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The Stuttgart production with new sets and costumes by Jürgen Rose will be online for 24 hours from April 11th, 18.00 CET to April 12th, 18.00 CET on Stuttgart Ballet's Youtube Chanel

https://www.youtube.com/c/dasstuttgarterballett

The cast is the premiere cast at Stuttgart, with Friedemann Vogel (Rudolf), Elisa Badenes (Mary), Miriam Kacerova (Elisabeth), Alicia Amatriain (Larisch), Diana Ionescu (Stephanie), Anna Osadcenko (Mizzi), Marcia Haydée (Sophie) and Egon Madsen (Franz Josef).

 

 

 

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Right, that's my Saturday evening sorted, then!  Thanks very much, Angela.

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Normally I can't watch these long transmissions as my broadband bill goes too high, but I got a letter from BT last week saying there is no longer a limit, and they won't reinstate it in the future, so I can really look forward to this! Also should be possible to take breaks, or watch it twice.

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Posted (edited)

Definitely a MUST WATCH.   There are very few videos of Friedemann available anywhere, and, this recording is from the premiere season of Mayerling at Stuttgart, so special indeed. 

Edited by FionaE
Typo 🙄
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This is UNMISSABLE.
 

The production is stunning. In the performance I saw last year Vogel was simply unforgettable. The entire supporting cast was excellent, in particular Badenes as Mary Vetsera. 

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Right! I'll be glued to the PC, come Saturday night. I've seen him 3 times as Rudolf and everytime, it was mind-blowing. The sets too are lovely.

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Bumping this one, as a reminder ...

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I assumed this would be starting at 5 here and am all set up with my G&T to settle down and watch but I can't find it.  Help!!!!

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Yes, a search on YouTube seemed the easiest way to find it for me.

 

Absolutely incredible performance - gripping from start to finish. Vogel was outstanding, but fantastic dancing and acting throughout. I really liked the sets on the whole although found the back drop for the final pas de deux a bit plain and bright - didn't quite match the atmosphere of the scene I didn't think. But perhaps the intention was to focus entirely on the dancers - who certainly brought more than enough atmosphere and drama on their own!

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27 minutes ago, Duck said:

Stuttgart Ballet will make available as VOD Cranko's Romeo and Juliet this weekend

https://www.stuttgart-ballet.de/home/news-long/

I've added this to the calendar of events, I hope the time zone in the calendar works as intended.

 

 

That's why I gave up trying to put the times in :)

 

Thanks, Duck.

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Next streams by Stuttgart Ballet:

 

"Out of Breath" by Johan Inger from 23. April 17 GMT to 26. April 21 GMT

with Agnes Su, Elisa Badenes, Hyo-Jung Kang, Jason Reilly, Louis Stiens and Shaked Heller

 

"Onegin" by John Cranko from 1. May 17 GMT to 3. May 21 GMT

with Alicia Amatriain, Friedemann Vogel, Elisa Badenes, David Moore, Jason Reilly

 

https://www.stuttgart-ballet.de/home/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk9WDFKf3TjXwk1rf1tgfGg

 

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I liked 'Out of Breath', I appreciated the fragility of life that they represented in thoughtful way.

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The next streams from Stuttgart Ballet:

 

May 7 – 10

Edward Clug: "Patterns in ¾"

Dancers: Ami Morita, Hyo-Jung Kang, Vittoria Girelli, Roman Novitzky, Martì Fernandez Paixà, Adhonay Soares da Silva, Fabio Adorisio  

 

May 14 – 17

John Cranko: "Initials R.B.M.E."

Dancers: Alicia Amatriain, Elisa Badenes, Hyo-Jung Kang, Friedemann Vogel, Jason Reilly, Adhonay Soares da Silva, David Moore

This abstract ballet to Johannes Brahms‘ Piano Concerto No. 2 is dedicated to Richard Cragun, Birgit Keil, Marcia Haydée and Egon Madsen, who danced the premiere - hence the initials   

 

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YEEEEES !!

 

Stuttgart Ballet presented Initials RBME at the Royal Opera House during their 1974 season with the original cast and it made a profound impact on me.  It lingers in the memory and I have never seen it since - what a wonderful opportunity!  However, rather like Marguerite and Armand, I wonder how the ballet will fare without its original cast.

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3 hours ago, li tai po said:

YEEEEES !!

