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Subject: "Mayerling" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2056
Reading Topic #2056
Anneliese

02-09-01, 04:35 PM (GMT)
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"Mayerling"
 
   After 8 months, I finally found the time to start watching this video yesterday (of course didn't find time to finish it but that's another story). Now, I am vaguely familiar with some Hapsburg history, and know at least the ENDING of the ballet story - but I feel I'm missing out on rather a lot and having to work very hard at trying to infer things. WHY OH WHY don't they put in programme notes? You wouldn't dream of selling a CD without them! But back to the point - could anyone give me a few more details to assist in my enjoyment (and I AM enjoying it greatly) of this ballet? If anyone had an old programme lying around, for example (not that I'm encouraging copyright infringement) that they could use to give me a few pointers, I'd be very grateful.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Mayerling lara 02-09-01 1
  RE: Mayerling Steven 02-09-01 2
     RE: Mayerling Paul A 03-09-01 3
         RE: Mayerling lara 03-09-01 4
             RE: Mayerling Ann Williams 03-09-01 5
                 RE: Mayerling Jim 03-09-01 6
                     RE: Mayerling lara 04-09-01 7
     RE: Mayerling Anneliese 15-09-01 10
         RE: Mayerling Patricia 28-09-01 11
             RE: Mayerling Anneliese 29-09-01 12
                 RE: Mayerling Anneliese 01-10-01 13
  RE: Mayerling Anneliese 11-09-01 8
     RE: Mayerling Michael LL 14-09-01 9
         RE: Mayerling Paul A 26-02-02 14
             RE: Mayerling Anneliese 26-02-02 15
                 RE: Mayerling Paul A 26-02-02 16
                     RE: Mayerling Steven 26-02-02 17
             RE: Mayerling alison 26-02-02 18
                 RE: Mayerling lara 26-02-02 19
                     RE: Mayerling sylvia 26-02-02 20
                         RE: Mayerling Michael LL 27-02-02 21
                             RE: Mayerling Tony Newcombe 27-02-02 22
                             RE: Mayerling Paul A 04-03-02 25
                         RE: Mayerling alison 01-03-02 24
                     RE: Mayerling alison 28-02-02 23

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lara

02-09-01, 05:12 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #0
 
   After I watched Mayerling several months ago - (and indeed, it was this video in addition to Bourne's Swan Lake that reawoke my current passion with the ballet) I did some net research about the crime at Mayerling and found a plethora of links and infomation.

First an excellent review here on ballet.co: http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_00/jun00/video_lh_1.htm

(The review mentions this might not be a good introduction to MacMillan, but I found the exact opposite! And I discovered Irek Mukhamedov. wow!)

A fairly recent book about the crime was published:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~androom/dead/story004.htm

...and more historical links. There has been an interesting discussion on whether or not Prince Rudolf actually killed Vetsera and himself or if it was the work of his father's assasins. Rudolf was at odds with his father over Hungarian independence.

http://www.austria.org/nov95/crime.htm

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/nepal010606_mayerling.html

http://www.austrian-mint.com/e/rudolfhist.html

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Rhodes/3851/eliz.htm

These are just a few of the many interesting links that are out there.


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Steven

02-09-01, 05:25 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #0
 
   Annelies, I know exactly what you're gojng through! The first time I saw Mayerling (live) I arrived too late to read the programme beforehand and got hopelessly confused. The good news is, it's well worth seeing a few times and with familiarity you wonder how it ever seemed so confusing.

Anyway, in essence, it goes like this:

Prologue: the grave into which Mary Vetsera's body is lowered.

Then it's all in flashback (which doesn't help!)

Rudolf's wedding at which he dances scandalously closely with his bride's sister. Countess Larisch, his mistress, tries to revive their relationship. Rudolf visits his mother on the way to the bridal chamber and she tells him he has to separate from Countess Larisch. He finds his wife waiting in the bedroom and horrifies her by taking out a gun, which is clearly part of some sex game he's into.

Rudolf takes his wife to an inn where they meet Mitzi Caspar (another mistress) and lots of Hungarian separatists. There is a raid but they escape. To keep her influence over the prince, Countess Larisch recruits a new innocent girl to take her place - Mary Vetsera.

During a shoot, Rudolf goes a bit trigger happy and somebody is killed. The Empress discovers him with Countess Larisch and tells her she must leave the court. Rudolf asks Mary Vetsera to die with him - and then we go into the big pas de deux in which they both meet their ends.

I hope all that helps!


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Paul A

03-09-01, 12:38 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #2
 
   I think your difficulty is MacMillan's difficulty - constantly pushing beyond what is comprenensible. MacMillan always tried to push the language of dance further than it can go. Think of those risible Hungarian separitists waving their bits of paper about in Mayerling.

Which said if you don't worry too much about the details and go with the grand sweep - it works. Repeated viewings will repay you even though some of effects remain crass. I've never liked Bratfisch and the framing device at the cemetery is clumsy. On the video do you actually get the singer at the party singing - or was that one of the cuts at the last revival?

Wish we could see it live again so we could reconsider it. The reviews were ecstatic when it was new.


