THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
THE ROYAL BALLET AND THE ROYAL OPERA
AN INTRODUCTION BY TONY HALL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
I have no doubt that this is going to be a landmark season for the Royal Opera House. We will be welcoming Ross Stretton as the new Director of The Royal Ballet - he has put together a programme that brings new ballets and new choreographers to Covent Garden. At the same time we will be remembering the foundation of The Royal Ballet by dedicating the entire season of ballet to the memory of Dame Ninette de Valois.
In his final year as Music Director of The Royal Opera, Bernard Haitink stands at the head of an international roster of conductors and singers that is remarkable by any standard. Of the 20 productions being staged by The Royal Opera, 10 of them are new.
In the coming year, we will also be giving people more chances to see what we do. Last season The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera gave a total of 256 performances on the main stage - this year we are offering 272 performances with the objective of reaching an even larger audience. We will also be continuing the 'BP Opera and Ballet in the Piazza' series with relays of Rigoletto and The Queen of Spades.
We are looking at ways of making some of our ticket prices more affordable for more people. In a new initiative we are extending the lower Friday and Saturday prices for every evening performance of three opera productions; The Bartered Bride, the double bill of Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Erwartung and The Turn of the Screw. The prices for these operas will range from £3 to £90. We are holding the bottom four price bands for opera and ballet at the same level as last year: over half the House will cost £50 or under for all opera performances and almost 900 seats for all Royal Ballet performances will cost £11 or less. All other prices will have a small increase, none greater than £5.
We will continue to bring new performances and new audiences to the Royal Opera House through our work at the Linbury Studio Theatre and the Clore Studio Upstairs. Education is central to what we do at Covent Garden, and in the coming year we aim to give even more people a chance to gain access and insight to the delights of opera and ballet.
But above all, all of us at the Royal Opera House look forward to welcoming both newcomers and established supporters to what we think is going to be an exciting and memorable season.
THE ROYAL BALLET 2001-2002
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ROYAL BALLET 2001/2002 SEASON
BY ROSS STRETTON, DIRECTOR OF THE ROYAL BALLET
Laughter, tears, romance, fantasy - our 2001-2002 season has it all!
Rudolf Nureyev's irreverent humour in Don Quixote, the passionate anguish of
John Cranko's Onegin, the dream-world of The Nutcracker and the inspired beauty of Giselle and La Bayadère prove once again the lasting appeal of the full-length classics in the hands of master choreographers.
Our one-act ballets show a great diversity of theme, music and style. From Mats Ek's stirringly dramatic Carmen to Stephen Baynes' joyous Beyond Bach, from the poignancy of Marguerite and Armand and A Month in the Country to the inventive virtuosity of In the middle, somewhat elevated, Remanso and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, through to Antony Tudor's memorable The Leaves are Fading and Nacho Duato's absolute masterpiece, Por vos muero. The season will be capped with Christopher Wheeldon's new creation to Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No 1.
Our impression of one-act ballets is always influenced by the other ballets in the programme, so the design of a mixed programme can reveal the full beauty of a new ballet and throw new light on familiar repertoire. The one-act ballets in this season are created by some of the most extraordinary choreographers, composers and designers in the world, all presented with the unmistakable grace of the dancers of The Royal Ballet.
In June and July, the Company will be on tour in Australia visiting Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
In addition to the main stage repertory, the Company will continue to develop its programme of activities in the Linbury Studio Theatre, Clore Studio Upstairs and beyond. Our educational and outreach programmes, Master Classes and ADI (Artists' Development Initiative) projects form an integral part of the Company's work, providing new experiences and opportunities for dancers and audiences alike. The facilities we now enjoy enable us to embrace these opportunities with enthusiasm and we look forward to an exciting season in the knowledge that we are building on the great traditions laid down for us by our Foundation Director.
I invite you to join us in celebrating our heritage, in experiencing some of the best international masterworks, and in moving ahead to a bright future. The legacy of Dame Ninette de Valois' adventurous creativity lives on!
