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Stuttgart Ballet: Mayerling - and other streamed performances


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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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I WOULD URGE EVERYONE TO WATCH THIS OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE - IT'S AVAILABLE TILL 5PM ON 12TH APRIL.

 

Oh my goodness me - I was totally blown away by this performance.

 

Firstly I absolutely loved the sets and costumes.  The simplistic sets seemed to make the scenario much easier to follow and allowed me to concentrate more on the dancing.  The costumes were sublime and looked much easier to dance in than the heavier-looking RB costumes.

 

What performances!!  Vogel was utterly believable in his descent towards despair and suicide.  I found his interaction with his mother quite heartbreaking as he sought some sign of affection from her.  His duet with Ionescu's Stephanie was brutal.  It was so compelling to watch that I quite forgot to breathe.  As for his interactions with Badenes as Mary...  I was emotionally wrung out by the end.

 

I thought the whole cast was superb and I couldn't recommend this more highly.

 

Thanks to Angela for bringing this streaming to our attention.  (I may just have to watch it again tomorrow afternoon!).

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Previous discussion here, too:

 

 

I was reminded of the time I saw Vogel's Des Grieux in ENB's Manon: thought I'd probably never seen the role danced better.  I would have appreciated a higher resolution so that I could read his acting better, though.

 

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4 minutes ago, alison said:

I would have appreciated a higher resolution so that I could read his acting better, though.

 

I agree with this. There were no real close-ups at any point & during the darker scenes I found the picture quite "blocky". I know some people don't like close-ups because of losing the overall choreography but I feel that in a piece like this to be able to see detailed acting is more important than in, say, many of the classics. I did wonder if this was a "rought cut" & they'll tidy it up a bit for the presumed DVD release as on a couple of occasions the camera seemed to pan across too late & missed the action it was presumably after, plus there were a couple of rather odd cross-fades in Act II Scene III.

 

I thought Vogel & Badenes were superb. It was fascinating to see them in the stream of SB less than 2 weeks ago & then to see them doing such a different ballet tonight & be equally excellent in both. The Act II Scene V pdd was so intimate I felt almost embarassed to be watching it while the final pdd had me in tears.

 

I liked the production but didn't find it particularly better or worse than the original, just different.

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Just finished watching Stuttgart Ballet in MacMillan's "Mayerling" and I really liked it, it's one of my favourite ballets, love the music score as well, wish a CD of the Orchestrated Liszt music would be released.

 

Friedemann Vogel  and Elisa Badenes were excellent as Crown Prince Rudolf and Baroness Mary Vestera, very emotionally intense and great chemistry, and the final PDD at the end was gut wrenching.

 

Diana Ionescu really portrayed the terrified Crown Princess Stephanie well, proper fear, made me think of Jane Burn's performance on my 1994 DVD of the Royal Ballet in Mayerling (with the great Irek Mukamedov) 

 

Also loved the costumes and sets, made for a modern, dynamic flow, don't get me wrong I love the original costumes of course as worn by the Royal Ballet but it felt like Stuttgart Ballet made the ballet their own, like going from sepia tone to digital is the best way I can express it.

 

The four Hungarian officers were really good looking, I do like it when they are all the same height, plus nice jumps.

 

Time just flew by, really glad to of got to watch an another companies interpretation of the ballet. 

 

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I'd planned another trip to Stuttgart to see this in a couple of weeks time so I was thrilled and so grateful that Stuttgart shared this recording of the company premiere. It came across better than I had hoped for on a screen. 

 

I love this new production: I find the sets and costumes a hugely successful combination of respect for the period and clean, contemporary lines. It brings the steps into sharper focus. 

 

The performances were all magnificent - Vogel superlative.  

 

 

 

 

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I was looking forward to this and it certainly didn't disappoint!  I loved the costumes and sets, although I felt that the last scene didn't quite come off. Rudolph's scene with his mother was better than I've ever seen it; in fact I thought the first act was particularly stunning. If I may be a little bit nit picking, I thought both of the Vetsera pas de deux looked at times as though they were being a little careful - I didn't quite feel there was the easy flow that I've seen at ROH. But the total commitment of the whole cast was superb and made for a thoroughly satisfying performance. And I agree with the comments about the Hungarian officers - think there was a potential Rudolph in the lead dancer, I also noticed that Ed Watson had been involved in coaching - if anyone knows what it's about he should! Hopefully there will be a DVD in due course.