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lara

03-09-01, 04:40 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #3
 
   >I think your difficulty is MacMillan's
>difficulty - constantly pushing beyond
>what is comprenensible. MacMillan always
>tried to push the language
>of dance further than it
>can go.

Instead of being MacMillan's difficulty, I see it as his genius. One can't see how far dance, or anything can go, unless one is ready to push to the extreme.

>Which said if you don't worry
>too much about the details
>and go with the grand
>sweep - it works.

Absolutely! Even without understanding all the underlying story, the emotional context is clear. I didn't have a problem figuring out exactly what the Hungarian soldiers wanted even without knowing the history. But that also became clearer with Net study.


Repeated
>viewings will repay you even
>though some of effects remain
>crass. I've never liked Bratfisch

Me neither, although his solos were quite amazing - I thought they were too long and interferred with the story.

>On
>the video do you actually
>get the singer at the
>party singing - or was
>that one of the cuts
>at the last revival?

The singer was actually singing on the video. Was that the emporer's mistress?


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Ann Williams

03-09-01, 09:02 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #4
 
   >Instead of being MacMillan's difficulty, I see it as his genius.<

Absolutely Lara, I couldn't agree more. MacMillan seemed to have an absolutely clear vision of what he wanted to do, which was to move classical ballet into the future and let it breathe without the historical restrictions of tutu and tights - at least some of the time. With all his faults (and he had some) I think he was an extraordinary genius and we should be proud of him. I am surprised that even people whose judgement I respect cannot always see this. I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that snobbery may have something to do with this - if the masses like him, he can't be any good.....


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Jim

03-09-01, 10:20 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #5
 
   My problem with the Mayerling video (and the original TV broadcast from which I recorded it) is the camera work. It seems to have been directed by some arty farty producer who was experimenting with camera angles and timing. No sooner have you managed to focus on some image when Lo! and Behold! - it's moved off to another angle. Most distracting, I think.


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lara

04-09-01, 06:48 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #6
 
   >My problem with the Mayerling video
>(and the original TV broadcast
>from which I recorded it)
>is the camera work. It
>seems to have been directed
>by some arty farty producer
>who was experimenting with camera
>angles and timing. No sooner
>have you managed to focus
>on some image when Lo!
>and Behold! - it's moved
>off to another angle. Most
>distracting, I think.

Oh yes! Especially during the wedding night pdd. I wanted to see the movements - the whole movements, not just a flurry of arms and legs shot from too close.

I have noticed an alarming trend towards this sort of camera work, most notably in AMP's Swan Lake. Too tight a shot and the lower half of the body was lost. Especially in the pdd between the Stranger and the Prince. Nothing was really going on in the upper bodies yet that is what the cameraman was watching.

Also in the older ABT Giselle with Bruhn. That drove me nuts. These great lifts and all you could see was this cascading fluffy tutu!

I like what Fred Astaire said once, something to the effect that a dance should be shot in one continuous shot or very few cuts with no closeups while the dance was going on.



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Anneliese

15-09-01, 07:43 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #2
 
   Right, I've now finished the video. Thanks for this potted history, but I actually grasped most of this - it was all the sub-plots and meaningful glances that I couldn't work out. I think it would help to have the programme to hand when I re-watch it. Wasn't Viviana STUNNING in this? A really incredibly abandoned performance, I found it very difficult to watch in many ways. I can't imagine how they would cast most of these roles today. Nicola Tranah, to my mind, deserved star billing way above Darcey (I can well imagine Bull or Chadwick doing a far better job as Mitzi) as I found her performance absolutely compelling (even if I couldn't really work out what she was so anguished about or the point of her pdd with Irek). Irek's Chaplinesque eyemakeup and moustache was a little off putting (and was he specially lit or was he in greeny-white makeup throughout?)

Now I've sat through it to the end, I see that Leana Palmer is credited as a princess - so was it also her as a tart, or was that Vanessa? One or the other of them kept catching my eye in every act in a different costume, it seemed. There were lots of names in the final credits that I never managed to identify - who the heck was Bratfisch, for example? And I never noticed the Emperor with a mistress, just the Empress with another bloke. I've read Lynette's review, which has made me even more eager for programme notes, and will go and have a look at some of the "history" sites later tonight.

I'd also like to know more about the music (complete with duff trumpets) - I'm not a Liszt expert, but I hardly recognised any of it.

I think I'll have to learn some history and watch it all over again! Irek deserved a medal for throwing (thinks, counts) six different women around in the course of an hour and a half... a really amazing performance, and weren't all those officers fabulous? Are ANY of them still left in the company?


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Patricia

28-09-01, 11:59 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #10
 
   Anneliese....I have an old programme....you`re very welcome to
borrow it...I could give it to you Sun night if you like. As far
as I know, on the video Matthew Hart danced Bratfisch though I
see from the cast list inside my programme that we saw Teddy!
Patricia


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Anneliese

29-09-01, 05:53 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #11
 
   OOOh, thank you! The friend I'm going with on Sun says that she thinks she still has her programme too, and as I'll be meeting at her flat I can scour her bookshelves, but just in case I'd be really grateful if you could bring yours as well.