THE ROYAL BALLET 2001/2002 REPERTORY
Rudolf Nureyev after Marius Petipa
23, 26 October, 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 14 November at 7.30pm , 26 October at 2.30pm, 27 October, 10 November at 1pm and 3 November at 2pm/ 15, 16, 17, 23, 24 July, 2 August at 7.30pm/ 27 July at 2pm and 7pm
Sponsored (2001) by the Benefactors' Circle
The season opens on 23 October with Don Quixote, a heady mixture of Spanish dance, pure classicism, and comic farce. This will be the first time The Royal Ballet has danced Rudolf Nureyev's version which he created for Vienna Staatsoper Ballet in 1966. The ballet follows the adventures of Kitri, the adventurous peasant girl, who runs off to a gypsy encampment with her sweetheart, the local barber Basilio, rather than follow her father's wish that she marry the outrageously silly, but wealthy Gamache. After romantic and comic complications including a sword-fight, tilting at the windmill and a moonlit
pas de deux, chivalrous Don Quixote resourcefully ensures a happy ending. With the music of Ludwig Minkus (arranged by John Lanchbery), décor by Anne Fraser and costumes by Barry Kay, Charles Barker conducts.
22, 27, 29 November, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12 December, 17, 23, 24, 29 January/
1 December at 2pm and 7pm/ 19 January at 7pm/ 18, 19, 22, 31 July at 7.30pm/ 20 July, 3 August at 2pm and 7pm
Supported (2001) by The Dalriada Trust
The Royal Ballet dances John Cranko's full-length ballet Onegin for the first time. The ballet danced to the music of Tchaikovsky, is inspired by Pushkin's great verse-novel Eugene Onegin about the humiliation and regret of love. Designs are by Jürgen Rose, Charles Barker conducts.
Lev Ivanov and Peter Wright
13 December, 1, 2, 3, 4, January at 7.30pm/18, 19, 21 December at 2.30pm and 7.30pm/15, 26, 29 December at 2pm and 7pm/31 December at 12pm and 5pm/ 27, 28 December, 5 January at 7pm.
Peter Wright's revised staging of The Nutcracker returns to the repertory for the Christmas season. The story based on Hoffmann's tale, tells how Drosselmeyer, a mysterious magician who makes clocks and mechanical toys, breaks the spell which has turned his nephew into a wooden nutcracker doll. Tchaikovsky's sparkling score is conducted by Jacques Lacombe and Paul Murphy.
Beyond Bach, The Leaves are Fading, Marguerite and Armand
Stephen Baynes, Antony Tudor, Frederick Ashton
26 January and 9 February at 7pm/30 January, 1, 7, 8 February at 7.30pm
Remembrances of things past flood through these ballets. Opening the programme is a ballet new to the company, Australian choreographer Stephen Baynes' highly acclaimed Beyond Bach. Described at the time of its premiere as a love poem to the form and structure of classical ballet. Baynes choreographs some of Bach's most radiant music including The Third Orchestral Suite, and Sheep May Safely Graze.
The Leaves are Fading is one of the last works by the British choreographer
Antony Tudor. Created in 1977 for Gelsey Kirkland and dancers of American Ballet Theatre, it hints at being a collective portrait of a woman's memories as seven couples dance an elegiac series of romantic duets to movements from Dvorák String Quartets.
Completing the programme is Frederick Ashton's Marguerite and Armand an adaptation of Dumas' La Dame aux camélias, the story of the doomed, turbulent passion between a courtesan and her young, idealistic lover.
Frederick Chopin's score is conducted by Charles Barker.
Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa
11, 12, 13, 15, 21, 25, 26 February, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15 March at 7.30pm/23 February at 12.30pm/2 March at 7pm
La Bayadère is one of the great Russian ballets with a thrilling, almost operatic, tale of love, murder and revenge set against the exotic backdrop of ancient India using Ludwig Minkus's dramatic score, arranged by John Lanchbery. Originally choreographed by Marius Petipa this ballet is a breathtaking showpiece of classical dancing. This production, adapted from the famous Kirov production, has been lovingly re-created for The Royal Ballet by Natalia Makarova with set designs by Pier Luigi Samaritani and costume designs by Yolanda Sonnabend. It offers three contrasting principal roles in the temple dancer, Nikiya, the villainous Princess Gamzatti, and Solor the Prince they both desire. Valery Ovsianykov conducts.
There will be a School's Matinee performance of La Bayadère on Friday 15 March.
In the middle, somewhat elevated, Remanso, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Por Vos Muero
William Forsythe, Nacho Duato
4, 6, 18, 20, March at 7.30pm
Bold design ideas and striking images define the distinctive atmospheres of the four pieces on this programme. William Forsythe's In the middle, somewhat elevated opens the programme. This work takes the athleticism of classical ballet techniques as its starting point, and pushes dancers to the limits of their technical and physical ability. A rapid, complex and highly energetic work, this one-act ballet is set to the frenetic synthesised rhythms of Thom Willems. It was first danced by The Royal Ballet in 1992.
The Royal Ballet presented Nacho Duato's ballet Remanso as part of the
Celebration of International Choreography in December 1999. Set to piano music by Enrique Granados, Remanso is a witty athletic ballet for three male dancers.
The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude was created for Forsythe's Frankfurt Ballet in 1996 and first performed by The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House Opening Celebration in December 1999. The ballet displays a whirlwind of movement as five dancers are put through their paces to the C Major Finale of Schubert's Ninth Symphony.
Nacho Duato created Por Vos Muero in 1996, set to romantic poems and Spanish music of the 16th century, these aural cues heighten the choreography's beauty and passion. The profound emotions central to this work are further enhanced by Duato's own costume and set designs.
There is a Schools Matinee performance of Enduring Images on Thursday 14 March.
Marius Petipa after Jean Coralli & Jules Perrot
21, 26, 27 March, 4, 11, 16 April at 7.30pm/ 23, 30 March at 2pm and 7pm/ 6, 13 April at 7pm
First produced in 1841 at the Paris Opera, Giselle is perhaps the most famous and most poignant ballet of the Romantic era. Set in a medieval Rhineland village, the story tells of Giselle, a gentle peasant girl who falls in love with Albrecht, a philandering Count. Upon learning that Albrecht is betrothed to another, Giselle is driven mad and eventually dies. Later she joins the ghostly ranks of betrayed women who rise from the dead to prey on the men who have destroyed them. Yet Giselle's love for Albrecht transcends even death. This production, sensitively staged by Peter Wright with evocative designs by John F. MacFarlane, captures both the folkloric and supernatural aspects of the ballet. Emmanuel Plasson conducts Adolphe Adam's score, revised by Joseph Horovitz.
There is a School's Matinee performance of Giselle on Thursday 21 March.
In the middle, somewhat elevated, Por Vos Muero, Carmen
William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, Mats Ek
9, 10, 19, 23, 24 April at 7.30pm
In a high contrast programme from an American in Paris, a Swede in Seville and a Spaniard at home, classicism meets ceaseless athleticism in William Forsythe's
In the middle, somewhat elevated, the opening ballet. This is followed by Nacho Duato's Por Vos Muero with Mats Ek's Carmen presented by The Royal Ballet for the first time completing the programme. Mats Ek is famous for his vividly theatrical alternatives of classics. Created a decade ago for the Cullberg Ballet, Ek's ballet puts gender on the agenda by abandoning stereotypical interpretations of the story that Bizet once made his own. A predatory Carmen leads the potent sexual games, while the pathos of the piece is left to rest with Don José. Charles Barker conducts.