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42 minutes ago, ninamargaret said:

If I may be a little bit nit picking, I thought both of the Vetsera pas de deux looked at times as though they were being a little careful - I didn't quite feel there was the easy flow that I've seen at ROH.

 

I did think so too, but as I assumed from the extended curtain calls and all the flowers that it was literally the premiere, I was prepared to cut them a little slack: after all, it's completely new to them - and effectively a new choreographer in terms of his dramatic works? - while the Royal has been dancing it for 40 years, and has it in its blood/DNA/whatever.  It must make a considerable difference.

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21 minutes ago, alison said:

 

I did think so too, but as I assumed from the extended curtain calls and all the flowers that it was literally the premiere, I was prepared to cut them a little slack: after all, it's completely new to them - and effectively a new choreographer in terms of his dramatic works? - while the Royal has been dancing it for 40 years, and has it in its blood/DNA/whatever.  It must make a considerable difference.

I think that's a very fair comment and I'm sure it's the answer. It certainly didn't detract from my enjoyment of a very fine performance. And for an elderly ballet goer like me I did enjoy seeing Haydee and Madsen. I did think it would have been marvellous to have seen Haydee with Richard Cragun.

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14 hours ago, Dawnstar said:
14 hours ago, alison said:

I would have appreciated a higher resolution so that I could read his acting better, though.

 

I agree with this. There were no real close-ups at any point & during the darker scenes I found the picture quite "blocky". I know some people don't like close-ups because of losing the overall choreography but I feel that in a piece like this to be able to see detailed acting is more important than in, say, many of the classics. I did wonder if this was a "rought cut" & they'll tidy it up a bit for the presumed DVD release as on a couple of occasions the camera seemed to pan across too late & missed the action it was presumably after, plus there were a couple of rather odd cross-fades in Act II Scene III.

 

This is just the normal "control video" made for the dancers for each premiere, each new cast, NOT a recording for DVD. It was made with one camera in the back of the stalls by one camerawoman (the phenomenal Dora Detrich), who delivers HD quality with zooms and everything for every performance. So Stuttgart did not stream it's DVD catalogue like Berlin or Dutch National, but actual live performances which were not meant for DVD. I too missed the close-ups which they have in their Romeo or Onegin recordings (where there are up to six cameras in the theatre and they film several performances), but hey, I'd never thought I'd see this Mayerling version on a screen. Just think about what streamings we could see if other ballet companies opened their archives...

 

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34 minutes ago, Angela said:

 

 I'd never thought I'd see this Mayerling version on a screen. 

Likewise!  I was fortunate enough to be at this performance (I thought at the time that my "Bravos" were quite loud, but could not hear them on the recording, perhaps because I was near the front of the stalls), and was thrilled to be able to revisit it.  A huge "DANKE" to Stuttgart for making it available, and to Angela for pointing it out.

34 minutes ago, Angela said:

 

 

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3 hours ago, Angela said:

This is just the normal "control video" made for the dancers for each premiere, each new cast, NOT a recording for DVD. It was made with one camera in the back of the stalls by one camerawoman (the phenomenal Dora Detrich), who delivers HD quality with zooms and everything for every performance. So Stuttgart did not stream it's DVD catalogue like Berlin or Dutch National, but actual live performances which were not meant for DVD. I too missed the close-ups which they have in their Romeo or Onegin recordings (where there are up to six cameras in the theatre and they film several performances), but hey, I'd never thought I'd see this Mayerling version on a screen. Just think about what streamings we could see if other ballet companies opened their archives...

 

Ah, right, that explains the lack of close-ups & the small number of issues I noticed. It is very good quality for an archive recording though. I wonder why they didn't do a recording for DVD, as it's a new production? Maybe they couldn't get the rights, like the RB can't film Onegin.

