Jump to content

The Royal Ballet, Manon, Autumn 2014


Recommended Posts

The fact that Acosta and Osipova have been cast together so much does not necessarily make much sense in terms of box office receipts since Acosta has a solid fan base who will pay to see him in almost anything in which he appears. You might have thought that management, if it was their decision alone, would have cast Osipova with other dancers rather than him if only in order to boost box office receipts. I suspect that Acosta decides who he dances with and that the only reason that he is not dancing with her in Fille is because he has an established partnership with Nunez in that ballet. It will be interesting to see what casting looks like in the post Acosta era. 

 

While I would hope that money isn't the primary consideration driving casting decisions, I would agree that in terms of box office putting your two best eggs (from a public perception, at least) in the same basket doesn't make a lot of sense financially.  OTOH, I'm not sure how much of a draw Osipova by herself is at present: have the public forgotten about her?  Were they only attracted to her in partnership with Vasiliev?  I ask because I'm told there are still tickets available for her Don Quixote, of all things!  I expect the publicity machine to start coming to life with respect to her shortly.

 

On the other hand, though, for more long-term development (on the assumption that she is intending to stick around) I would have thought it made far more sense to start trying her out with in-house principals to see who clicks and who doesn't.  At the moment, I feel there are some opportunities going begging.  With virtually everything I've seen her in so far, I've wondered "I wonder how she would do with so-and-so in this?".

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 311
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Saw Manon for the first time in this run last night and what a wonderful one it was, glad others feel the same because I have never seen Des Grieux danced with such clarity, beauty of line, elegance, and something extra which I can't explain, (like seeing a painting which has been restored) as Vadim Muntagirov did, lovely gentle and secure partnering too! It certainly brought out the best in Sarah Lamb. she glowed throughout (I felt so sorry for Lauren Cuthbertson though if she was watching)  Also glad to see Valentino Zucchetti cope very well in a nasty role, and Yuhui Choe was new to me too as Lescaut's mistress, liked her.

 

I still find act 2 the weakest and become a bit bored, the music can be sluggish too in the new orchestration (but I like the new sad prelude to the gaoler scene), all these things were forgotten though as soon as soon as Vadim Muntagirov danced, lucky Sarah Lamb to get to dance with probably the best two Des Grieux in the Company at the moment!

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another one of those Burning Manon Questions which I have never seen answered in all this time: who are the two manservants who Manon gives her things to in the first scene, and why do they deserve a kiss on the cheek?  Every time I see it, it strikes me as odd.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... I'm not sure how much of a draw Osipova by herself is at present: have the public forgotten about her?  Were they only attracted to her in partnership with Vasiliev?  I ask because I'm told there are still tickets available for her Don Quixote, of all things!..

After meeting Osipova’s fans from France, USA, Italy and Russia at the ROH on the 7th of October I wouldn’t have worried now about her saleability. This is her second season with the company. There are more than 2 months left till her first Don Q. on 20 Dec. The number of tickets still available is: in the Stalls - 6; Stalls Circle - 2 , Grand Tier is sold out; Balcony - 5 and more in the Amphi. If we look at all other Don Qs (excl. those with Acosta), we can see hundreds of unsold tickets, For some dates: Stalls +100; Stalls Circle +100; Balcony +100, etc. So the tickets sale for Osipova shouldn’t cause much worry.

 

... With virtually everything I've seen her in so far, I've wondered "I wonder how she would do with so-and-so in this?

 

This wondering is not surprising because it is usually provoked by interesting artists, not by those who are predictable and dull. Whatever Osipova did so far she did in her own way and left her own mark on every role. I think Peter Wright summed her up better than anyone else:
“She is absolutely marvellous, she responses, she listens, and she makes classical ballet look completely natural.”
 
Edited for layout.
Edited by Amelia
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which is why I was surprised some people felt the performance with Osipova and Acosta was "flat" the other evening.

 

Even if it wasn't the best partnering on this occasion I would have thought it would have been pretty okay anyway.

 

However even though I'm not seeing Manon this time round..........and looks like I'm missing something given all the fab reviews of various artists ........I wouldn't have chosen Osipova this time ........much as I love her......I had been thinking about either the Francesca Hayward debut with Watson or the Vadim and Cuthbertson one( I can still only take one Manon in a season) So looks like either of these would have been great!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Royal Opera House YouTube channel has a short video with Laura Morera sharing her thoughts about Manon. I thought it was interesting that the younger dancers making their debuts seemed more focused on Manon's relationship with Des Grieux whereas the older ballerinas were looking more widely at the social and historical context. I thought Morera's comments were particularly insightful. I also love her pig statue! I do wonder why none of the still photos actually showed her dancing the role since she's done it before so there must be photos in existence. I also wonder which numpty labelled those photos with "Lauren Benjamin" dancing with Steven McRae.

 

Edited by Melody
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I cant say I was that impressed with Kish/ morera this afternoon, though I did enjoy Morera's mature, less sympathetic interpretation. I don't think she and Kish have any chemistry really. My view may have been clouded by how awesome last night was, but it felt a bit flat today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another one of those Burning Manon Questions which I have never seen answered in all this time: who are the two manservants who Manon gives her things to in the first scene, and why do they deserve a kiss on the cheek?  Every time I see it, it strikes me as odd.

Aren't they the footmen from her coach? I assume the kissing is just naïve politeness (it is France, after all).

