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 Post subject: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2003 9:07 am 
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An Introduction by Tony Hall, Executive Director

We have a great new Season ahead, and we are all thrilled about what we have on offer - new operas including The Tempest, a Royal Opera commission from Thomas Adès. Another highlight of the autumn is a new production of Handel’s Orlando which features the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in the pit. Also, this is Monica Mason’s first full Season as Director of The Royal Ballet, the highlights including Cinderella and the award-winning Polyphonia by Christopher Wheeldon.

It is also the first full season for ROH2 , the department I set up 18 months ago under Deborah Bull. ROH2 runs performances in the Linbury Studio Theatre, the Clore Studio Upstairs and other spaces round the House. The idea is to sponsor new work with new artists, and to help us bring in new audiences. A flavour of what is planned includes a week of work new to London called ‘Festival of Firsts’ sponsored by The Helen Hamlyn Trust in memory of her husband, Paul. We want ROH2 to become the home for chamber opera and begin with our co-production with Music Theatre Wales of Param Vir’s Ion with two further chamber operas later in the Season. NITRO at the Opera is a day-long festival presenting newly commissioned work with a classical voice from nine black composers. And Cathy Marston returns to work in the Linbury Studio Theatre presenting new choreography. Finally, ROH2 will revise William Tuckett’s The Wind in the Willows for Christmas.

The Royal Opera House is committed to giving you world-class performances. That is the core of what we do. But we also want, at the same time, to reach out and engage with as many people as possible. The launch of Open House marks a five-year commitment by BP to live relays of opera and ballet performances in London. With their support the free relays will, for the first time, also be seen in Belfast, Gateshead, Liverpool and Sheffield, in addition to the Covent Garden Piazza. I am also delighted to announce the return of the Paul Hamlyn Performances in the autumn. We hope these two major initiatives will help us to reach out to new audiences, especially those who have never seen a ballet or opera performance.

This year our Education department is launching a CD-rom of Peter Grimes, to allow school pupils to build their own version of Grimes on a PC. It is a real innovation and one that I am certain will engage children of all ages.

All of us at the House are also committed to trying to keep our prices as affordable as we can. For the third Season running, half the seats for every performance will be held at £50 or less. We are also continuing with the experiment of a low top-price for opera - last year we had two operas at £50. This year it will be slightly different: Thomas Adès’s The Tempest will have a top price of £50 and three other operas, Sweeney Todd, Peter Grimes and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, will have a top price of £75 (20 performances in all). We are also introducing a new lower tier of pricing for the side areas of the Stalls.

I hope you agree that the Season we are announcing is full of real excitement, range and interest.

Tony Hall
Executive Director, Royal Opera House

<small>[ 07 September 2003, 11:16 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2003 9:42 am 
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Monica Mason introduces The Royal Ballet’s forthcoming Season

In my first full Season as Director, it is exciting for me to be able to make plans for the Company from a repertory as large and diverse as The Royal Ballet’s. Altogether, it takes approximately eighty five dancers, fourteen choreographers, twenty composers and conductors, designers and repetiteurs from around the world to make the basic ingredients of our 2003/2004 Season. Although the choice is far from easy, I feel that the very different facets of the Company’s work will be amply demonstrated in the variety of programmes on offer throughout the year.

In the autumn, we will present two triple bills, the first of which features a work new to the Company from British choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon. Polyphonia, winner of the 2003 Olivier Award, was made for soloists of New York City Ballet last year, and is set to piano pieces of György Ligeti. The second ballet is George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments with music by Paul Hindemith, a classic from this great choreographer whose centenary we will celebrate in 2004. Jiří Kylían’s Sinfonietta, set to Janáček’s glorious score and first performed by the Company earlier this year, concludes this programme.

The second mixed programme which opens with Mark Morris’s Gong, consists largely of new work. William Tuckett will create again for the Company and the work of two other British choreographers will be seen on the main stage for the first time. Russell Maliphant will make a new piece for Sylvie Guillem and the “Ballet Boyz”, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt and Wayne McGregor will also create a new ballet for the Company.

