Five stars for this from most reviewers? Five stars for Guillem I could understand, but only if people are five starring her entire career (which they are). I’d have given it maybe two stars, or on TheOperatunist’s trademark well harsh ratings, about 5/10 at the most.
This mixed bill gave results which were truly mixed. Two Robbins pieces (Afternoon of Faun and In The Night) met with MacMillan’s Song of the Earth for this matinee.
What an unexpectedly disappointing affair this bohème was, a tragedy because the whole thing came across as over-directed and completely un-spontaneous, tragedy because the tragedy didn’t quite work, in part from the fact that Anna Netrebko ended up sounding bizarrely miscast.
Quite who suggested the subject matter of Virginia Woolf for a new ballet, and quite why they did so, is anyone’s guess*. Still good art can come from unlikely places, or can be sourced from curious themes, and McGregor’s art suceeds: this Woolf works. It sketches powerful moments – indeed in some places, it achieves a rare beauty all of its own. Parts I and III of this triptych are by far the strongest. Part II feels like the campest thing ever committed to stage. (More on that later.)
Carmen Disruption might more adequately be described as Carmen Discombobulation or more proasaically Carmen Disconnection. Whatever its description, it stands as a rewarding evening, and a fine piece of theatre.
Perhaps this production will become (in)famous for featuring a really big head onstage. We’re talking about fifty feet high or something. Certainly it didn’t have much else to recommend it, apart from some admittedly fine singing here and there, of which more later. “Roger” is an opera I like a lot, mainly for the libretto by Szymanowski and Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz and for the shifting leitmotiv filled musical score. To my mind Holten didn’t do it full justice.
The pic of Lenneke Ruiten is probably the best opera related image I have ever seen. Read OperaTraveller’s review for more beautiful madness from Bieito.
Yes, there were a few ribbon mishaps. Yes, Peregrine nearly brought down the backcloth and nearly killed two members of the cast in doing so, and yes Lesley Collier is right about Natalia Osipova’s port de bras, still a little Bolshoi and not yet 100% Ashton, but by goodness, I don’t quite care really, when the rest is as charming and lovely as this was.