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Mayerling, Royal Ballet Autumn 2022


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I appreciate that there is a separate thread but as that just relates to seating, and as the run of Mayerling starts soon I thought I ought to start one.

 

First, some cast changes just announced - 

 

Please be aware that the following cast changes have been made:

WEDNESDAY 5 OCTOBER, 7.30PM:

Christina Arestis is replaced by Itziar Mendizabal as Empress Elisabeth.

FRIDAY 7 OCTOBER, 7.30PM:

Kristen McNally is replaced by Annette Buvoli as Empress Elisabeth.

Leticia Dias is replaced by Mayara Magri as Mitzi Caspar.

THURSDAY 8 OCTOBER, 7.30PM:

Christina Arestis is replaced by Itziar Mendizabal as Empress Elisabeth.

SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER, 1 PM:

Kristen McNally is replaced by Annette Buvoli as Empress Elisabeth.

Leticia Dias is replaced by Mayara Magri as Mitzi Caspar.

SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER, 7PM:

Christina Arestis is replaced by Itziar Mendizabal as Empress Elisabeth.

FRIDAY 21 OCTOBER, 7.30PM:

Lauren Cuthbertson is replaced by Yasmine Naghdi as Mary Vetsera.

Meaghan Grace Hinkis is replaced by Isabella Gasparini as Princess Stephanie.

FRIDAY 11 NOVEMBER, 7.30PM:

Lauren Cuthbertson is replaced by Yasmine Naghdi as Mary Vetsera.

Meaghan Grace Hinkis is replaced by Isabella Gasparini as Princess Stephanie.

 

 

Edited by MJW
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And secondly, some rehearsal pics -

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/royaloperahouse/albums/72177720302117272

 

Slightly strange timing, but I am booked for Mayerling on the 15th (matinee), the Friends Open Day on the following day, and then the rehearsal for Crystal Pite's new work on the Tuesday (three trips to London in four days!)

 

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Just now, Sim said:

Many thanks, Michael.  For those who haven't seen, there is discussion about some of the cast changes listed above on the RB Autumn/Winter 2022 Casting thread.

 

Thanks Sim.....and its Matthew (!)

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1 hour ago, MJW said:

 

I'm interested to see Mica Bradbury in 2 of those photos alongside Matthew Ball, although she's not on the cast list. As I don't know Mayerling very well, are there any minor female characters who don't appear on the cast list & have a scene with Rudolf like that pictured or may it be another, as yet unannounced, cast change?

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Thanks. I've only seen Mayerling once live & once at the cinema so haven't got to grips with the all numerous minor characters yet. Hopefully by the time I've seen the 5 performances I have booked for this run (if the train strikes let me get to them) & I will get a better grasp of the details of the piece.

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On 26/09/2022 at 20:12, Dawnstar said:

 

I'm interested to see Mica Bradbury in 2 of those photos alongside Matthew Ball, although she's not on the cast list. As I don't know Mayerling very well, are there any minor female characters who don't appear on the cast list & have a scene with Rudolf like that pictured or may it be another, as yet unannounced, cast change?

That’s Rudolf flirting with his stunned and unwilling sister-in-law Princess Louise (Stephanie’s sister) at the celebrations of his own wedding. It’s a very short pas de deux, but photographers like snapping that scene because the expressions on their faces are so dramatic.

 

My “theory” about the ballet is that although Rudolf has major pas de deux depicting dramatic or colourful relationships with five women (Marie Larisch, Empress Elisabeth, Princess Stephanie, Mitzi Caspar, Mary Vetsera) in the ballet, the real love of his life is the skull, which he dances with a lot. 😆😂 (He is indeed obsessed with death for much of the story).

Edited by Emeralds
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On 26/09/2022 at 21:42, alison said:

Can you get to see a recording of it first, Dawnstar?  It might clear up some of the confusion about the multitude of characters.

 

I don't recall being particularly confused about who was who when I saw it in 2018, I just can't remember who they all are 4 years later! So hopefully when I see it again I'll be okay. I doubt I'll get round to watching a recording beforehand as I'm not very keen on watching/listening to recordings prior to performances.

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There are wonderful pas de deux for so many ballerinas in this ballet.   I only wish the RB production had more defined / different costume choices for them to avoid confusion.   Stuttgart’s costumes for their new production were noticeably more effective.   

On distinguishing the ladies, I think about it this way:

- Mitzi Caspar is the brothel mistress  and only appears in that scene

- Princess Louise (sister of Princess Stephanie) only appears in the Wedding Scene to ‘set the scene’ of Rudolf wanting any woman he can get

- Princess Stephanie is his wife … poor girl, she gets a raw deal throughout

- the Empress (Rudolf’s mother) is usually distinguishable by being tall and aloof. (This can be confusing if one hasn’t registered her by the time Rudolf visits her in her chambers)

- which leaves us with his real lovers … Countess Larisch and Mary Vetsera.    
 