We celebrate two anniversaries during the Season. In May we will remember Serge Diaghilev who died seventy five years ago, with a mixed programme of ballets associated with the first half of the 20th Century. Diaghilev was perhaps the greatest impresario of that period and his influence is still very much with us. Frederick Ashton made his version of Daphnis and Chloe in 1951, set to Ravel’s shimmering score created by the composer at Diaghilev’s request. L’Apres-midi d’un faune, and Le Spectre de la rose showcased the remarkable talents of Vaslav Nijinsky. Both these works were created for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes as was Bronislava Nijinska’s monumental masterpiece, Les Noces, which completes the evening.

In January, we celebrate the centenary of one of Diaghilev’s protegees, George Balanchine, whose early work was also created for the Ballets Russes. Agon, The Prodigal Son and Symphony in C are three wonderfully contrasting examples of this great choreographer’s creative genius.

Two of the eight full-length ballets seen during the year will be new productions. Frederick Ashton’s first full-length ballet, Cinderella, will return at Christmas with its first performance on 23rd December sixty five years to the day after Moira Shearer and Michael Somes first danced the leading roles. Kenneth MacMillan’s Isadora, first seen in 1981, returns with a new concept by theatre director David Leveaux, based on MacMillan’s original choreography. Inspired by the tempestuous life and loves of the American dancer and teacher Isadora Duncan, and using text taken from her diaries, the central role is shared between a dancer and an actress.

Two other full length works by MacMillan are also included in the season; Romeo and Juliet, now firmly established as a 20th Century classic and Mayerling, the powerfully dramatic story of the events surrounding the double death of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary and his young mistress, Mary Vetsera.

Natalia Makarova’s new production of The Sleeping Beauty returns in the spring and her production of La Bayadère opens the Season in October. We will dedicate the performances of La Bayadère to the memory of John Lanchbery, who died earlier this year. He was Principal Conductor to The Royal Ballet for twelve years and made an outstanding and unique contribution to the repertoire through his close collaboration with Ashton and MacMillan.

Peter Wright’s highly acclaimed production of Giselle and John Cranko’s masterwork Onegin, complete the year’s repertory.

It is very rewarding to see each new generation of dancers challenged by our rich repertoire. I hope very much that you will come and see the Company during the forthcoming Season.

Monica Mason
Director, The Royal Ballet

<small>[ 26 March 2003, 10:54 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2003 9:51 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
To view the complete documents you will need to have Adobe Acrobat. Here are the links to:

THE ROYAL BALLET 2003/4 SEASON

ROH2, Education and Pricing

Open House screenings around the country

The Index page with all the various press releases for the 2003-4 season

THE ROYAL BALLET - COMPANY NEWS

The Company is delighted to announce the appointment of Jeanetta Laurence to Assistant Director of The Royal Ballet. Born in Oxford, she trained with June Christian and later the Royal Ballet Schools. In 1969 she joined The Royal Ballet Touring Company, under John Field and then Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, under Peter Wright. She was appointed Assistant Ballet Mistress in 1978 and left the Company to have a family in 1979. From 1980-83 she was the press and publicity officer for the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, and the Gate at the Latchmere, Battersea. In 1983, she founded an agency for dancers and choreographers, Dance Directory, with fellow dancer Rashna Homji which ran successfully for eight years. She then spent two years assisting Director and Choreographer Gillian Lynne before joining The Royal Ballet as Artistic Administrator in 1990.

In September 2003, Viacheslav Samodurov and Federico Bonelli will both join The Royal Ballet from Dutch National Ballet as Principal Dancers. David Makhateli will join as a First Soloist in September 2003, from Houston Ballet, and he will also perform as a Guest Artist in Romeo and Juliet this Summer.

The Royal Ballet would like to take this opportunity to welcome the following dancers who have joined the Company this Season: First Artist Christina Salerno from Zurich Ballet (December 2002), Artist Cindy Jourdain from English National Ballet (January 2003) and Artist Paul Kay from the Royal Ballet School (February 2003).

As part of our continuing relationship with Dance Theater of Harlem, The Royal Ballet will be joined by two Guest Artists from the Company. Eric Underwood and Kevin Thomas will appear in two performances of The Four Temperaments in November.

Principal Character Artist David Drew will retire as a full Company member at the end of this Season, and will return next Season as a Guest Artist. He trained at Westbury School of Dancing in Bristol and the Royal Ballet School before joining The Royal Ballet in 1955. He was promoted to Soloist in 1961 and Principal in 1974.

