Jump to content

English National Ballet: Raymonda tour 2022 (Bristol, Southampton)


Recommended Posts

Looking forward to members’ reviews of ENB’s newish full length production of Raymonda by Tamara Rojo which premiered this January and tours to Bristol and Southampton, beginning tomorrow night.

 

NB Erina Takahashi is no longer dancing Raymonda at the Thursday 24 Nov matinee and Saturday 26 Nov evening performance. Raymonda will be danced by soloist Julia Conway, who had been a memorable Henriette in the January run (a shortened and delayed run due to Omicron variant Covid sweeping the casts and crews of theatres and concert halls nationwide).

 

Lorenzo Trossello and Daniel McCormick are still scheduled to dance John (Trossello’s debut in the role) and Abdur respectively at the Thursday matinee and Saturday evening show. (I can attest that McCormick is excellent as Abdur!) Takahashi is still (currently) listed to dance Raymonda in Southampton next week. Toi toi toi to all! 

Edited by Emeralds
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope someone is going tonight who can report on it 🙂.....I really wish I were going, but I have the joys of a Zoom meeting to attend instead! Tonight’s cast: Fernanda Oliveira, Francisco Gabriele Frola, Erik Woolhouse. Lucky Bristol audience!  

 

Re: Nutcracker (and Swan Lake) casting, they could do provisional casting of Clara & Nephew though. After all, the Royal Ballet confirmed their Nutcracker casting months ago, as well as their Sleeping Beauty casting for Jan & Feb.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bristol tonight … Eric Woolhouse was on fire 🔥.   He grabbed everyone’s attention as soon as he walked on. (Ok … I can’t attest for everyone .. my party of 4 were all hugely impressed).  He was both sexy and dead keen on Raymonda and also polite and understanding of her situation.   A masterpiece of a role and portrayal. 
 

FG Frola had kicked off the show with exciting leaps and beautiful technique … “huge airtime”.  But was soon overpowered by Eric’s charisma and leaps.  Extraordinary.  Has to be seen.  
 

I realise the John de Bryan role in this version is a nondescript character, but FG Frola did nothing with it emotionally, even in the wedding scene when he’d won Raymonda he hardly smiled.  You’d think he’d be happy on his wedding day.  That was disappointing.  His technique was super.  But it’s not enough for me. 
 

Fernanda Oliveira’s Raymonda was an internalised character struggling with her life decisions.  It worked quite well I thought..  She does have such reliable technique and beautiful feet in pointe shoes.  Beautifully executed.

 

I felt Francesca Velicu needed more sass for Henriette, but was otherwise a fun flirty friend.  I find the Sister Clemence role annoying and interfering, so it’s hard for me to appreciate the dancer in it.  Precious Adams did a decent job, and was especially lyrical leading the trio in the final act.  

 

Super foursome in the male pas de quatre … Henry Dowden, Ken Saruhashi, Sabiel McCormick, Matthew Ashley.  They nailed it! 
 


 

 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh and annoyingly Bristol Hippodrome staff stopped one of my party from taking photos of the end of show curtain calls.  They claim this is a directive from ENB, which I cannot believe.  Curtain call photos are allowed at ENB shows at Sadlers Wells and London Coliseum.  I’ve messaged ENB staff to get them to clarify why, or to correct the instruction to the venue.  
 

Tamara Rojo was at the show … she left saying it really was her final show. 

Edited by FionaE
Clarify
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, FionaE said:

Bristol tonight … Eric Woolhouse was on fire 🔥.   He grabbed everyone’s attention as soon as he walked on. (Ok … I can’t attest for everyone .. my party of 4 were all hugely impressed).  He was both sexy and dead keen on Raymonda and also polite and understanding of her situation.   A masterpiece of a role and portrayal. 
 

FG Frola had kicked off the show with exciting leaps and beautiful technique … “huge airtime”.  But was soon overpowered by Eric’s charisma and leaps.  Extraordinary.  Has to be seen.  
 

