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 Post subject: La Scala Ballet at Covent Garden
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:33 am 
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Yesterday I received a flyer for the La Scala Ballet appearing at Covent Garden from Wednesday 25 to Sunday 29 July 2007.

They are performing a Nureyev production of Sleeping Beauty. Looks well worth going to see. Full details below:

http://www.victorhochhauser.co.uk/la_scala/index.htm


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:11 am 
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Further information (including casting) of the forthcoming visit of La Scala Ballet.

The La Scala Ballet Company performs Rudolph Nureyev’s magnificent production of The Sleeping Beauty at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from 25 to 29 July, 2007.

April 2007

Victor Hochhauser presents the renowned La Scala Ballet on a rare visit to London for just six performances of Rudolph Nureyev’s legendary production of The Sleeping Beauty.

In 1966, inspired by the company’s unique style, high artistic standards and outstanding staging possibilities, Nureyev chose La Scala Ballet to create his dazzling vision of The Sleeping Beauty, thus initiating one of the most dynamic partnerships in 20th century ballet history. The sumptuous, atmospheric sets and costumes by the celebrated designer Franca Squarciapino, created in 1993, were inspired by the opulence and grandeur of Louis XIV’s glorious Palace of Versailles.

Under the distinguished directorship of Frédéric Olivieri, leading principal dancers Sabrina Brazzo, Gilda Gelati and Marta Romagna will be joined by two international guest artists, the Kirov Ballet’s Leonid Sarafanov and Guillaume Côté, Principal Dancer of the National Ballet of Canada.

The Royal Ballet Sinfonia will be conducted by David Garforth.

Public and online booking opens on 1 May, 2007

Tickets from £8.50-£86

Royal Opera House Box Office telephone: 020 7304 4000


Online booking via the Royal Opera House website www.roh.org.uk

For further information, please contact:

Jim Fletcher at Victor Hochhauser on 020 7794 0987

Mobile: 07768 455667; email: jim@victorhochhauser.co.uk

Daily casting – subject to change

Princess Aurora Prince Florimund

July 25, 7pm MARTA ROMAGNA GUILLAUME COTE

July 26, 7pm SABRINA BRAZZO LEONID SARAFANOV

July 27, 7pm MARTA ROMAGNA GUILLAUME COTE

July 28, 2pm SABRINA BRAZZO LEONID SARAFANOV

July 28, 7pm MARTA ROMAGNA GUILLAUME COTE

July 29, 3pm GILDA GELATI MASSIMO GARON

Full biographies available on request.

Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company

The history of the illustrious Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company is interwoven with the birth of ballet itself, tracing its heritage back to the Renaissance courts of Milan. Throughout the centuries until today, it has been associated with the greatest choreographers and dancers including the legendary Maria Taglioni who made her debut at La Scala in 1841. Dancers of La Scala were a major force in the creation of the Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg, in particular the great dancer and teacher Enrico Cecchetti who was Director of La Scala from 1925-1928. It was he who brought the Italian style of teaching into Russia and was highly influential in the creation of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.

Between 1968 and 1990, Rudolf Nureyev’s close bond with La Scala, both as dancer and choreographer, brought tremendous advances in classical ballet technique into the Company. Nureyev choreographed many new and important productions for La Scala. His visionary staging of The Sleeping Beauty remains one of the greatest in the ballet


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 Post subject: Latest Casting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:08 am 
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As the La Scala Sleeping Bauty opens in London tonight, I thought I would post this link to the ROH site with the latest casting.

The Royal Ballet's Tamara Roja appears opposite Leonid Sarafanov tomorrow and Saturday afternoon: interesting casting.

http://esales.roh.org.uk/tickets/produc ... x?pid=1436


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:50 am 
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A rather uncharitable review of the first night from Zoe Anderson:

http://arts.independent.co.uk/theatre/r ... 802660.ece


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:20 am 
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Eeek, I hope it improves. Is this typical for this company? I thought they had a very good reputation.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:03 am 
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First night nerves seemed to be a problem as the second night performance went more smoothly. I have to say that this review is unduly harsh and what Ms Anderson means by "the Scala habit of crumbling feet" I have no idea.