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Colour me surprised. I expected to like Melissa Hamilton as Manon, and she delivered the goods beautifully. What I didn't expect was enjoying Golding's De Grieux as much as I did. He really got into the character, and once he's caught up with the drama his expressions liven up no end and it becomes easy as pie to enjoy his beautiful dancing. He and Hamilton had quite a bit of stage chemistry and the act 2&3 pdds were beautiful.

 

I loved the small touches that made the relationship look so natural in act 3. When the Gaoler started to inspect Manon, she hold holds on to De Grieux shirt in a plea for protection, when the rat catcher appear in the 'vision' scene, she nestles into De Grieux's shoulder for comfort.

 

The head-dive in act 2 turned out quite spectacular - Hamilton really threw herself into it and seemed to stop with her nose a couple of inches off the ground. I wasn't entirely sure whether that was planned or a bit of a miscalculation, but the result was pretty impressive.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can’t add anything to the discussion. I just want to say that I enjoy reading all those various views on Manon. How lucky the RB is to have six different couples for the leading roles and how happy you as an audience must be to see and compare them. It must be terrific to see all those gorgeous Manons and DGs!

 

As much as I wish to see a Manon here, I sadly can’t imagine the Berliner Staatsballett in it…!

 

(Do I sound  “just a tiny little bit” envious…? ;)  and I’m looking forward to see Manon at the cinema on the 16th.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't believe it.

When the casting information came out I was especially interested in the Hayward/Watson and Cuthbertson/Muntagirov pairing... I refrained from booking ticket / flight / hotel etc because I thought those tickets would be sold out too quickly and didn't bother.

 

Stupid me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree it is a bit of a luxury to see so much variety, or read about it!

 

Looking forward to the live screening- and remembering the debate, ahem, about presentation last time, does anyone know who is presenting this time?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that Melissa Hamilton made a most promsing debut, but I and the two people on each side of me in the Amphi all thought that she deserved a better des Grieux than Mattthew Golding.  We all thought he was unbelievably wooden as an actor, and certainly could not see any rapport between them.  I thought also that Gartside was a better Lescaut, and Calvert a better Mistress than I had seen last Thursday- but oh for Muntagirov as Hamilton's partner! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw Melissa Hamilton and Matthew Golding dance together in GDV and thought they looked stunning and well-matched, so eagerly booked to see them, considering this was their debut and their only public performance, they were extraordinarily good, especially in the last act, I've never seen a last act of Manon (or Mayerling) that didn't work, and this was up there with the best!  I even stayed for all the curtain calls, which nearly deafened me as I had a group of very excited screaming girls behind me, and they weren't the only ones, not something you usually hear these days at the ROH. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Royal Opera House YouTube channel has a short video with Laura Morera sharing her thoughts about Manon. I thought it was interesting that the younger dancers making their debuts seemed more focused on Manon's relationship with Des Grieux whereas the older ballerinas were looking more widely at the social and historical context. I thought Morera's comments were particularly insightful. I also love her pig statue! I do wonder why none of the still photos actually showed her dancing the role since she's done it before so there must be photos in existence. I also wonder which numpty labelled those photos with "Lauren Benjamin" dancing with Steven McRae.

 

please somebody give the dancers a new word to use - getting very tired of the 'journey' they're all going on...

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What can one say; Hayward once again bubbled forth and enchanted all within her midst.  This was - not unreasonably - an even more assured performance than her initial outing/role debut.  THIS Manon hung on her brother.  That was abundantly clear from the get go.  This Manon was as intoxicated by the material riches of life as he was.  He steered; she answered.  I loved Hayward's concerted struggle with the diamond bracelet in the 2nd act pas and the longing trace of her brother's intoxicated grin on her sensually aware parade into the second act.   Hayward toyed with Watson's DG, yes, but fundamentally knew where her best friends were latched at any point in their particular match.  She did so with a fervor that only a child raised in that hunger poverty dictates can possibly comprehend.  When Lescaut was killed ... the only person who REALLY understood her ... albeit in a misguided and certainly engineering fashion ... this Manon's body vomited forward with an alarming violence.  Her game too - much as during that earlier performance - was up.  Her clock had run out.  The last act was but wish fulfillment ... T'was but a realisation of motions so different from those girls in the opening cattle train.  They still had an appetite to claw.  Not Hayward; This Manon was sheathed in a posterior fog ... Hayward's artistry here - as elsewhere - was one devoutly to be wished.  Hayward's Manon is a rich blessing to (hopefully) be shared by all.   We are supremely lucky to have this talented young lady among the RB's count for this particular moment in time.  ....  Oh, and I STILL think A. Campbell as Lescaut ... and J Hay as the Beggar Chief are VERY fine indeed .... and both were superbly spontaneous to boot (both figuratively and literally at points within last night's quality compass).   

Edited by Bruce Wall
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a very big star was born tonight. I am not an expert, couldn't tell you the names of the steps but when a little slip of a girl commands the stage as Francesca did tonight you know there is something very special happening. I am very priveledged to have been there. Sorry about the spelling -mobile device

 

Mr wall has put into words what I failed to do.

Edited by SPD444
  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hayward was magnificent tonight and gave a performance that belies her years and life experience. Such depth of character, such a gamut of senses and emotions, and a true match for Ed Watson's usual fine interpretation of MacMillan's dramatic requirements. They had a great affinity and natural chemistry and that final pdd 'done me in.' This star was born in Rhapsody,and tonight she confirmed her place in the constellation.

 

A shout out too for Alexander Campbell as Lescaut; wonderful dancing throughout and he almost underplayed the drunk scene which made it more amusing than usual.

  • Like 11
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...