I realise the John de Bryan role in this version is a nondescript character, but FG Frola did nothing with it emotionally, even in the wedding scene when he’d won Raymonda he hardly smiled.  You’d think he’d be happy on his wedding day.  That was disappointing.  His technique was super.  But it’s not enough for me. 
 

Fernanda Oliveira’s Raymonda was an internalised character struggling with her life decisions.  It worked quite well I thought..  She does have such reliable technique and beautiful feet in pointe shoes.  Beautifully executed.

 

I felt Francesca Velicu needed more sass for Henriette, but was otherwise a fun flirty friend.  I find the Sister Clemence role annoying and interfering, so it’s hard for me to appreciate the dancer in it.  Precious Adams did a decent job, and was especially lyrical leading the trio in the final act.  

 

Super foursome in the male pas de quatre … Henry Dowden, Ken Saruhashi, Sabiel McCormick, Matthew Ashley.  They nailed it! 
 


 

 

Thanks for the review, FionaE - so vividly described and having seen Woolhouse’s on fire and Frola’s huge airtime in other ballets, I almost feel like I was there after reading your account. And Fernanda does internalised struggle- but with beautiful feet and a reliable technique so well in many contemporary roles I’ve seen her in. I’d like a magic carpet (different show, haha) to whisk me off to Bristol to see this cast and whisk me back in an instant so that I can be in two places at once....lol. Well done trekking to Bristol for this! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, FionaE said:

Oh and annoyingly Bristol Hippodrome staff stopped one of my party from taking photos of the end of show curtain calls.  They claim this is a directive from ENB, which I cannot believe.  Curtain call photos are allowed at ENB shows at Sadlers Wells and London Coliseum.  I’ve messaged ENB staff to get them to clarify why, or to correct the instruction to the venue.  


ENB staff have replied …

 

“We have spoken with the venue team - this was as you suspected a misunderstanding whereby the team there were under the impression that the ban on filming and photography during the show extended to the curtain call. 

We've been in touch with them to clarify that for the curtain call specifically we're very happy for our audience members to take pictures and videos.”

 

Hooray .. that’s the second time this has happened to me recently … the other was Northern Ballet in Cardiff and Federico Bonelli himself sorted that for the second night.  

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 24/11/2022 at 12:20, FionaE said:

@Emeralds I live in Bristol 😉

Well that’s certainly a surprise- I thought you lived in/near London as you’ve made it to so many London productions. I’ll change my sentence to “well done trekking to the various London performances (and abroad)!” 

 

Also, thanks for contacting ENB to set the record straight (and likewise in Cardiff for Northern Ballet). I think if people wish to photograph or video the curtain calls at the end, it should certainly be allowed as it enables them to publicise and give credit to a good show with excellent artists. At English National Opera last month (before the Arts Council debacle) they actually projected a message where the surtitles had been:  “Please feel free to film the curtain call” 😀

 

I also remember typed notices from ENB when they performed Cinderella at the Royal Albert Hall in 2019, specifically asking people to switch off phones and alarms during the show and not to take photos or film during the dancing, but added that they were very welcome to take photographs or videos of the curtain calls at the end. (Could be a tad confusing as RAH actually has no curtain but the audiences understood what to do.)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went to Bristol Thursday afternoon to see  Raymonda for the first time, which I enjoyed.  Some great dancing, especially for the men though I found the Crimean war setting rather understated.  Where was the war? Two bandaged men at the side of the stage and the nurses uniforms completely pristine. It could have been anywhere.  Liked the dream scene with the ramp,  echoing Bayadere  though the men got let off lightly with the choreography, nowhere near as difficult as for the Bayadere women. The lamps were used very effectively too.  Was a bit disappointed that the really dramatic music in the second act (my favourite) that used to be danced by the villain is now a Spanish dance. Seems a bit wasted on it. Loved the sets and costumes and thought the quality of dancing very high. Interesting seeing Bristol, though the main centre is a little bit away from the hippodrome. Have given up the idea of going today.  It was getting too complicated on the bus, having to get Megabus there and National Express back, and only one of those.
 
 
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...