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Royal Ballet booking period 1 - casting and pricing


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Thanks everyone. I too was browsing the price list for Giselle and saw the package prices and was just going to post it and ask when package booking opens when I found it's already been done for me.

 

To revert to Dawnstar's package query on the 16th June (page 3). The link she provided has now been updated (https://www.roh.org.uk/visit/tickets/advance-booking-packages)  and mentions 'mini packages ' which might suit me

  • Mini Packages: offer the chance to see a selection of three productions on fixed dates. You can choose a package of three operas, three ballets or a combination of opera and ballet.

 Also family packages which may be of use to someone.

 

  • Family Packages: offer half-price tickets for under-18s on a selected production. You can request up to two full-price adult tickets, with up to four half-price tickets for under-18s.

When you use this page you click on a link that takes you to the Autumn 2021/22 package page mentioned below so I'm assuming the mini and family packages are still available though I suppose the page may not have been updated.

No indication as to what the discount is or where the seats are. There is no mention of 'mini packages' in the already mentioned link http://www.roh.org.uk/packages unless it's the 'design your own' package with 5% discount for amphi seats or 10% for Stalls Circle or Orchestra Stalls? If so, there is no mention of this package being limited to 3.  

 

Saying package booking is open 'A week before the standard booking period' for different levels of Friends is a bit vague. Is it an exact week ie the 10th August for bargain basement Friends like me? Will they email out to inform us about package booking or will they hope we'll forget about it and pay full price a week later? It's so long since I booked a package I've forgotten everything about it.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, jmhopton said:

Thanks everyone. I too was browsing the price list for Giselle and saw the package prices and was just going to post it and ask when package booking opens when I found it's already been done for me.

 

To revert to Dawnstar's package query on the 16th June (page 3). The link she provided has now been updated (https://www.roh.org.uk/visit/tickets/advance-booking-packages)  and mentions 'mini packages ' which might suit me

  • Mini Packages: offer the chance to see a selection of three productions on fixed dates. You can choose a package of three operas, three ballets or a combination of opera and ballet.

 Also family packages which may be of use to someone.

 

  • Family Packages: offer half-price tickets for under-18s on a selected production. You can request up to two full-price adult tickets, with up to four half-price tickets for under-18s.

 

Saw this but didn't link as there is no date on it and the Find out more in our News & Features section link doesn't actually have any additional information (but it may be coming) and the seats mentioned don't match up (i.e. the seats I'm looking at would not be included). Also the FAQ states

 

We offer two types of packages.  The first is where you can 'Design Your Own' experience, or 'Total' packages that include all the operas or ballets in the given booking period (subject to availability).

 

No mention of Mini or Family (but may be coming). I wish the ROH would take down pages if they no longer apply. If we can all find them, they should certainly be able to. 

Edited by oncnp
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Nice to get the Friends Magazine today, printed on good quality paper too unlike the general Season Guide, I much prefer looking through a magazine than scrolling screens. There are so many booking dates now, I'm seventh just in front of the general public. Some very tempting casts for Giselle, and I might even book for R and J with Naghdi/Muntagirov! 

 

 

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5 hours ago, oncnp said:

Saw this but didn't link as there is no date on it and the Find out more in our News & Features section link doesn't actually have any additional information (but it may be coming) and the seats mentioned don't match up (i.e. the seats I'm looking at would not be included). Also the FAQ states

 

We offer two types of packages.  The first is where you can 'Design Your Own' experience, or 'Total' packages that include all the operas or ballets in the given booking period (subject to availability).

 

No mention of Mini or Family (but may be coming). I wish the ROH would take down pages if they no longer apply. If we can all find them, they should certainly be able to. 

Yes I  did wonder if the Mini and Family packages are too good to be true, especially in the current economic climate. 

I did ask Customer Services for package booking dates and was just now told that Friends (I'm assuming that's basic Friends) would be 13th Aug and public booking would be 19th August . Will have to wait and see.

I hadn't seen the page about Mini and Family packages when I emailed them. I think I'll reply and ask them.

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On 24/07/2021 at 15:43, Beryl H said:

Nice to get the Friends Magazine today, printed on good quality paper too unlike the general Season Guide, I much prefer looking through a magazine than scrolling screens. 

