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Subject: "RB 'Romeo & Juliet' matinee 16 April" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1562
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Ann Williams

16-04-01, 10:21 PM (GMT)
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"RB 'Romeo & Juliet' matinee 16 April"
   A few thoughts on today's matinee performance of Romeo & Juliet at the ROH, with Mara Galazzi and Jonathan Cope in the leads.

It was Galazzi's debut in the role, and she was magnificent. As far as I could judge, she was technically flawless and, like the very best artists, she made it all look easy. From her first appearance in the nursery, her playful jumps had such elevation that it was evident we were in for something special, but it wasn't just the pyrotechnics the made her dancing so special; she was delicate and precise in her ballroom solo and wonderful in her unwilling pdd with Paris. Dramatically too her Juliet struck exactly the right balance between vulnerable young girl and headstrong teenager. She was perhaps lucky in her partner, Jonathan Cope, replacing the injured Inaki Urlezaga. He is not only a super-strong and dependable partner but he is now so experienced in the role that he can practically dance it on auto-pilot. Not that he did so today - he was all ardour and despair, though rather mechanical in the final tomb scene.

It was a jolly good show all round today, I thought, though it was a bit of a shock seeing the lovely and youthful Muriel Valtat cast as the nurse - surely there are enough older dancers around for this role? I'm not grumbling though because Valtat invested the part with such unexpected comic detail that all doubts were banished.

Mercutio and Benvolio were danced smoothly and powerfully by Ricardo Cervera and Ivan Putrov respectively. Putrov is a dancer to watch, I think, though he needs to present himself a bit more positively. Ashley Page's barely controlled anger as Tybalt was impressive (I would love to see him given a proper dancing role), Luke Heydon played Escalus with calm, unfussed authority, and once again Vanessa Palmer stood out, this time as a very cheeky head Harlot.

A word about the new set; I don't like it much. There's nothing hugely wrong about it, but it is definitely not an improvement on the old one, and Juliet's tomb is horrible, with its distracting 'simplistic' religious icons.

Under a new (?) conductor, Alex Ingram, the orchestra made Prokofiev sound as menacing and thrilling as ever. Its a miracle of a score.

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: RB 'Romeo & Juliet' matinee 16 April Claire S 16-04-01 1
  RE: RB 'Romeo & Juliet' matinee 16 April Steven 16-04-01 2
  RE: RB 'Romeo & Juliet' matinee 16 April Tomoko.A 16-04-01 3

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Claire S

16-04-01, 10:37 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: RB 'Romeo & Juliet' matinee 16 April"
In response to message #0
   Ann - I couldn't have put better myself! What a wonderful performance from Mara Galeazzi. How nice it is to see an artist repaying the management's faith in them. She was just lovely and I hope this performance leads to more starring roles.

Jonathan Cope has never been one of my favourites and is a dancer I've always found it easier to admire than like, but I was enthralled by his performance. If making it look easy is the sign of a great artist, then Cope is a VERY great artist indeed (even if he did look a good bit older than his friends!).

Riccardo Cervera impressed again as Mercutio (I hope he gets some more leading roles soon - Song of the Earth maybe? He seems at home in the Macmillan rep) and Putrov was as accomplished as Benvolio as he had been in the peasant pas de six on saturday. How lucky we are to have such a talented group of young dancers -I hope the Royal manages to hang on to them!

I also thought Valtat was too young but she was a super nurse - and I must say the orchestra sounded ten times better than it did last month at the Cojocaru/Kobborg performance.

I'm not convinced by the set either. Juliet's tomb DOES look slightly out of place - almost Dali-esque.

All in all another good matinee, and another full house. Long may it last!!!

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16-04-01, 11:07 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: RB 'Romeo & Juliet' matinee 16 April"
In response to message #0
   Ann, thank you so much for your description of the matinee. I'm glad it was so enjoyable - it sounds like Galeazzi as Juliet is definitely worth catching. I wish I had been there! Just one point about Valtat as the Nurse - remember that the Nurse should be young enough to have breast fed Juliet. That means the way she is usually portrayed both in the ballet and in Shakespeare is actually too old. It does seem strange though for the same dancer to perform the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nurse in a single season! I hope Valtat was good. If she or other younger dancers have the ability to do the part justice it is a shame to reserve it just for the older ones!

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16-04-01, 11:28 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: RB 'Romeo & Juliet' matinee 16 April"
In response to message #0
   Thank you for the review, Ann. I'm glad you managed to get hold of a ticket. I wish I had been there too ! We were really spoilt to see these wonderful Juliets this season. I think Mara had danced Juliet before. Schame she was given only one performance this season.

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