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Press Release: The Royal Ballet SPRING SEASON 2013 – MARCH - JUNE

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The Royal Ballet SPRING SEASON 2013 – MARCH - JUNE





Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Christopher Wheeldon


Conductor: David Briskin


15, 19, 21, 25, 27, 28†* March, 2, 11 April at 7.30pm / 23 March, 6 April at 12.30pm / 13 April at 7pm


Please note, cameras will be filming in the auditorium.

*Cinema live relay



In March, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is revived at Covent Garden for the third time in as many years, cementing it firmly in The Royal Ballet’s repertory. The first new full length ballet to be performed by the Company since 1995, Christopher Wheeldon’s spectacular production contains a menagerie of colourful characters including an anxious White Rabbit, a terrifyingly intimidating Red Queen, a tap-dancing Mad Hatter and a diabolical Duchess. Set to Joby Talbot’s lively and evocative score, the audience are taken on Alice’s bizarre journey through Wonderland, as she sails across a lake of tears, attends a deranged tea party and watches a croquet game played with flamingos and hedgehogs. Bob Crowley’s quirkily inventive designs, including the famously grinning Cheshire Cat and an exotic Caterpillar draw on puppetry and projections to bring to life the colourful world waiting at the bottom of the rabbit hole.


At the heart of the ballet is Wheeldon’s fluent and compelling choreography, with moments of tender pas de deux created for Alice and Jack, the gardener’s boy who later becomes her Knave of Hearts. In the final act, the imperious Queen of Hearts steals the show with a hilarious ‘Tart Adage’, a send up of the classic Rose Adagio that keen ballet-goers will recognise from The Sleeping Beauty.


This Season, for the first time ever, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will be broadcast live on 28th March from the stage at Covent Garden to cinemas across the United Kingdom and internationally, allowing the widest audience yet to enjoy the spectacle of this brilliantly realised ballet.


Choreography Christopher Wheeldon

Music Joby Talbot

Orchestrated by Christopher Austin and Joby Talbot

Designs Bob Crowley

Scenario Nicholas Wright

Lighting design Natasha Katz

Projection design John Driscoll and Gemma Carrington


Orchestra of the Royal Opera House





15 / 28 March / 13 April
Cuthbertson, Bonelli, Watson, Yanowsky, McRae

19 / 23 March / 2 April
Lamb, McRae, Cervera, Morera, Campbell

21 March
Cuthbertson, Bonelli, Cervera, Yanowsky, McRae

25 March / 6 / 11 April
Stix-Brunell, Pennefather, Maloney*, Mendizabal, tbc

27 March
Lamb, McRae, Watson, Morera, Campbell



* Role debut



La Bayadère

Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa


Conductor: Valeriy Ovsyanikov


5, 9, 12 April, 1, 2, 13, 14, 22 May at 7.30pm / 20, 27 April at 12.30pm / 6 May at 1.30pm and 7.30pm


Generously supported by the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund

Generous philanthropic support from Lady Jarvis


First created for American Ballet Theater in 1980, Natalia Makarova’s staging of
La Bayad
is a jewel in The Royal Ballet’s repertory. Nineteenth Century Royal India provides the setting for the intense themes of love, murder and vengeance portrayed through the ballet, and exquisite set and costume designs from Pier Luigi Samaritani and Yolanda Sonnabend bring the exoticism of the Eastern world alive on stage.


La Bayad
tells the story of the temple dancer Nikiya and noble warrior Solar who have secretly sworn one another eternal love, but their happiness is threatened by the High Brahmin’s desire for Nikiya, and the envy of Gamzatti, the Rajah’s daughter, whose beauty overwhelms Solar when they meet. The expressive score by Ludwig Minkus complements powerful choreographic moments for the opposing roles of the beautiful Nikiya, and her jealous and commanding rival Gamzatti. In addition to such virtuoso solo pieces,
La Bayad
also contains the renowned Kingdom of the Shades scene, where through an opium haze Solar sees a hypnotic and seemingly never-ending procession of images of Nikiya.