 

Yes! And nice to see some ballet casting printed in the magazine (how long has it been since this was last the case?) However this may have meant them producing it in something of a rush, as there are a couple of potentially confusing omissions:

 

p.66 - Romeo & Juliet - the last column should I assume be headed "January" (so that it begins with Osipova/Clarke dancing on January 10 and so on)

 

p.71 - Giselle - similarly the middle column should be headed "November" (so starting with Osipova/Clarke on November 4)

 

It is easy enough to work out what is meant (and to crosscheck online) but just a warning for people in a hurry. 

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Just a point to note for any "Friends+" looking to book packages: the website currently indicates  these will be available for Friends+ to book from 13 August, but that would be a day after normal booking opens for this class of member, which is not supposed to be the case. I queried this with the Box Office today and had the following speedy and helpful reply:

 
"The packages will be indeed available on the same day as booking, on the 12 August . 
We will pass the message to the IT department to correct the message online". 
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2 hours ago, Geoff said:

 

Yes! And nice to see some ballet casting printed in the magazine (how long has it been since this was last the case?) However this may have meant them producing it in something of a rush, as there are a couple of potentially confusing omissions:

 

p.66 - Romeo & Juliet - the last column should I assume be headed "January" (so that it begins with Osipova/Clarke dancing on January 10 and so on)

 

p.71 - Giselle - similarly the middle column should be headed "November" (so starting with Osipova/Clarke on November 4)

 

It is easy enough to work out what is meant (and to crosscheck online) but just a warning for people in a hurry. 

 

They haven't actually omitted the months.  They've just put them in a potentially confusing place.

 

All the entries in the Magazine are done in a similar way – i.e. the dates for each production are presented as a list of numbers followed by the month and the time. 

 

Eg The Dante Project is listed as 12, 15, 18, 20,21, 28 October at 7.30pm

16 October at 1pm and 7pm.

30 October at  11.30am. 

 

For Romeo and Juliet and Giselle, because the casting is listed after each date, the month appears after a lengthy list of dates and casts. This is made even more confusing by the fact that these productions span two or more months so that, for example, the Giselle listing for November 27 is simply followed by 1(Takada, Corrales) with the word 'December' not appearing till after the end of the listings for December.

 

I agree that they haven't thought this through properly.  More careful editing could have made the listings a lot clearer.

Edited by Bluebird
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I've never used packages before, and I don't quite understand what I can see at the moment about the total ballet Amphi package, which is supposed to offer a 10% discount. If I check the seats/prices for the seats I would normally aim to buy, I can see a potential discount of about 10% for R&J (£43 down to £38.75) as part of such a package, a discount of about 5% on Nutcracker, and no discount on Giselle or Dante Project for the same seats. Do packages vary as to which seats get included for which productions? Sorry if this info is on the website but my head is now spinning about all this. And if you have to book more expensive seats for some of the productions in order to make use of the package, it would just make it all more not less expensive! Or is the seating plan maybe not up to date yet?

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On 24/07/2021 at 19:39, jmhopton said:

Yes I  did wonder if the Mini and Family packages are too good to be true, especially in the current economic climate. 

I did ask Customer Services for package booking dates and was just now told that Friends (I'm assuming that's basic Friends) would be 13th Aug and public booking would be 19th August . Will have to wait and see.

I hadn't seen the page about Mini and Family packages when I emailed them. I think I'll reply and ask them.

 

Well I had my reply back from Customer Services and, surprise, surprise, the mini and family packages are old news. There are just the total and selected options available as already noted. I did reply back, politely saying perhaps it would be a good idea to remove this page as other people could find it and get confused.

 

I also asked if you wanted to book a complete ballet package but then find you couldn't attend one performance or any subsequent dates, what would happen? Would your package discount become obsolete or would you just get a voucher for the performance you couldn't attend? I was told you would get a gift voucher so your other performances would still be discounted so that might be helpful to know.

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I noticed last night that the ROH website has stated which Nutcracker performances will be for schools/children only since I last looked...Sat 4th Dec will be the Paul Hamlyn performance (Cuthbertson as SPF) and the Tuesday 7th Dec matinee will be for schools (so the general public miss Tierny Heap as SPF ☹️ )

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55 minutes ago, Rob S said:

the Tuesday 7th Dec matinee will be for schools (so the general public miss Tierny Heap as SPF ☹️ )

I find it infuriating when the ROH do that. I still haven't forgiven them for me not being able to see Melissa Hamilton in the last run of Manon.