Principal Dancer Johan Persson has left the Company to pursue a career in photography. Born in Sweden in 1971 he first studied with the Royal Swedish Ballet School and then the National Ballet School of Canada in 1973 before joining National Ballet of Canada in 1990. He joined The Royal Ballet as a Principal in 2000.

First Soloist Nicola Tranah left The Royal Ballet after her last performance of Winter Dreams in January, in order to spend more time with her family. After graduating from the Royal Ballet School in 1982 she spent two years with Dutch National Ballet before joining The Royal Ballet as an Artist in 1984. She will be dancing as a Guest Artist during the Russian Tour later this Season.

First Soloist Muriel Valtat has left The Royal Ballet following the birth of her second child and has moved with her family to her husband’s native country, Canada. Born and trained in Paris she came to England in 1984 to study at the Royal Ballet School, before joining The Royal Ballet in 1985. Over the intervening years she danced as a Soloist with the National Ballet of Canada and Scottish Ballet before returning to The Royal Ballet in 1991.

Artist Natalie Decorte has decided to return home to dance with Australian Ballet. Born in Sydney where she trained with the Australian Ballet School before studying at the Royal Ballet School. She joined the Company in 1999 and will be leaving before the start of the Russian Tour in June.

Artist Jose Maria Tirado will leave The Royal Ballet to pursue a freelance career in dance. Born in Madrid, Spain, he trained with Julia Estevez and with San Francisco Ballet School before joining The Royal Ballet in 2000.

<small>[ 26 March 2003, 11:50 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2003 9:56 am 
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I like the season! Don't care much for "Gong", but can understand why it's been programmed. Very good.


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2003 4:16 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Leaping forward
Today, Monica Mason, the new director of the Royal Ballet, unveils her first season's programme. Here, she tells Nadine Meisner in The Independent how she intends to steady a shaken company

The Royal Opera House may have a state-of-the-art, turbo-accelerated procedure for speedily ejecting wayward ballet directors, but it has only one ballet director's office. It feels distinctly odd to enter the room where I had interviewed an optimistic Ross Stretton 18 months ago, and find a different person there.

It probably feels even odder to Monica Mason, propelled to the hot seat after 11 years as assistant director, first to Anthony Dowell, then to Stretton. Looking round, I don't spot any sign of a chute for dispatching directors to oblivion, but maybe one is hidden behind either of the two large, wall-mounted photographs of the company's choreographic masters, Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan,

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<small>[ 26 March 2003, 05:19 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 2:18 am 
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A selection of initial comments on the ROHs new season announcements. Ballet does get mentioned here and there:

Covent Garden puts on its first musical
By Fiachra Gibbons for The Guardian


It was once a club for the privileged few, but the Royal Opera House is now out to prove that it is a reformed creature with a gift for thrift and a new common touch.
For the first time, it is to put a musical on its main stage: Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. Its South London-born musical director Antonio Pappano said he wanted to "open the windows ... I am not interested in this old argument about what is opera and what is musical theatre. Often it's so intense and serious here, but it is OK for this opera house to have fun too."

Several other Sondheim scores have been performed in opera houses, with Sweeney Todd staged by the New York City Opera as early as 1983.

click for more

***************************************

Royal Opera offers cut-price tickets
By Louise Jury for The Independent

The Royal Opera House is to cut the price of a quarter of its top-price tickets next season but the most expensive seats will rise to £170 for the most popular productions.

The latest overhaul, announced yesterday, comes as the Opera House continues its campaign to attract new audiences with the introduction of free big-screen live relays of Covent Garden performances across the country.

The "Open House" initiative will bring opera and ballet to Sheffield, Liverpool, Gateshead, Belfast and Canary Wharf, London, in an extension of the hugely popular relays in the Covent Garden piazza which have been seen by more than 30,000 people in recent years.

click for more

*************************************

Opera and ballet on big screen tour of Britain
By Laura Peek for The Times


THE Royal Opera House is to broadcast live performances on big outdoor screens around the country this summer.

In recent years productions have been relayed live on a big screen in the Piazza in Covent Garden, and last year in Canary Wharf. This summer audiences out of London — in Sheffield, Liverpool, Gateshead and Belfast — will also be able to watch open-air productions by the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet for free. The initiative is designed to attract a wider and younger audience.