 

Stuttgart Ballet presented Initials RBME at the Royal Opera House during their 1974 season with the original cast and it made a profound impact on me.  It lingers in the memory and I have never seen it since - what a wonderful opportunity!  However, rather like Marguerite and Armand, I wonder how the ballet will fare without its original cast.

 

Yes,  a lovely ballet. I've seen it with several other Stuttgart casts and thought it was mighty fine (never having seen the original cast, mind you)

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This would be wonderful, Cranko's Initials R.B.M.E by Stuttgart Ballet from Thursday.

 

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2 hours ago, Naomi M said:

This would be wonderful, Cranko's Initials R.B.M.E by Stuttgart Ballet from Thursday.

 

 

OMG, it’s always been a dream of mine to see this!!! You’ve just made my day and week. 💕 

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From Stuttgart Ballet:

INITIALS R.B.M.E. (Cranko/Brahms) is now up and streaming on demand through Saturday, May 16, & into part of Sunday, 17th.

I got it on my TV YouTube by searching in German, as it did not appear in the English-Lang version of Stuttgart’s Youtube channel. So...you’ll want to type: 

Das Stuttgarter Ballet Initialen R.B. M.E.  It should pop up. A 56-minute film. Enjoy!

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30 minutes ago, Jeannette said:

From Stuttgart Ballet:

INITIALS R.B.M.E. (Cranko/Brahms) is now up and streaming on demand through Saturday, May 16, & into part of Sunday, 17th.

I got it on my TV YouTube by searching in German, as it did not appear in the English-Lang version of Stuttgart’s Youtube channel. So...you’ll want to type: 

Das Stuttgarter Ballet Initialen R.B. M.E.  It should pop up. A 56-minute film. Enjoy!

 

or you can just go here

https://www.stuttgart-ballet.de/schedule/stuttgartballetathome/

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Posted (edited)

I just finished watching for the first time and WOW! Just wow! Gorgeous ballet, exquisitely filmed.

 

To watch on my TV I couldn’t click on a link (as when on a computer)...I had to search YouTube with the keys on my remove control; hence the alternate instructions. I’ll probably rewatch on computer but -WOW! - what a total joy to watch on the big, super-sharp TV flat screen from my favorite comfy couch!

 

INITIALS  R.B.M.E. is a masterpiece of neo/classicism. A real tour de force for the large corps de ballet, not just principals and soloists. I’ll catch the principals’ names on the second view...definitely recognized Friedemann Vogel in the Pdd...and I see that Toursenlair’s link includes the full cast list! :) 

Edited by Jeannette
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Posted (edited)

A gift of a ballet - exquisitely etched and delivered.  Total joy; especially in these most challenging of times.  

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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What a treat RBME is! I had some difficulty in identifying the dancers - but will definitely watch again. In some ways it reminded me of his Brandenburg Concertos, full of energy, beautiful dancing. Just two wishes - would love to have seen the original cast and would love to see the Royal do Brandenburg s. 

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Fabulous. What a ballet! Moving, joyous, heartfelt & some extremely challenging choreography for all concerned. I’ve only ever heard about it so what a joy to see from home!

Is it only ever (understandably) danced by Stuttgart Ballet or do other companies have it in their rep? 

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8 minutes ago, Ianlond said:

Fabulous. What a ballet! Moving, joyous, heartfelt & some extremely challenging choreography for all concerned. I’ve only ever heard about it so what a joy to see from home!

Is it only ever (understandably) danced by Stuttgart Ballet or do other companies have it in their rep? 

 

I know only of Ballet de Santiago in Chile, which is headed by A.D. Marcia Haydee...the one-and-only “M” among the initials! A fine company based in a lovely whitewashed European-style opera house in the middle of the busy capital city. I’ve visited twice, during their August modern rep “winter” seasons. Luis Ortigoza was (still is?) their flashy super technician....a perfect fit for the “Initial R” role, I imagine.

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Why is Initials R.B.M.E. so special?

 

Cranko was appointed director of the Stuttgart Ballet in 1961, at the age of 34.  It was a provincial German dance troupe, valued more for its contribution as the opera ballet for the likes of Carmen and Die Fledermaus than as a self-contained ballet company.  Over the next ten years Cranko built Stuttgart Ballet into a world class company, the foremost in Germany, with a varied and demanding repertoire and an outstanding group of dancers.  He frequently referred to the company as a family.