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4 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

I find it infuriating when the ROH do that. I still haven't forgiven them for me not being able to see Melissa Hamilton in the last run of Manon.


I don’t think it’s the ROH who ‘do that’. Kevin O’Hare will have his own reasons for giving dancers a family or schools matinee. For example, there have been many occasions when a dancer new to a role has been cast in that way prior to an official debut.

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16 hours ago, capybara said:

I don’t think it’s the ROH who ‘do that’. Kevin O’Hare will have his own reasons for giving dancers a family or schools matinee. For example, there have been many occasions when a dancer new to a role has been cast in that way prior to an official debut.

I can understand a dancer new to a role doing their first performance at a schools matinee if they then do one or more public performances later in the run. I would not think that only being allowed a single performance on debut would be that helpful, as there's no opportunity to settle into a role after the inevitable debut nerves. Also, the example I gave wasn't a debut, as I understand Melissa Hamilton had performed Manon in previous runs, unfortunately for me before I started attending RB performances.

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I think that Melissa Hamilton is frequently underrated. She isn't suited to everything but who is? And when she is good she is very, very good... She was a fabulous Mary Vetsera a few years back to Rupert Pennefather's Rudolf.

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20 minutes ago, oncnp said:

Do we know whether any of the Insights will be streamed? I know they don't usually do the Conversation ones which is a pity as I'd love to see Francesca and Marcellino, but I'm hoping they will at least stream the Ashton one as I can't justify a London overnight stay to see it.

Possibly just answered my own question as I've just looked at the details for the Ashton Insight and it says camera filming so hurrah! Also didn't realise it was so long, over 2 hours with an interval. I'm impressed!

Talking of Ashton, I missed the London Ballet Circle interview with Iain Webb and his wife but apparently they said there is a possibility that Sarasota Ballet may visit the UK. Even just a possibility is something to hope for; let's hope if it happens they bring an Ashton programme!

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26 minutes ago, oncnp said:

 

Missed one 

 

Insights: The Royal Ballet in Rehearsal    https://www.roh.org.uk/tickets-and-events/insights-the-royal-ballet-in-rehearsal-details

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10 minutes ago, jmhopton said:

Do we know whether any of the Insights will be streamed? I know they don't usually do the Conversation ones which is a pity as I'd love to see Francesca and Marcellino, but I'm hoping they will at least stream the Ashton one as I can't justify a London overnight stay to see it.

 

It does say "camera filming" on the Ashton information page (but only on  that one) so perhaps they will stream it. 

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1 hour ago, jmhopton said:

Talking of Ashton, I missed the London Ballet Circle interview with Iain Webb and his wife

 

If you're an LBC member, I believe you can view the interviews on the website afterwards.  At least, I think so.

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10 hours ago, jmhopton said:

Talking of Ashton, I missed the London Ballet Circle interview with Iain Webb and his wife but apparently they said there is a possibility that Sarasota Ballet may visit the UK.

 

It was a real joy to hear them talking with Gerald Dowler. Just over an hour but it could have gone on all evening. Iain Webb referred to possible venues such as Sadlers Wells and the Linbury, but not to any current plans for a tour. It would obviously be a major undertaking. The LBC do put up the videos on the members' page a few months after the event, although for some reason most are currently unavailable.

 

Iain Webb and Margaret Barbieri mentioned that company dancers were enthusiastic about being introduced to Ashton, and really enjoyed dancing his ballets. By contrast they found that English dancers tended to approach him with some fear. Iain mentioned several rare Ashton ballets, eg Sinfonietta and Jazz Calendar - he wondered whether an American audience would "get" the references such as the dancers waving at the end which parodied the TV show Sunday Night at the London Pavilion, but they applauded before the end and lapped it all up whether they knew the reference or not. It was an interesting comment because I always thought he was quoting himself - from the ending of Capriol Suite. Perhaps he had both in mind - a similar spirit of camaraderie between dancers and audience. I would dearly love to see Jazz Calendar revived (and give Elite Syncopations a rest). It is so witty: it is enjoyable in itself but it's also a stream of quotations from his and others' works, as if everyone is welcome in this wacky world where the day of your birth shapes the quality of your movement. 

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I loved the talk with Iain and Margaret. It was wonderful to hear them speak about Ashton and their approach to Ashton's works in such a enthusiastic way. You could tell he was someone they really admired, and Margaret spoke about de Valois the same way. And I do hope in the future the Sarasota Ballet can get over to the UK, to, as someone (I can't recall who) said in the talk 'Bring Ashton home'. 
 

