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Royal Ballet 2015-16


Denver
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I'm trying to plan a trip to London in September 2015 and possibly June 2016. Frequent flyer seats for the trans-Atlantic flights get snapped up as soon as they are available 11 months ahead. I'm very eager to see Acosta's new Carmen in September and his retirement performances in 2016, if I can work that out.

 

My question: does Royal Ballet follow essentially the same schedule each year? Can they be expected to post their new season schedule on or about 31 March 2015? Do they typically open their season on the fourth Friday of September (25 September, 2015)? Do they typically end the season the first week of June (27 May - 2 June, 2015)?

 

I know there are no guarantees in this business, but if they follow a similar schedule each year, I'll chance it, in hopes of seeing Acosta before he retires from classical ballet. Thanks for your help!

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May I second Janet's welcome to the Forum, Denver. You could try emailing the Royal Opera House direct and ask them if they have the opening and closing dates of the 15/16 season yet. I'm sure they do; because they share with the opera these things have to be sorted out at least a year or two in advance. Good luck!

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Sim has a good point, because the start of season is always unpredictable: it's usually October, but unusually early this year. Also, the RB perform in rep with the Royal Opera, so there's no guarantee of what nights will be taken.  I think the schedule usually comes out late March/early April, but one year I think it was late January or something weird.

 

Welcome to the forum, BTW :)

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The date of the opening of the ballet season depends on what the opera company is doing. If they are doing the Ring then that will take up September and part of October as there will be three or four complete cycles. and the start of the ballet season and the rest of the opera season will be pushed back into October. As opera singer's contracts are negotiated three and more years ahead the opera company administration knows what they will be performing and who will be singing three and more years ahead. This of course means that the ballet company administration also know their performance slots several years ahead.

 

As Opera magazine has a section headed "We hear That" which gives some information about projected opera productions and performances one or two seasons ahead you may be able to get some information about the date of the start of the 2015 -2016 ballet season.  You will probably have a greater chance of success in getting the information that you want if you  contact the ballet  company rather than the opera house. 

 

Good luck with the enquiry and booking your flight. I am sure that we will all be interested to hear about how you get on. Bear in mind that if you come at the beginning of the season  you are likely to find only one ballet being performed whereas if you time your visit to come a little later say towards the end of the run of the season's first scheduled full length ballet then you might be able to see a mixed bill and perhaps catch the first performances of the next full length ballet of the season. Mixed bills which get squeezed in between the full length offerings give far more opportunity to see a lot of the company's principals than full length works and  many of the major works created for the Royal Ballet were one act works.

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Many thanks for all this helpful information. I tried sending an inquiry to the "customer service" contact on the ROH web site and promptly got a message back from the house manager:

 

"The Ballet begins on Tue 22 September 2015 and runs until 11 June 2016 as currently planned."

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Well, that's a useful start: so, it's likely to be early again.  I wouldn't have expected that.

 

Do bear in mind that Carlos doesn't dance in the whole of the Company's repertory, so quite conceivably he might not be dancing in the last bill of the season anyway (he didn't this year, or in the one immediately before that), so I wouldn't bank on June at all.  I believe he's been contracted to do about 25 performances a year in recent years, although whether that is still the case as he drops roles he used to do I don't know.  I don't imagine that the Company arranges its entire schedule around giving him X performances :)  Whether he will still be dancing all the roles he is still doing now by the end of next season is anybody's guess: he already said a couple of years back that he wouldn't be doing any more classical princes, and yet suddenly here he is dancing Siegfried again.

 

Floss is right about the scheduling: at the moment, having just begun this season, we have several weeks of only Manon before other things start to be woven into the schedule, so it could be more advantageous to aim for a little later.

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In a May 2014 interview, Acosta said he is choreographing a new version of Carmen for September 2015. Of course, this far out, it's very possible those plans will change. I will be in London for a professional meeting in mid-September 2015 and I am delighted that the Royal Ballet will be starting its season September 22, whatever they are doing -- but I'll hope it's Carmen with Acosta! For the spring 2016 performances, I assume they'll be announced in spring 2015 as part of the season announcement for 2015-16 - easier for trans-Atlantic travelers to plan for. Thanks for all the helpful advice!

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/10855436/Carlos-Acosta-Im-retiring-from-ballet.html

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I'm not sure it "means" anything, Bruce - it's just a pretty typical finishing time for the Royal Ballet season these days.  The days when they used to go into July are long gone, I fear.

 

T'was just a hope, Alison.  I had heard a rumour that the RB was intending to mount summer seasons again ... but that obviously is not true ... and at least does give leeway to the possibility of visiting international dance companies as we have sometimes known in the past at the ROH.  

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