 

Part of his success was to encourage large-scale challenging works to music from the concert hall, notably in 1966 when he invited his friend Kenneth MacMillan to create Song of the Earth for Stuttgart, whose music has been turned down by the Royal Opera House as inappropriate for a ballet.  There is a moment towards the end of the third movement of Initials R.B.M.E., when the corps de ballet freeze into poses from the final song of Song of the Earth - a tribute to Cranko's friend?

 

Ten years later in 1971, Cranko wanted to express the family and friendship in the company in a new ballet and he turned to another unlikely large-scale concert work, Brahms' second piano concerto.  I am sure that Cranko had been influenced by Ashton's 1968 success with Enigma Variations "to my friends pictured within", both with the Elgar characters and Ashton's group of dancers.

 

Although Brahms dedicated the concerto to his teacher, Eduard Maxsen, each movement was inspired by a different personality (himself, Robert and Clara Schumann and the Hungarian violinist, Joseph Joachim a close collaborator).  The famous cello solo which opens the third movement, is said to be the melody from a song composed by Clara Schumann.

 

Cranko wrote a programme note:

"A ballet for four friends, Richard, Birgit, Marcia and Egon, to the music of Johannes Brahms, whose passionate feeling for friendship and love is confirmed by his compositions, in his letters and by the testimony of others".

 

Cranko created each movement around one of the friends who had been with him since his earliest days in Stuttgart.  Each of them had a supporting group of dancers, but they also appeared in one another's sections - not necessarily to play any very active part, but just to be there, evoking the real-life situation, where each was a strongly defined individual with a life of his or her own, but all helped and sustained by their friendships.

 

The ballet was premiered in Stuttgart on 29 January 1971.  Remarkably for a "provincial" German company, the Stuttgart ballet undertook a Russian tour in the summer of 1971 to Leningrad, Riga and Moscow.  In summer 1973, there was a triumphant tour of America, with three weeks at the Met, followed by performances in Washington and Philadelphia.  In ten years Cranko had put his company on the world map.  Initials R.B.M.E. was in the repertoire of both tours.

 

In Autumn 1972, Cranko was in the audience at the Coliseum.  He was approached by Sir John Tooley (who passed away last month) and was invited to bring the Stuttgart Ballet to the Royal Opera House in summer 1974.  Cranko was scheduled to return home and to bring his new company with him.  Initials R.B.M.E. would be in the repertoire for London.

 

On 25 June 1973, the company flew home from Philadelphia to Stuttgart with PanAm at the end of the American tour.  Cranko was a bad traveller and had taken a mild drug to help him sleep,  The drug caused him to choke on his own vomit and he was found unconscious in his seat  The plane made an emergency stop at Dublin Airport, but Cranko was pronounced dead on arrival at Dublin Hospital.  The company flew on to Stuttgart.  Cranko was 46 years old.

 

Glen Tetley was contracted to choreograph a new ballet for the company in the Autumn season.  He dedicated Voluntaries to the memory of Cranko.  In 1976 Kenneth MacMillan was to choreograph Faure's Requiem for the company, which is also dedicated to the memory of his friend.

 

Those of us who attended performances of the four programmes during the packed two-week season at the Royal Opera House in July 1974, remember vividly the emotion, the grief and regret - it was like Hamlet without the prince.  At the same time, there was great excitement at the dancers and repertoire.  It was such a rich cultural experience with the UK premieres of Onegin, The Taming of the Shrew and Voluntaries, as well as Initials R.B.M.E  This ballet said everything about Cranko, the friends he had made and the company he had built.

 

I rushed out and bought the vinyl record - I have come to love this wonderful piano concerto.  I am not sure whether the Stuttgart Ballet ever brought it back to London, but I have not seen it since July 1974, despite the strong memories.  I was glued to my screen yesterday.

 

In the streamed performance, Adhonay Soares da Silva dances the first movement (Richard Cragun), Elisa Badenes the second movement (Birgit Keil), Alicia Amatriain dances the third movement (Marcia Haydee), a pas de deux with Friedemann Vogel - and the demi soloist Moacir de Oliveira dances the fourth movement (Egon Madsen).

 

There is no commercial recording of this iconic ballet - don't miss it.  It is available until Sunday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Extraordinary report and review of Initials, li tai po. A heartfelt thanks!

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