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The Winter's Tale, Royal Ballet Spring '24


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It's the General Rehearsal tomorrow (which I'm going to and which means a day off work!) and the run starts Friday evening. Looking forward to it as I've never seen this live before.

 

Some pictures and rehearsal shots from the ROH's flickr:

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/royaloperahouse/albums/72177720316646846

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/royaloperahouse/albums/72177720316485901

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54 minutes ago, Suffolkgal said:

As only evening perfs are possible for me on this run … first time at cinema event!

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! I’ve enjoyed watching at the cinema. 

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I am really looking forward to seeing Lauren tonight in the role she created...and having Cesar back onstage again after his SL shows.

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I've managed finally to pick up a standing place for tonight, so am very much looking forward to it.  I suppose that will now rule me out of getting any offers directly from the ROH now, though, which is a shame.

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Am really looking forward to any reviews of this. As I think tonight’s cast is the same as one on 15th when I’m going. 

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So far this doesn't seem to be selling that well (and at those prices I am not surprised).  I assume that the offers will start at some point soon.  

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I looked the other day at bookings and was rather puzzled to see that the earlier performances haven’t sold well at all, whereas most of the later ones are sold out (or were when I looked a few days ago). That seems strange and there doesn’t appear to be any obvious correlation as regards casts.

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Nor am I, Sim.  Maybe a point worth raising with Kevin O'Hare at the Ballet Association in a couple of weeks' time?  I was looking at Gramilano's interview with him earlier and notice that he said: "Also, post-COVID people don't book as early. Before we would open our public booking and there would be like five tickets left. "

 

I can assure him that at least part of this isn't directly related to Covid, but to the sometimes exorbitant prices now charged. It's been a noticeable pattern for Amphitheatre tickets in particular to be much harder to shift, and I'm sure much of that is down to the prices.  

 

I'm just annoyed that, having had to actually buy a standing ticket last night, that will probably have excluded me from any future ticket offers (not that I've seen signs of any yet, anyway).

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4 minutes ago, Balletfanp said:

I looked the other day at bookings and was rather puzzled to see that the earlier performances haven’t sold well at all, whereas most of the later ones are sold out (or were when I looked a few days ago). That seems strange and there doesn’t appear to be any obvious correlation as regards casts.

 

The "Sold Out" may have been (yet another) website glitch. Abundant availability for all performances currently showing.  

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cast list for tonight:

 

3 MAY 2024

FRIDAY, 7.30PM
MAIN STAGE

GUIDANCE: Parental guidance recommended

Conducted by Koen Kessels
 
CAST
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Posted (edited)

@alison the higher prices are what put me off giving this a go. I’d be willing to pay those prices for a ballet I really want to see (something I’ve seen before and I know is good, or by Ashton/Balanchine where I like their choreography) but it’s not worth it at these prices for me. For non ballet regulars I think people are prepared to pay that money for the big tutu ballets, or a well known story like Romeo and Juliet, but not for this. 

 

To add that there’s also no matinee performances at all (apart from on a bank holiday Monday where rail travel is always a risk) so on top of the very high ticket prices I’d have to fork out for accommodation making it even more unaffordable. It’s a shame as all the casts look great, usually there’s one that I’d always gravitate to but here there’s 2, if not 3 that I would really struggle to pick between. 
 

I might try and catch the cinema relay instead! And will live vicariously through the performance by reading reports on here!

Edited by JNC
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Yes - I don't know about elsewhere, but in 'my' part of the Amphi WT tickets are more expensive than Swan Lake. I really don't understand the thinking behind that.

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42 minutes ago, alison said:

I'm just annoyed that, having had to actually buy a standing ticket last night, that will probably have excluded me from any future ticket offers (not that I've seen signs of any yet, anyway).


Not that the offers ever extend to the reasonably priced tickets anyway. If any prices apart from standing and upper slips can be considered reasonable for this production. 

 

2 minutes ago, bridiem said:

Yes - I don't know about elsewhere, but in 'my' part of the Amphi WT tickets are more expensive than Swan Lake. I really don't understand the thinking behind that.


Wholly illogical, isn’t it, but totally in keeping with the much-trumpeted move towards West End pricing for everything. 

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I too found that several areas on different levels which I would normally book were more expensive for The Winter's Tale than for Swan Lake and Nutcracker, which doesn't make sense, and is now reflected in low ticket sales throughout the run so far. 

 

Such a shame that so few will be attending when Winter's Tale is actually Wheeldon's most acclaimed and multiply awarded ballet and his second most popular export (staged by other ballet companies) after Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

 

There's absence making the heart grow fonder and then there is pricing it out of reach for your target audiences. I only booked half the number of casts I was intending to see. 

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12 minutes ago, Emeralds said:

There's absence making the heart grow fonder and then there is pricing it out of reach for your target audiences. I only booked half the number of casts I was intending to see. 

 

I would have to think very seriously about attending if I wasn’t able to stand. 

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7 minutes ago, Emeralds said:

Such a shame that so few will be attending when Winter's Tale is actually Wheeldon's most acclaimed and multiply awarded ballet and his second most popular export (staged by other ballet companies) after Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

 

Is it? I don't know much about it at all except from watching random clips on YouTube - which I found very enticing, the music is beautiful. I've booked for tonight's cast and one other - would probably have booked more if not for the expense!

 

Yesterday I watched the nice long rehearsal video from the 2018 run on ROH's YouTube which featured Fumi and Akane. Akane is absolutely beautiful in that video - she literally floats through the choreography! I'm sad that she isn't performing in this run but hope to see her back soon.

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2 minutes ago, Scheherezade said:

 

 

I would have to think very seriously about attending if I wasn’t able to stand. 