I'll have a look at today's papers shortly and see if I can find any other reviews and I'll be posting my own thoughts about the two performances I've been to also.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:12 am 
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The Sleeping Beauty
Teatro allla Scala Ballet Company
Royal Opera House
London
25th & 26th July


All Nureyev productions have one thing in common – the expansion of the male dancing, and in no ballet are his ideas more irritating than in Sleeping Beauty. In the second act Prince Desire is called upon to perform virtually the entire lexicon of male classical steps to most of the beautiful entr'acte music very much to the detriment of the story line: ‘Aurora can wait, I’ve got an audience to impress’. I’m sorry, but no matter how impressively this is danced this intrusion is simply annoying, as is the Prince’s filching of the steps usually danced by the Lilac Fairy in another solo.

That’s the negative stuff, on the positive side there is a great deal to admire, not least the stupendous sets that make this the handsomest production of Beauty currently to be seen. Actually, to be more accurate I should say set, as the sumptuous baroque palace chamber opening onto a garden vista is the only set for the entire ballet. Whether this is due to the impracticality of moving it once in situ or whether they spent the entire budget on the prologue, I’ve no idea, but the hunting scene indoors looks odd and the magic voyage (through dry ice) takes the prince to exactly where he started out. The designs are by Franca Squarciapino who clearly has an understanding of 17th century architecture, but the costumes are a mixed bag and on the whole suffer from too much glitter.

I thought I detected a few first nights nerves from the dancers at all levels, but in the main I was impressed. The fairy variations of the prologue were mostly very good indeed with several of the girls blessed with rather beautiful arms. There were seven fairies in all with two dancing their variation as a duet, a device that is not an improvement. The Lilac Fairy is a mimed role here, historically accurate perhaps but dramatically not as effective as when it is danced.

Aurora was danced by Marta Romagna, a tall girl in a role that favours the shorter dancer but she gave a sound account of the Rose Adagio and seemed to grow in confidence as the ballet progressed, her partner was the Canadian dancer Guillaume Côté and if it’s good looks you’re after then look no further as M. Côté is quite something: the handsome prince par excellence in fact. He dances rather well too.

The second performance proved me right about nerves the night before as this went more smoothly all round. The principals were the Royal Ballet’s Tamara Roja and Leonid Sarafanov of the Kirov. Aurora is one of Roja’s best roles and her Rose Adagio is a marvel with rock steady balances so good that she disdains the hand of her fourth cavalier. Sarafanov isn’t in my view suited to a danseur noble role; a virtuoso and a stylish performer he has been criticized as getting too much too soon within his own company. His extremely youthful appearance didn’t help either, though of course time takes care of that problem and he no longer looks like a twelve year old: these days he doesn’t look a day under fifteen.

Sadly even Sarafanov could make little of those long interpolated male solos that look not so much like choreography than classroom improvisation. When Nureyev first staged this work he was at the peak of his fame and could do more or less as he wanted on stage to please his adoring uncritical fans, these days personalities matter less and content is more important.

I’m told this series of performances is almost sold out and the performances so far have certainly been well received by audiences. Reviews have been mixed, but for all the choreographic failings of this production it looks very, very good. A triumph of design over content?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:19 am 
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Sarah Frater in "The Evening Standard" was also unimpressed with the first night, but her review is not available on-line.

Especially where a show is sold out, like this one, I do wonder why ballet companies and promoters choose the first night as the press preview - it is a hostage to fortune, as ballet performances are rarely fully sorted out on the first night in a new venue.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:11 am 
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That is a good question. I suppose the thought is to get as much publicity for the performances as possible and some venues have rules about only giving press comps for opening nights, but I agree that in a new venue and company can hardly be expected to be flawless. Messy feet however is not a venue problem I suspect and more of a coaching problem.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:03 am 
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I went to see the performance on Saturday evening with Cote and Romagna in the Principals roles. I agree with Cassandra in that there were some very good interpretations -Bluebird pas de deux and the Fairies in the Prologue- and some very irritating ones... Cote, by the end of the ballet seemed so carried away that had a few mannerisms that made me think he thought he was performing a different ballet altogether. I'm sure he must be a great Romeo, but Desire is not Romeo and even Nureyev knew that.
The designs were beautiful, though I still don't like the vision scene performed in long dresses...
As for the production as a whole, I must admit I tend to really like Nureyev's productions, but his Sleeping Beauty would not go to the top of my list. I can cope with the long solo for the Prince to the Entr'acte music, but his solo in the middle of the vision scene to the music of the Gold Fairy really got on my nerves...
Also, the Lilac Fairy had no climatic entrance or exit in the ballet and, it has been agreed by many throught its history, that Sleeping Beauty is about the Lilac Fairy and Carabosse -good versus evil... The Lilac Fairy should really own the last cords of the music and her presence should dominate the ballet throught...


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