The Royal Ballet’s Manon will be screened in Sheffield and Liverpool; the Royal Opera’s I Pagliacci in Gateshead and Belfast; and The Magic Flute in Canary Wharf. Plans to show Pagliacci at Victoria Park in Hackney were suspended after the recent murder there. But it is now hoped that it will go ahead on July 16.

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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 5:30 am 
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Article from the Independent.

Quote:
The Royal Opera House is to cut the price of a quarter of its top-price tickets next season but the most expensive seats will rise to £170 for the most popular productions.

The latest overhaul, announced yesterday, comes as the Opera House continues its campaign to attract new audiences with the introduction of free big-screen live relays of Covent Garden performances across the country
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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 7:15 am 
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Ballet director demands a change of scenery
Short piece from The Times


Unhappy rumblings from the Royal Ballet, where Monica Mason seems determined to stamp her authority as the new Director. One of Mason’s first acts has been to fire the set-designer Luisa Spinatelli, after she saw her initial designs for the new production of Cinderella.

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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2003 1:56 am 
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Do I dream or is it the first season since too many years without nutcracker !!!!

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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2003 10:58 am 
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No Cathy, you are not dreaming. 2003 will be the first year without Nutcracker for Christmas since the reopening of the Royal Opera House in 1999.
Personally I am very pleased that we will get to see Ashton's Cinderella instead. I have heard people speak very highly of his choreography and the way this work suits the Royal Ballet.


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2003 2:50 pm 
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I saw Ashton's Cinderella in the two videotapes which exist with Jennifer Penney and Lesley Collier. I must say I really love this choreograph and I'm a few sad that we have no work of him in POB except Rhapsody.
I never understand as anglo-american balletlovers could go again to see each year Nutcracker :D ! I must say that it's one of the ballets I never really love especillay first act with rats, child, christmas tree and so on :p !

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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 10:01 am 
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Cathy, I would like to see the POB dance The Two Pigeons by Ashton. It is based on a fable by La Fontaine with music by André Messager and designs by Jacques Dupont. The first act is set in a (very large) attic in Paris the second in a gypsy camp, rather like in Paquita. It's very French and I'm sure the Parisian audiences would love it.

I am amused by the thread Vos ballets détestés ou mal-aimés on Danser en Francais. The most detestable ballet I’ve ever seen is Kenneth Macmillan’s Isadora, and they actually plan to revive it next season. Believe me, it’s a monstrosity. The decision to resuscitate that dead duck needs to be reversed immediately.


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:15 pm 
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POB School ballet has the Aveline version of the two pigeons and it was always dance by the future star of POB. The last interpret of this part were Sylvie Guillem, Agnès Letestu, Ghislaine Fallou, Juliette Gernez and Aurore Cordellier.
I believe that Nureyev wanted Ashton's deux pigeons but don't arrive to have it as well he wants Fille mal gardée, after POb direction wanted A month in the country but we arrive just to have Rapsody.
I don't really remember Isadora, I have a video of it, I should see it again to see if it's so bad :( , not because of the dancers, but I found choreography very poor :p !!

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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 5:35 am 
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For the 2003-4 season, The Royal Ballet is to replace "Isadora" with "Anastasia". Monica Mason gives a fuller explanation than many would:

Quote:
As a change to the announced Season 2003/4, MacMillan’s Isadora will now be replaced with Anastasia. Royal Ballet Director, Monica Mason says, ‘I have decided to replace the performances of Kenneth MacMillan’s Isadora scheduled for April May 2004 with a revival of his three act ballet Anastasia. David Leveaux, the director, Deborah MacMillan and I have concluded that in order to develop and realise fully this new production and to ensure that we remain within the financial framework of the overall Season we will require more time than we currently have within the schedule. This is a bold, innovative project and needs careful nurturing and we are not sufficiently advanced enough on this production to make the April deadline. We hope very much to return to the idea again in the future.’
Here is the link to the full press release.

<small>[ 17 July 2003, 07:36 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet 2003-4 - Season Details and News
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:01 am 
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Good for John Percival! For those who don't know him, he is a dance correspondent for The Independent. Unfortunately the original FT interview is now only available to subscribers.

Opera and dance companies out of step
Letter from John Percival to The Financial Times


Sir, I am shocked that Antonio Pappano, music director of the Royal Opera, thinks that West Side Story is "not really our bag" because it is a dance-based show, and that your interviewer let that go unchallenged...

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<small>[ 06 September 2003, 02:01 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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