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Russian Seasons, London Coliseum, July 2014


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Les Saisons Russes du XX1 Siecle London Coliseum July 2014

The Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES

Prog. 1:  THE GOLDEN COCKEREL or LE COQ D’OR
July 8th, 9th, 10th at 7.30pm

Prog. 2:   PETRUSHKA, CHOPINIANA, POLOVTSIAN DANCES
July 11th AT 7.30pm; July 12th at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Prog. 3:  CHOPINIANA, DIAGHILEV GALA
July 13th at 3pm only

Prog. 4:  SWAN LAKE
July 15th to 19th at 7.30pm; Matinees: July 17th and 19th at 2.30pm

Book Tickets: http://www.eno.org

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Thank you Amelia, as it was said on the other topic (KoD) that Vasiliev might be in London again in July, do you think he might be appearing in one of these performances? Just speculating! Has anybody seen the Golden cockerel?

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I *couldn't* forget Prince Igor, purely on the basis that I had no idea it was on until I spotted it online earlier this week.  The usual lack of Coliseum marketing, I suspect.  When's it on?  Probably clashes with events at the Barbican, I shouldn't wonder.

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Prince Igor starts this coming Tuesday:

http://www.eno.org/whats-on/other/prince-igor

Performed in two acts. Running time three hours and 10 minutes with one interval. Surtitled in English.

 

Thank you Amelia, as it was said on the other topic (KoD) that Vasiliev might be in London again in July, do you think he might be appearing in one of these performances? Just speculating! Has anybody seen the Golden cockerel?

I have no idea, Shade. Last week he has withdrawn from 'La fille' at Mikhailovsky. Luckily, we could see him a week before at Coliseum.

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  • 1 month later...

Booking is now open for the Russian Seasons triple bill of Petruschka, Les Sylphides and Polovtsian Dances at the London Coliseum, it follows Le Coq d'Or and is on for Friday 11th July and Saturday 12th matinee and evening. The next week Swan Lake is on from Tuesday 15th to Saturday 19th July, with "international guest artists", there is also mention of the Gala but no date or booking yet.

 

The Balcony is open for all performances.

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  • 1 month later...
Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Le Coq D’or, or The Golden Cockerel, is based on Alexander Pushkin’s fairytale and is usually performed as an opera. But what we are going to see this week is a reconstruction of the production created in 1914 for the Diaghilev’s Russian Seasons, which is a combination of opera and ballet: the singers are standing downstage and the dancers behind them are translating the story ‘told’ by the singers into dance.

The original choreography was by Mikhail Fokine and design by Natalya Goncharova.

 

There is a brief description of this production on the Coliseum’s website:


 

If you want to read about Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera, there is a lot of information here:

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Just had a look at the ENO website, ticket sales for all these performances seem shockingly poor. Why? It looks rather interesting. 

 

To begin with ENO offer a truly shocking service (marketing and otherwise) to ANYONE (including ENB) who rent their facilities.  In this regard, their partial withdrawal of ACE funding was more than justified.  Just look at their website ... and see how many pages you have to actually go through to get to THIS WEEK's performances.  I'm not surprised in the slightest that ticket sales for the Russian Seasons programme have been a tad more than sluggish.  I'm amazed somehow that they actually chose to return knowing as they must what the circumstances are in the Coli's regard. 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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I believe that there have been changes at the top of ENO recently but little seems to have changed on the marketing side. Personally, I wonder whether it would be better if the Coliseum ie the building were run by someone other than ENO who would then rent it for its own operatic performances along with all the other 'visiting' companies. I don't know who it could be though. It would be best if it were a not-for-profit organisation along the lines of Sadler's Wells. I think that ENO had to move to a different business model but I am worried that the proposed West End productions may squeeze out a lot of the dance companies, particularly ENB who need the Coliseum for Nutcracker and the traditional classics.

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I have too. I just can't understand why the Coliseum doesn't put together a dance brochure for the season and e-mail it to everyone who has previously booked for a performance online (which I'm guessing is most people). That's what Sadler's Wells do and they also send out paper season brochures. In general, I feel that the Coliseum is not well run compared with the ROH and Sadler's Wells. The staff aren't as professional and the building has a slightly neglected air about it. Carpets are not always freshly vacuumed and lavatories are not always supplied with soap, hand towels etc. I just get the impression that nobody really takes (as opposed to has) overall responsibility for the building and customer services. Little touches (eg fresh flowers or well tended plants) can make a tremendous difference to a place especially one that people are going to for a special treat. The ROH understands this and tries to make all aspects of the 'customer experience' top class whereas you just don't come away with the same feeling at the Coliseum. Last Christmas, Penhaligons decorated a large Christmas tree with large bows and pointe shoes and this was such a welcoming sight when you entered the foyer of the Coliseum. Lots of people were admiring the tree and having their pictures taken next to it and it created a bit of a buzz. Usually, the foyer is rather drab and there's no clear policy on whether the doors are supposed to be open or shut.

