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Subject: "Ross Stretton please answer the charges." Archived thread - Read only
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08-10-01, 11:26 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Toeshoe Click to send private message to Toeshoe Click to add this user to your buddy list  
"Ross Stretton please answer the charges."
   Please will the press office who I know read these pages ask Ross Stretton
to put peoples minds at rest and give an account of himself.
1-- Why no complete casts lists, we need more than two principals.
2-- why still no news on Onegin, surely this ballet has a cast.
4-- Does he not realize, that the Royal Ballet public do not like to book without cast lists as many travel many miles to see the dancers they enjoy, which means price of the ticket, train fare and in many cases hotel accomadation, which makes for an expensive evening.
Mr. Stretto now is time to face the public.

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Ross Stretton please answer the charges. Jane S 08-10-01 1
     RE: Ross Stretton please answer the charges. Paul A 08-10-01 2

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Jane S

08-10-01, 03:09 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Ross Stretton please answer the charges."
In response to message #0
   Toeshoe, I agree that it's difficult not to have more complete casting, but I think that you are weakening your case by appearing to blame Ross Stretton for things that are either standard practice or outside his control. I'm not necessarily defending what happens, just saying that a lot of it is not peculiar to Stretton.

1. Full length ballets

Don Quixote - has never been announced with more than the 2 leads

Nutcracker - we've had more detailed casting the last 2 years but before that it was often only Sugar Plum/Prince, and sometimes Drosselmeyer

Bayadere - they've always before announced Gamzatti and it's a pity they haven't this time; apart from anything else it might answer some of the question about roles for Yanowsky

Giselle - it's years since anything but Giselle/Albrecht was announced

Onegin - casting is done by Reid Anderson, who owns the ballet, not by Ross Stretton; Anderson was coming over 'early October' to finalise it and presumably they'll tell us when he has. I imagine the company are as keen as we are to know the answer! (This too has happened before - when Mr Wordly Wise was new, we had to book on the strength of 'New Tharp: full length Rossini ballet'.)

2. Mixed bills

I think it's so long since we saw many new works by outside choreographers that we've forgotten what used to happen. It is more usual than not for a new work, or one coming back into the repertory after a long absence, to be announced with no casting. Dowell put out at least 3 bills with no casting for two of the ballets (and for the bill reopening the ROH there wasn't any casting at all). Even Ashley Page, who knew the company as well as anyone, rarely gave any casts. The outside choreographers don't know the company and I don't see how they could be expected to decide on a cast until they start working with the dancers.

What I do think they could do, though, is to decide how many casts there are going to be and then to indicate which nights Cast A, B,.. will be appearing - then we could at least book to see different casts.

Another general problem, which applied equally to Anthony Dowell's later years, is caused by the ROH's eagerness to get their hands on our money so early. It used to be the case that booking didn't open till about six weeks before the beginning of each period, which gave the direction much more flexibility, and in particular was much more likely to lead to young dancers being given big roles - it's much harder to take a chance on someone 7 months out.

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Paul A

08-10-01, 03:45 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Ross Stretton please answer the charges."
In response to message #1
   Can see the merits of both sides of this argument - but the ROH (irrespective of who is in charge) - would manage opinion better and win friends if it were forthcoming, as you say how many casts will dance a work, the sequence of dates for each cast, when reliable information will become available. And if this means altering booking arangements to accommodate late information I think the ROH ought to consider audiences' interests and make some alteration to the normal bokking schedule.

Certainly the ROH should be a reliable source of information about its doings. No disrespect (and there will always be a grapevine), but I do not expect to learn about the ROH from a postings board like this - but thank goodness I do. Otherwise the frustration that the ROH engenders really would explode.

For the record though, when Onegin was announced in the late 70s, the normal booking leaflet contained full casting info, with Stuttgart guests and with subsequent RB casts.

I am trying to remain even handed but the ROH does goad you beyond patience.

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