they mean a very great deal to us all. Thank you so much.

The current situation is probably the most serious threat that the ROH has ever faced. Your safety and that of all those who work with us is paramount, so of course it was the right thing to suspend performances. And it seems clear that we will not be able to return to the full and exciting schedule we had planned, for as long as social distancing is required to keep the virus at bay.

The challenge of sustaining our community of staff and artists through this is immense, with more than £3 out of every £5 in our income no longer there. But we are determined to get through it using all our collective imagination and determination.

We are managing the financial impacts as best we can. We are using the Government’s furlough scheme and 80% of the staff are now on it. We simply wouldn’t have been able to survive until now otherwise. In addition, everyone has taken a pay cut of 20% whether furloughed or continuing to work, other than those earning £30,000 or less whose pay has been protected, with bigger cuts from Music Director of The Royal Opera, Antonio Pappano, and myself. We are also saving every penny across all our budgets to eke out our limited reserves for as long as possible. Nonetheless, the costs of caring for a grade one listed building and our production facilities in Thurrock and Aberdare are significant and unavoidable. So, thank you all so much for your continuing generosity and commitment. It is more important now than ever.

 

This is the time when you should be going through the Season Guide and Magazine and making ticket choices for the autumn – deciding which ballets and operas you were going to see and whether your favourite seats were available on your chosen dates. I am deeply sorry that you cannot do so for the time being.

 

But I can assure you that we are working on plans to reopen in whatever capacity we can, as soon as it is safe to do so. We are exploring ideas about what we can present and how we can operate in a socially-distanced world, and what changes to our plans may be necessary. We will be in touch as soon as we can with more details. Thank you so much for your patience in the meantime.

Until you can return to our beautiful theatre, we will continue to present work through our new #OurHouseToYourHouse programme, with its weekly Friday streaming premieres, Antonio Pappano’s Saturday House Music series and so much more besides. Our Create and Learn programme for all those home schooling is inspiring thousands of families to be creative together. The public response has been overwhelming with well over 4m views so far, and heart-warming messages of thanks and encouragement including from so many of you.

Once more, thank you so very much indeed for staying with us, and I very much look forward to welcoming you back as soon as we safely can. Until then, stay safe and well.

 

All best wishes,

alex-beard-sig.png

 

Alex Beard CBE

Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House

Keep reading to discover what's happening over the next week...

 
 

Cendrillon

22 May 2020, 7pm BST

Next Friday, the much loved fairy tale Cinderella is brought to life in Massenet's Cendrillon. This magical opera stars Joyce DiDonato and will be available to watch for 14 days on Facebook and YouTube.

With warm thanks to 

Season Principal Mrs Aline Foriel - Destezet, 

the Royal Opera House Endowment, Susan and John Singer and all the supporters of The Royal Opera.

 
 
 

Create & Learn

For this week's Challenge of the Week, we are showing you how to make your own miniature snow machine, like the ones we use on our stage! 

Find our more here. 

Six new activities have just been released on our Create and Learn Platform. Check them out now!

 

Coming Soon...

 

The Cellist

Friday 29 May, 7pm BST

Cathy Marston's acclaimed production The Cellist will be streamed in two weeks time. If you missed its premiere in February then this is the perfect opportunity to see the inspiring story of Jacqueline du Pré told through the art of ballet.

#OurHouseToYourHouse

 

Il trittico 

5 June, 7pm BST 

A collection of three one-act operas conducted by Antonio Pappano alongside an acclaimed cast, including Eva-Maria Westbroek and Ermonela Jaho.

La Fille mal gardée

12 June, 7pm BST

Frederick Ashton’s final full-length ballet, inspired by his love for the Suffolk countryside, stars Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nuñez

The Magic Flute

19 June, 7pm BST 

The Royal Opera’s spell-binding production of Mozart’s glorious opera features a wonderful cast including Roderick Williams as Papageno. 

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