Might be some discounts coming, Scheherezade- in fact I really hope the sales team are planning to send out discount emails to all Friends and to anyone who's booked ballets this season, as some performances look like they are on the way to taking place in a sparsely filled auditorium. Really unbelievable, as I thought Winter's Tale was a masterpiece the first time I saw it (and it is). 

 

No point them hoping that ten £140 seats sold in one section will make up for 60 unsold seats behind them, when £15 off the top price, £10 off the medium price and £5 off the low price seats will encourage the tickets to sell quickly. One section I've sat in is double what they charged for the MacMillan and Ashton triple bills and higher than some operas.

 

The second performance currently has over 300 tickets still unsold and the third has over 500 tickets still unsold...and these two performances have five principal dancers in the cast! The box office team will need to take action very soon.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, art_enthusiast said:

 

Is it? I don't know much about it at all except from watching random clips on YouTube - which I found very enticing, the music is beautiful. I've booked for tonight's cast and one other - would probably have booked more if not for the expense!

 

Yesterday I watched the nice long rehearsal video from the 2018 run on ROH's YouTube which featured Fumi and Akane. Akane is absolutely beautiful in that video - she literally floats through the choreography! I'm sad that she isn't performing in this run but hope to see her back soon.

Yes, it is- I've counted. It hasn't been staged at ROH for some time, and the pandemic of course makes the gaps bigger because of the time periods when performances weren't even allowed.

 

It was a big hit in Toronto and Moscow, it was shown on tv, and lots of principal dancers abroad post pictures of themselves proudly when cast in the lead roles - they really feel it is on a par with dancing Romeo or Giselle or Manon. I actually like it more than Alice's Adventures in Wonderland although that too is a masterpiece in a different way. It has emotion, human dilemmas eloquently articulated, a beautiful divertissement, and great acting roles for supporting as well as lead characters.

 

It is worth catching it in person if you can find a date that avoids the transport strikes. There are some affordable/reasonable tickets in lower slips and some parts of the side and rear Amphitheatre- unfortunately much of the lower levels are overpriced. And ROH need to show more clips of it on social media to encourage sales instead of posts about the shop products or murdering soft toys (the soft toy murder opera is actually virtually sold out so it wasn't even necessary to post about it in the first place). 

Edited by Emeralds
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1 hour ago, bridiem said:

Yes - I don't know about elsewhere, but in 'my' part of the Amphi WT tickets are more expensive than Swan Lake. I really don't understand the thinking behind that.

 

That is absolutely baffling. The seats in my usual area are fortunately "only" £49 for Winter's Tale vs £75 for Swan Lake. I cannot understand why relative seat prices vary so much between productions. Surely it would make far more sense if they set a top price for each production & then every other price band was a percentage of that top price?

 

If there are any discounts then add me to the list of people who are really hoping they'll be sent to those of us who have already booked for some performances. I'm hoping to see all 4 casts & it would be really nice to be able to afford at least one unrestricted viewing, which at current prices I certainly can't.

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I’m not surprised this hasn’t sold well and IMO it’s not just a question of being over priced. Yes the staging is spectacular and the story is well told but ultimately there’s something emotionally uninvolving about the clunky pdd and way too much tiresome peasant frolicking in Act 2 - it just doesn’t make for multiple viewings. 

So far I only bought a single ticket this run in the hope that Cesar Corrales can transform the ballet with his marvellous  charisma just as he did in Like Water for Chocolate. 

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So excited for everyone who's seeing all these luxury "new casts".

 

I remember spending a wonderful long weekend in Brisbane in 2017, where I was privileged to luxuriate in casts involving Bennet Gartside and Marianela Nuñez (they did it with their eyes, twice in one day!) with Ryoichi Hirano/Laura Morera/Vadim Muntagirov/Beatriz Stix-Brunell in one show and IIRC Federico Bonelli/Itziar Mendizabal/James Hay/Francesca Hayward, Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson with Bonelli/Zenaida Yanowsky/Steven McRae/Hayward/Valentino Zucchetti/Stix-Brunell, and Hirano and Claire Calvert as a rushed-together pairing after Thiago Soares was injured.

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I know discussion of rehearsals isn't allowed but may I ask anyone who has just been to today's rehearsal if the 2 hours 45 minutes running time on the cast sheet proved to be fairly accurate?

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1 hour ago, annamk said:

I’m not surprised this hasn’t sold well and IMO it’s not just a question of being over priced. Yes the staging is spectacular and the story is well told but ultimately there’s something emotionally uninvolving about the clunky pdd and way too much tiresome peasant frolicking in Act 2 - it just doesn’t make for multiple viewings. 

So far I only bought a single ticket this run in the hope that Cesar Corrales can transform the ballet with his marvellous  charisma just as he did in Like Water for Chocolate. 


I think you have hit the nail on the head in your assessment of what’s wrong with this ballet. It is not emotionally involving which, given the hard-hitting emotional content of the storyline, and dramatic skills of the RB dancers, should not be the case. Or perhaps, put simply, too much emoting and insufficient emotion. 


I’m with you on the frolicking too, and am also hoping that Corrales can bring this story to life. This evening will tell. 

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37 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

I know discussion of rehearsals isn't allowed but may I ask anyone who has just been to today's rehearsal if the 2 hours 45 minutes running time on the cast sheet proved to be fairly accurate?

Pretty accurate although by the time all the curtains are done I’d allow 3 hours. 

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1 hour ago, RobR said:

Pretty accurate although by the time all the curtains are done I’d allow 3 hours. 

 

Thanks. I was hoping for the 2h45 to include the curtain calls but I suppose as long as it doesn't go over the 3 hour mark I'll be okay for the train. (Are there any repertory ballets other than Giselle & Nutcracker that run significantly under 3 hours?!)

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