Back on topic, I hope they stream the Ashton insight, it would be a valuable experience for those of who can't get down to London 

Edited by MaddieRose
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4 hours ago, Rina said:

 

It was a real joy to hear them talking with Gerald Dowler. Just over an hour but it could have gone on all evening. Iain Webb referred to possible venues such as Sadlers Wells and the Linbury, but not to any current plans for a tour. It would obviously be a major undertaking. The LBC do put up the videos on the members' page a few months after the event, although for some reason most are currently unavailable.

 

 

We're so glad you enjoyed this, Rina. The LBC was zooming with Iain Webb and Margaret Barbieri in the middle of their working day in the USA, so we felt that we couldn't take up too much of their time.

 

The videos of LBC 'talks' are indeed posted for Members to view (if our guests agree) a while after the event. The recent 'disappearance' of most of them has resulted from the website platform we use introducing an involuntary 'upgrade' and we are working to restore matters.

 

By the way, a short news item is posted on the LBC website immediately after each event, with the written reports (also publicly available) going up as soon as our guests have approved them. https://www.tlbc.org.uk

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At an LBC meeting years ago Anthony Russell Roberts told the audience that there had been discussion about  reviving Jazz Calendar but it had been agreed that it was " too old fashioned" to appeal to modern audiences. I think this is a pretty meaningless statement which can safely be translated as, "We did not want to stage it and we think this is a plausible excuse for not doing so ". Sure, it's an episodic piece and it does seem to refer back to the beginning of Ashton's career because of its structure, but like Facade, Jazz Calendar is a highly enjoyable work and no previous knowledge of ballet is needed to be able to enjoy it. 

 

Perhaps the problem with both ballets, apart form the fact that we are currently going through a phase 

where dour earnestness is thought to be the way of proving that ballet is a serious art form, and they are comic works , is that their humour seems natural, completely unforced and not at all contrived. I am afraid I always feel that comedy did not come as easily or naturally to MacMillan as it did to Ashton. As a result Elite Syncopations' humour always seems constipated and contrived to me. The ability to see the funny side of things and turn that into something that is amusing in theatrical terms which bears repeat viewings is a rare gift, even rarer than the gift of apparent spontaneity.

 

While Elite Syncopations  was fun when performed by its original cast, even then it did not bear repeat viewings over a short space of time. At that time it had the distinct advantage of being performed by dancers for whom the comic ballet was familiar territory rather an alien one. Today Elite has the same effect on me as a comedian who is trying to get the audience to laugh and putting far too much effort into it. The result is that I am far more aware of the effort than I should be and the jokes barely register.  

 

A couple of years ago I went to the Derek Jarman retrospective at the National Film Theatre because it included the film of Jazz Calendar for which he had created the designs. I could see no reason why it would not appeal to audiences today if management could actually get the casting right. Beriosova as Wednesday's Child would be difficult to replace but I  think it would be Thursday's Child, in the form of Alexander Grant who ends his travels lying on his side going round in circles on the floor, after strap hanging and flying who would be hardest to replace. After selecting Paul Kay, who alone seems to have a taste and aptitude for such demi-character roles as Thursday's Child for the opening night, who would you allocate to the role in other casts? I recall that Friday's Child used to produce copious pools of sweat on the floor. It is difficult to imagine anyone who would fail to be amused by the fate that befalls the latecomer to the ballet class in Saturday's Child facing a ballet master who must be based on Michael Somes.

 

Now unlike the RB's management I have no fear of appearing frivolous. I think that Fille should at least be a biennial if not an annual feature of the company's repertory. At one time it was programmed that frequently and yet no one ever suggested that it was being done to death. It was something to be eagerly anticipated each year and it provided a simple answer to the question about which ballet to take a child to see as their first ballet. If I had the power to do so I would immediately restore Fille , Facade, A Wedding Bouquet and Jazz Calendar to the company's active repertory on the main stage and programme Capriol Suite in the Linbury. I would also revive The Prospect Before Us and let it run in as well as acquiring Tudor's Gala Performance for the company. I must admit I have never understand why management and critics in general are so dismissive of comic ballets.Comedy is so very difficult to do, let alone do so well that audiences relish revivals. Perhaps the staging of a wider range of repertory including a few successful comic works might encourage a few more choreographers to try their hand at comedy. I can always hope.