 

Something else: what is the rational for the booking fee (very expensive for a £10 or £15 ticket) when the companies are paying top whack for the hire of the theatre? It's interesting to see mention of the thorny issue of booking fees in the ACE report - and the poor service which the companies get from some of the theatres. These theatres need to realise that without the visiting companies (and other performers) the theatres would close and their lacklustre staff would be out of a job.

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When theatres started introducing per-ticket booking fees there were a lot of queries.  The usual excuse seems to be that the theatre and the visiting company share the take of ticket money.  The theatres need to be kept in good order so the booking fee is usually said to be a "restoration fee" that is kept entirely by the theatre.  Of course, when the point is put that the fee should be included in the price, it is pointed out that the overall ticket price would be even more because the theatre would be sharing with the company!

 

The Lowry brochure shows an overall ticket price but says includes a £2 booking fee.  It is a very pleasant surprise when you book in person and find the tickets are £2 cheaper!!

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Do the theatre and the company share the proceeds from the ticket sales? I thought that the companies rented the theatres and kept all the proceeds from the ticket sales. If they share the ticket sales then why don't the theatres market the performances better? I assumed that the booking fee was another way of the theatre profiting from the visiting companies.

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I think it depends on the contract between the theatre and the company but in many instances they share.  Sometimes the company get  guarantee from the theatre that they will not lose money but that is subject to negotiation and I bet those guarantees are few and far between these days.

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I just can't understand why the Coliseum doesn't put together a dance brochure for the season and e-mail it to everyone who has previously booked for a performance online ...

Every time when buying my tickets for performances by visiting companies and not seeing any advertising material I ask the box office people why the tour is not properly promoted and their reply is always the same: the impresario or the company itself are delaying it.

Perhaps I will dare tomorrow to ask Andris Liepa about it.

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Back in early June DanceTabs ran an interview,:by Graham Watts, about this season:

Andris Liepa and Georgy Isaakyan – Bringing Diaghilev Back: Recreating the Russian Seasons

 

There is a lot of info about Le Coq d’Or, which Graham saw in Moscow earlier in the year.

If you are wondering, Isaakyan is the AD of the Natalia Sats Moscow State Opera and Ballet Theatre company - they providing the dancers for the season.

I gather that the Swan Lake part of the season is cancelled, though have not seen that announced officially. The Coliseum site certainly shows those nights as dark at the moment.

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Interesting replies to my query about the ticket sales at The Coliseum. Many thanks. I gather there are special offers for tickets now, but rather like Janet's email, too little too late. Still a few days to go, but on current form, the auditorium is going to be a lonely place on Saturday night. The stalls are practically empty for a start. How soul destroying for the performers. From what Bruce Wall has said, I am also amazed that they chose to return to this venue, knowing what the set up is like with marketing and so on. 

It must be hard enough to fill a venue that size at the best of times, although someone like Carlos Acosta seems to do it. Is there a difference in the way he is marketed or is it simply the power of his name? 

I don't know much, indeed anything about how these things work, but how many visits can a company like this make to a - for them - poor selling venue, before they go elsewhere. I wouldn't keep going back to somewhere I got poor service if there were alternatives.

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I think, as I have probably said before, with Carlos Acosta it is his name.  He has appeared at The Lowry twice (as part of the Manchester International Festival) with mixed programmes that would not normally sell and has sold out 3 performances both times.

 

We do not know what other backing that the Russian Seasons people have that may make a loss worth the kudos of appearing at such an emminent venue in central London.

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The Coliseum is the only large theatre in London for hire and this has allowed it to get away with very poor service to the visiting companies. I don't know whether the stage at the Wells is too small, or perceived to be too small, for large productions or whether visiting companies want a more central venue but I really feel that most of these companies would be better off going to the Wells. However, I don't know the economics. Perhaps a half full Coliseum is more profitable than a full Wells, but it all depends on ticket prices and how much discounting they have to do. Carlos Acosta is the most famous dancer in the UK and he can fill any theatre with anything. His shows always seem to sell out. I don't think that there is another single dancer in the UK who can fill a theatre. Vasiliev did not manage it for Kings of the Dance. Perhaps he will when he is dancing with Osipova.

 

Returning to Russian Seasons, when people are deciding how to spend their money most are going to go for the well known Bolshoi or Mariinsky over the unknown and ambiguously named Russian Seasons. Apart from anything else, it's never very clear who the performers are; all the publicity focuses on the producer and the (generally reconstucted) ballets. This year it seems to be a Moscow based company which is performing. 

Edited by aileen
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