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17 hours ago, WoodlandGladeFairy said:

Diana Ionescu really portrayed the terrified Crown Princess Stephanie well, proper fear, made me think of Jane Burn's performance on my 1994 DVD of the Royal Ballet in Mayerling (with the great Irek Mukamedov) 

 

As soon as the first act was over, I stopped my YouTube screen to look her up. I usually do not enjoy Stephanie/Rudolf bedroom scene.  This time, I could not take my eyes off from her.

 

Edited by Texan
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6 hours ago, Angela said:

 

This is just the normal "control video" made for the dancers for each premiere, each new cast, NOT a recording for DVD. It was made with one camera in the back of the stalls by one camerawoman (the phenomenal Dora Detrich), who delivers HD quality with zooms and everything for every performance. So Stuttgart did not stream it's DVD catalogue like Berlin or Dutch National, but actual live performances which were not meant for DVD. I too missed the close-ups which they have in their Romeo or Onegin recordings (where there are up to six cameras in the theatre and they film several performances), but hey, I'd never thought I'd see this Mayerling version on a screen. Just think about what streamings we could see if other ballet companies opened their archives...

 

 

In that case, I take it back entirely.  It never occurred to me that any company would go to those lengths, although I did think it odd, and a bit unfair, that they would have filmed the first night of a ballet completely new to them.  AFAIK, the Royal Ballet just films from a fixed camera position, and the output is what latecomers see on the screens.  And may I say how much I appreciated the camera panning for the entry of new characters - something I wish the Royal Ballet would do more of in its live broadcasts.  Frau Detrich must be an absolute marvel.

 

And the Royal New Zealand Ballet's Midsummer Night's Dream, I noticed, was actually dress rehearsal footage, with a full audience, by the sounds of things, so I guess that in a number of cases we're being quite privileged to see footage we wouldn't normally have seen, in which case I won't complain about the image resolution :) 

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On 12/04/2020 at 11:55, ninamargaret said:

I was looking forward to this and it certainly didn't disappoint!  I loved the costumes and sets, although I felt that the last scene didn't quite come off. Rudolph's scene with his mother was better than I've ever seen it; in fact I thought the first act was particularly stunning. If I may be a little bit nit picking, I thought both of the Vetsera pas de deux looked at times as though they were being a little careful - I didn't quite feel there was the easy flow that I've seen at ROH. But the total commitment of the whole cast was superb and made for a thoroughly satisfying performance. And I agree with the comments about the Hungarian officers - think there was a potential Rudolph in the lead dancer, I also noticed that Ed Watson had been involved in coaching - if anyone knows what it's about he should! Hopefully there will be a DVD in due course.

 

On 12/04/2020 at 11:55, ninamargaret said:

If I may be a little bit nit picking, I thought both of the Vetsera pas de deux looked at times as though they were being a little careful - I didn't quite feel there was the easy flow that I've seen at ROH.

The video showed was of the first night. I saw the same cast at their 2nd and 3rd performances and was overwhelmed by their wholeheartedness, more so in the 3rd than in the 2nd performance. So it seemed that it took a couple performances for them to get  truely into their stride. 

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Yes, that was him. With his two assistants. He received a standing ovation. Before him, it must have been Karl Burnett or Grant Coyle from the MacMillan Trust. And after him it was Tamas Detrich, the new director.

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It was Grant Coyle.  Just to clarify, there is no "MacMillan Trust".  The rights to MacMillan's ballets are all held by the choreographer's widow, Deborah, who has waived royalties/fees for streaming his ballets at this time.  Those who stage his ballets are freelance, rather than employed by or contracted to a trust (as is the case with, for example, the Balanchine Trust). 

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1 hour ago, bangorballetboy said:

The rights to MacMillan's ballets are all held by the choreographer's widow, Deborah, who has waived royalties/fees for streaming his ballets at this time. 

 

For which, many thanks.

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Thank you, bangorballetboy - I guess by "Trust" I meant "those who own the rights and send the coaches", as with Balanchine, Robbins, Cranko etc.

 

The next work on the Stuttgart website will be Cranko's Romeo, this time in the DVD version with Elisa Badenes and David Moore (RBS alumnus, class of Sergei Polunin), online from 17. April 18.00 CET to 19. April 23.00 CET.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

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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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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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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  • alison changed the title to Stuttgart Ballet: Mayerling - and other streamed performances

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