The Countess is his ex-lover and tries to rekindle their relationship but he’s not interested.  So she resorts to introducing him to others including the teenage Mary Vetsera.  The Countess clearly loves him throughout.


There are other female characters too, to add to the complexity … Rudolf’s own young sister appears with Mary Vetsera briefly, and there is Mary’s mother (usually cast as someone way too old to actually be her mother 🙈

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1 hour ago, FionaE said:

There are other female characters too, to add to the complexity … Rudolf’s own young sister appears with Mary Vetsera briefly, and there is Mary’s mother (usually cast as someone way too old to actually be her mother 🙈

 

Whereas Rudolf's mother is often confusingly young-looking for those not in the know.

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5 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

Whereas Rudolf's mother is often confusingly young-looking for those not in the know.

 
yes!   I can’t remember all the Empress casts  … I hope they do something with make up to age Annette Buvoli and Gina Storm-Jensen and others.  

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45 minutes ago, FionaE said:

 
yes!   I can’t remember all the Empress casts  … I hope they do something with make up to age Annette Buvoli and Gina Storm-Jensen and others.  

 

The role was created by Georgina Parkinson, when she was 40. Why is it given to such young dancers nowadays??

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2 hours ago, FionaE said:

- Princess Louise (sister of Princess Stephanie) only appears in the Wedding Scene to ‘set the scene’ of Rudolf wanting any woman he can get

 

Well, not "only", but it is her big scene.

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37 minutes ago, alison said:

 

Well, not "only", but it is her big scene.


true … she is in the royal party in other scenes but can be ignored from the storyline point of view.   Might as well not be there.  

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Well, Christina Arestis was originally cast as the Empress (now replaced, alas).

Where is Elizabeth McGorian these days? She is still listed as a Principal Character Artist. Maybe Mary’s Mum?

 

I had wondered whether Claire Calvert might dance the Empress in this run.

 

It’s a mystery to me why Marianela Nunez is no longer cast as Larisch but remains a Mitzi (a role which, at one point I believe, she said she would not dance again).

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There also seems to be a trend now of giving the role of Marie Larisch to a soloist or principal early in their career and giving them the role of Mary Vetsera some seasons later, which is rather baffling as they’re now older when they dance Vetsera who is a 17 year old teen. The choreography for Mary Vetsera is very athletic which does suit a younger dancer, and the acting for Larisch is more complex than that for Mary Vetsera, as Larisch can’t rely on a lot of props like the gun, skull and letter to convey her emotions, so I would have thought it suited an older dancer. 

 

I know some dancers are alternating both roles, and that MV is supposed to be the “star” role opposite Rudolf even though she arrives in the ballet quite late (like Florimund in Sleeping Beauty), but dancers taking on the role of MV are usually principals or first soloists, so not significantly “junior” to the dancer portraying Larisch. 

 

What with Rudolf’s mother being portrayed by dancers much younger than Rudolf and Larisch being portrayed by dancers younger than Mary Vetsera, I hope it’s not too confusing for people watching it for the first time!

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I agree that there are dancers in their 40s who still look very (amazingly!) young; but I do think it's much more unusual for a young dancer to be able to convincingly look a lot older (unless it's the kind of role where heavy make up can assist). e.g. I find it quite tricky when Giselle's mother looks the same age as (or sometimes younger than!) Giselle.

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1 hour ago, Jan McNulty said:

I've said it before and I'll say it again - one of the most convincing 14yo Juliets I have ever seen was Marion Tait at BRB in her final year performing as a principal when she was in her mid-late 40s.


AGREE!

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7 hours ago, Emeralds said:

There also seems to be a trend now of giving the role of Marie Larisch to a soloist or principal early in their career and giving them the role of Mary Vetsera some seasons later, which is rather baffling as they’re now older when they dance Vetsera who is a 17 year old teen. The choreography for Mary Vetsera is very athletic which does suit a younger dancer, and the acting for Larisch is more complex than that for Mary Vetsera, as Larisch can’t rely on a lot of props like the gun, skull and letter to convey her emotions, so I would have thought it suited an older dancer. 

 

I know some dancers are alternating both roles, and that MV is supposed to be the “star” role opposite Rudolf even though she arrives in the ballet quite late (like Florimund in Sleeping Beauty), but dancers taking on the role of MV are usually principals or first soloists, so not significantly “junior” to the dancer portraying Larisch. 

 

What with Rudolf’s mother being portrayed by dancers much younger than Rudolf and Larisch being portrayed by dancers younger than Mary Vetsera, I hope it’s not too confusing for people watching it for the first time!

Also, worth remembering that Larisch was created by Merle Park, a real virtuoso, or virtuosa, of a dancer, still dancing Giselle and Aurora at Mayerling’s premiere. Later, she did a few performances as Vetsera.

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