 

 

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Thank you FLOSS for such an interesting account of Jazz Calendar. I have only seen the black and white film. It seems to me that the "concept" behind the choice of the children's rhyme is a good one, and well suited to ballet treatment. It is episodic but unified by the designs and the jazz music. I know that David Vaughan didn't like it much but he concedes in his book that most critics and the general public loved it. It's also a good length (over 30 minutes) compared with Valses Nobles and Scenes de Ballet (both about 16 minutes).

 

Iain Webb was asked how he dealt with criticism that Ashton is old-fashioned and from memory both he and Margaret Barbieri just laughed and said in effect that such joyous works can never fade. One answer to Anthony Russell Roberts could be that fashions change and retro is in, as is Jarman's aesthetic. Couldn't we let the audiences decide whether they want works like it any more? It is full of real dancing, and as you suggest, the humour comes through the movements and doesn't rely on cute expressions. John Percival used to call Ashton "Ballet's Shakespeare" and it's his ability to combine the serious and the daft which makes him especially valuable today.

 

I quite agree that you don't need to know anything about ballet to enjoy Jazz Calendar. From the start when Monday's child makes the mime for "beautiful" and applies it to herself, however, the ballet lover knows that Ashton is having fun. He has gentle digs at Balanchine: he slyly parodies Apollo in Tuesday where they line up one behind the other with arms en couronne, and Serenade in Saturday with the latecomer in class; and several of his own ballets in the finale, eg the girl carried high up doing the splits has strayed in from Valses Nobles, and the men at the back are remembering their dance from the opening of Daphnis and Chloe. Perhaps the idea is that it's all a party and everyone's welcome to bring their dance.

 

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I very much agree with Floss and Rina's comments about Jazz Calendar. I saw this several times during its early performances and always enjoyed iy. Admittedly, a lot of the fun came from dancers who were well known to us doing what they were best at, or, saving the case of Beriosova,  what you wouldn't expect them to do. I think there's a lot of truth in the fact Thatcher seen to be going through a phase when ballet can't be fun, yet The Concert always produces much laughter and enjoyment. Maybe Ashton's more gentle fun and humour is just not appreciated, or thought not to be appreciated by 'those who know'. After events of the previous 18months or so I wonder how many audiences want a diet of ballets/plays etc showing how dreadful things are? 

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I have always loved Jazz Calendar and don't think today's audience would find it old-fashioned at all. They danced it one on my birthday and Frederick Ashton came onstage at the end, superb!

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1 hour ago, ninamargaret said:

I very much agree with Floss and Rina's comments about Jazz Calendar. I saw this several times during its early performances and always enjoyed iy. Admittedly, a lot of the fun came from dancers who were well known to us doing what they were best at, or, saving the case of Beriosova,  what you wouldn't expect them to do. I think there's a lot of truth in the fact Thatcher seen to be going through a phase when ballet can't be fun, yet The Concert always produces much laughter and enjoyment. Maybe Ashton's more gentle fun and humour is just not appreciated, or thought not to be appreciated by 'those who know'. After events of the previous 18months or so I wonder how many audiences want a diet of ballets/plays etc showing how dreadful things are? 

Not sure what Thatcher has to do with Jazz Calendar (suspect Typo!!!), but yes, this ballet's demise at Covent Garden really began in the 1980s. I think I am right saying that the only part of the ballet performed in that decade was Friday's Child, shown at a gala (Sibley and Bujones? Anyone remember?) And yes, it seems true that ballet can't be seen to be fun at the moment. The 'relevant' funding criteria looms like a gathering storm cloud. Woe betide the poor AD whose choices stray outside the perceived boundaries of beloved relevance!

 

Kevin O'Hare danced Friday's Child when BRB were newly installed in Birmingham in 1990 and the ballet made it to Covent Garden for 2 or 3 performances. That was 30 years and too long ago.

 

I think it's a wonderful piece, not in the same league as Ashton's masterpieces, but a less than masterpiece from Ashton is still more than worth it.

 

I would like to see the RB revive the whole ballet, but failing that, I think the Tuesday and Friday sections would work well in a divertissement/gala format of which we have seen so many recently and would provide real interest and novelty. 

 

I would also like to see many of the comic ballets mentioned by posters above. I have a sad feeling that we write these pleas in vain. 

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