This Season sees important debuts in
La Bayad
with Principal dancers Nehemiah Kish and Steven McRae both dancing the role of Solar for the first time. The Royal Ballet are also pleased to welcome Guest Principal Dancer Matthew Golding of Dutch National Ballet, who will also make his debut at Covent Garden in the role of Solar. First Soloists Yuhui Choe and Itziar Mendizabal, and Soloist Claire Calvert will also dance the role of Gamzatti for the first time.




Natalia Makarova
Marius Petipa


Ludwig Minkus
orchestrated by
John Lanchbery

Production conceived and
Natalia Makarova

directed by

Set designs
Pier Luigi Samaritani

Costume designs
Yolanda Sonnabend

Lighting design
John B. Read

Revival staging
Olga Evreinoff


All April / 13 / 14 / 22 May
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

1 / 2 / 6 mat and eve May
Royal Ballet Sinfonia



5 / 20 April
Cojocaru, Bonelli, Nuñez

9 / 27 April
Cuthbertson, Kish*, Choe*

12 April / 6 eve May
Marquez, McRae*, Morera

1 / 13 May
Yanowsky, Golding*, Mendizabal*

2/ 6 mat May
Lamb, Soares, Calvert*

14 / 22 May
Nuñez, Acosta, Kobayashi

* Role debut





Kenneth MacMillan


Conductor: Martin Yates


19, 25, 30 April, 30 May, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13* June at 7.30pm / 3 May at 12.30pm / 1 June at 1.30pm and 7pm / 15 June at 7pm


Please note, cameras will be filming in the auditorium.

* BP Big Screen


Generous philanthropic support from Lady Ashcroft, Celia Blakey, John and Susan Burns and Gail and Gerald Ronson through the Gerald Ronson Foundation


Described by many as Kenneth MacMillan’s late masterpiece, Mayerling was created for The Royal Ballet in 1978. This compelling three act ballet is based on real-life events that took place at the end of the 19th Century in Vienna which culminated in the supposed suicide pact between Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria and his teenage mistress Mary Vetsera. This intensely dark, dramatic work has become increasingly popular with audiences and the violent and troubled Crown Prince, a pivotal figure throughout the ballet, is one of the most physically demanding and emotionally complex roles for a male dancer.


Brutal and sadistic, Prince Rudolf’s psychological decline can be charted through a series of electrifying pas de deux with his mother the Empress Elizabeth, his unhappy wife Princess Stephanie and with his neurotic young mistress Mary. Emotionally charged and pushing the boundaries of classical choreography, in these duets the women in his life are confronted with his dangerous desires.


Franz Liszt’s dramatic score, orchestrated by John Lanchbery, provides faultless accompaniment to the ballet, from the pomp and formality of the grand ballroom of the Hofburg Palace, to the high passion of the intimate hunting lodge where the final shocking drama unfurls. Similarly, Vienna of the late 1800’s is perfectly evoked through the sumptuous designs of Nicholas Georgiadis, bringing to life the opulent high society surroundings of the Austro-Hungarian court.


This Season, Principal dancer Lauren Cuthbertson makes a significant debut in the lead role of Mary Vetsera, whilst First Soloists Hikaru Kobayashi and Itziar Mendizabal dance the role of Marie Larische.


The Royal Ballet’s performance of Mayerling on 13th June will be broadcast live to sites across the United Kingdom, as part of the BP Big Screen Season.





Kenneth MacMillan

Franz Liszt
arranged and orchestrated by
John Lanchbery

Nicholas Georgiadis

Gillian Freeman

Lighting design
John B. Read

Grant Coyle
Monica Mason


Orchestra of the Royal Opera House


19 April
Watson, Galeazzi, Lamb, Hayward*, Yanowsky

25 / 30 April / 5 June
Kobborg, Cojocaru, Kobayashi*, Maguire, McNally

3 May / 10 June
Pennefather, Hamilton, Mendizabal*, Harrod, Bhavnani

30 May / 6 / 15 June
Acosta, Benjamin, Morera, Hinkis*, Yanowsky

1 mat / 12 June
Soares, Cuthbertson*, Nuñez, Choe*, Chapman

1 eve / 13 June
Watson, Galeazzi, Lamb, Hayward, Arestis

* Role debut

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