Prokofiev Ballets from the Halle
By Robert Beale for Manchester online
IT'S Ballet Night in the Halle's Opus One series, with a selection from Prokofiev's Cinderella suites as a kind of tail-end to the Manchester Prokofiev festival - and Stravinsky's Petrushka for no better reason than, well, it's Shrovetide.
In between comes Ravel's Sheherezade - yes, the one with no "c'' in it - in which Jac van Steen was joined by Lynne Dawson as soprano soloist.
It's always a treat to hear her sing in the Bridgewater Hall (who sang at Princess Diana's funeral), and the shimmering, spicy score which Ravel produced for his three songs set off her pure and silky tone to perfection.
Van Steen was taking great care to extract the maximum clarity and impact from each score he tackled, and Cinderella emerged as the excellent craftsman's score that it is. I don't believe it ever gets to the level of Romeo And Juliet, despite trying so hard to repeat its predecessor's formula, but it has its moments (thank goodness we weren't given the whole ballet). click for more