Actually, what I meant about Bratfisch was I hadn't identified the character, rather than the dancer... it took these discussions and the links provided to enable me to work it out!


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Anneliese

01-10-01, 04:34 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #12
 
   I have now read through all the programme notes and have had all the little niggles and uncertainties sorted out - now I can watch the video again!


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Anneliese

11-09-01, 10:23 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #0
 
   Thanks for the assistance, everyone. I haven't watched the rest of the ballet yet but I'm glad to find out that I hadn't misinterpreted anything YET...

One thing that made me smile - in the "brothel scene" the lovely Darcey's mouth was firmly closed in all the smooches! And another high comedy moment was a closeup of Irek relaxing in a corner surrounded by tarts - suddenly the camera zoomed in on Vanessa Palmer (I think) gazing lasciviously at Irek's thigh.

Fabulous dancing all round, though.


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Michael LL

14-09-01, 02:34 AM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #8
 
   Darcey was somewhat miscast, even though she danced well. The part needs a smaller dancer, originally Laura Connor, but memorably danced with tremendous personality by the wonderful Rosalyn Whitten, and later very well by Fiona Chadwick and Debbie Bull. I agree - you should just absorb the atmosphere, the superb musical arrangements by Lanchbery, especially for the three Rudolf-Mary pas de deux. Hopefully it will be back for the Macmillan 10 year memorial - Kobborg would be just right


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Paul A

26-02-02, 11:59 AM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #9
 
   According to Stretton's plans Mayerling will be coming back on the exact 10th anniversary of MacMillan's death - I think that's November (?) so plenty time to anticipate. Is it Deborah MacMillan who authorises the casting - I imagine she will be very closely involved in getting back on-stage in mint condition.

Thoughts towards casting:
Bolle, Cojocaru as Stephanie, Rojo as Vetsera, Nunez as Mitzi.


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Anneliese

26-02-02, 12:45 PM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #14
 
   Is Tranah still there to dance Elisabeth? Who could bring off Marie Larisch? Maybe Yanowsky?


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Paul A

26-02-02, 01:28 PM (GMT)
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16. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #15
 
   I'd forgotten Larisch! Yes Yanowsky - or Valtat?


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Steven

26-02-02, 05:00 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #16
 
   Galeazzi as Larisch, please!


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alison

26-02-02, 05:45 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #14
 
   Is Bolle a good enough actor? I was going for Kobborg/Cojocaru/Rojo and someone else, myself. As long as Cojocaru doesn't get Vetsera, which I think would be terrible miscasting, at this stage in her career. I can really see Rojo doing it, though, more than Manon, perhaps.


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lara

26-02-02, 06:04 PM (GMT)
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19. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #18
 
   I see Cooper as Prince Rudolph myself. He has danced it before and with his acting ability would be perfect.


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sylvia

26-02-02, 09:39 PM (GMT)
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20. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #19
 
   LAST EDITED ON 26-02-02 AT 09:41 PM (GMT)

I'm not keen on seeing Kobborg and Rojo matched up again but Cope and Rojo would be good. Maybe put Kobborg with Leanne? And Urlezaga could have a go as well?


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Michael LL

27-02-02, 02:26 AM (GMT)
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21. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #20
 
   MY guesses would be:

Rudolf - Kobborg, Cooper, Watson,
Marie - Cojocaru, Rojo,Galeazzi,
Stephanie - Oughtred, Cojocaru, Bond
Larisch (the most difficult) - Benjamin, Valtat, Rojo
Elisabeth - Tranah, Yanowsky, Valtat
Mitzi - Nunez, Galeazzi, Tapper

It will be fun to see, and I hope that they give it uncut, as per the video


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Tony Newcombe

27-02-02, 09:52 AM (GMT)
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22. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #21
 
   Don't forget Gillian Revie as Mary Vetsera. She and Michael Nunn were very good when it was revived ten years ago. She would also be good as Countess Larisch


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Paul A

04-03-02, 04:35 PM (GMT)
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25. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #21
 
   Yes for Watson - it would be major progress for him. Has he enough experience on the partnering side.

Am I wrong but has nobody cast Guillem in any of these roles - ideal for Marie?


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alison

01-03-02, 01:33 PM (GMT)
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24. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #20
 
   Isn't that a *little* harsh, Sylvia, assuming that you're basing it only on their performance in Don Quixote, as they've been seen in very little else together? I've said it before: I think with most dancers it's a question of "horses for courses", and that what may work with an individual dancer or combinations in a given type of role may not for another. I stand by my conviction that Rojo and Kobborg, both being very good dramatic dancers, could be really good together in the dramatic rep. Whether there would be physical problems given the fact that she's taller than Cojocaru and that the partnering might be demanding I don't know, but I think from an interpretive point of view they could be seriously good.


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alison

28-02-02, 01:35 PM (GMT)
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23. "RE: Mayerling"
In response to message #19
 
   Yes, of course. I missed him (last minute switch of cast - got Cope instead) last time around, but gather he was very good. I was thinking of RB dancers rather than guests.


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