ROMEO AND JULIET
26, 29, 30 April, 2, 4, 8, 9, 17, 23 May at 7.30pm
Revival sponsored (2001) by The British Land Company plc and The Friends of Covent Garden
Kenneth MacMillan's classic version of Shakespeare's tragic tale of 'star-crossed' lovers, set to Prokofiev's rich, symphonic score, has become one of The Royal Ballet's most enduring and popular productions. The ballet is a haunting and provocative study of the nature of love in a world governed by factionalism and division. Designs are by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by John B. Read.
There is a School's Matinee performance of Romeo and Juliet on Friday 26 April.
Beyond Bach, New Wheeldon Ballet, A Month in the Country
Stephen Baynes, Christopher Wheeldon, Frederick Ashton
18 May at 7pm/ 21, 24 May at 7.30pm/ 25 May at 2pm and 7pm
The Christopher Wheeldon Ballet is Supported (2002) by The Dalriada Trust
Stephen Baynes' Beyond Bach opens this programme with a new ballet by
Christopher Wheeldon providing the central focus for this programme. Wheeldon has been an integral part of The Royal Ballet's commitment to new choreography. His last new work for The Royal Ballet formed part of the New Works programme in the Linbury Studio Theatre in 2000. He has also created several ballets in America where he has danced with New York City Ballet since 1993, and has recently been given the title of Resident Choreographer.
Frederick Ashton's A Month in the Country is a shimmering distillation of Turgenev's deeply poignant Russian comedy of long summer afternoons, when a young tutor falls headlong for an older woman trapped in a loveless marriage. Danced to a score by Chopin this initially restrained yet increasingly eloquent ballet offers great opportunities for dramatic dancers.
TRIBUTE TO DAME NINETTE DE VALOIS
25, 26, 29, 30 July, 1 August at 7.30pm
A special evening of dance to celebrate the life of Dame Ninette de Valois, founder of The Royal Ballet. Details of the programme will be announced nearer the time.
EXHIBITIONS AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 2001/ 2002
A TRIBUTE TO NINETTE DE VALOIS: SEPTEMBER 2001-JANUARY 2002
Dame Ninette de Valois, Founder Director of The Royal Ballet, occupies a unique position in the history of dance in the United Kingdom. De Valois began her career as a dancer, appearing on "every pier in England" before joining Diaghilev's Ballets Russes company. This latter experience gave her the inspiration to found her own ballet school and company which were to become the Royal Ballet School, The Royal Ballet and the Birmingham Royal Ballet, legacies that pay tribute to her visionary zeal. An exhibition in the Amphitheatre Foyers will consider de Valois's outstanding contribution to British ballet, as dancer, choreographer and administrator, through programmes, photographs, correspondence and designs.
MARGOT FONTEYN :
A CELEBRATION, SEPTEMBER 2001 - JANUARY 2002
A complementary exhibition in the Amphitheatre Foyers, Piazza Link, Foyer Link, Carraige Entrance Way and Vilar Floral Hall, will celebrate the career of Margot Fonteyn, Prima Ballerina Assoluta of The Royal Ballet. Fonteyn's early career was nurtured by de Valois who recognised her special qualities and facilitated the creative partnership with Frederick Ashton, Founder Choroegrapher of The Royal Ballet. This exhibition will include material purchased at the Margot Fonteyn sale at Christie's in December 2000 and the Royal Opera House Archives are grateful to the institutions and individuals whose generosity made these purchases possible.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH, OCTOBER 2001
There will be an exhibition in the Piazza Link as part of the Royal Opera House's contribution to Black History Month, a celebration of Black History in the United Kingdom.
BERNARD HAITINK, MUSIC DIRECTOR OF THE ROYAL OPERA
An exhibition celebrating the career of Bernard Haitink who retires as Music Director of The Royal Opera at the end of the 2001/02 season will follow the de Valois and Fonteyn exhibitions. Haitink first conducted at the Royal Opera House on 14 March 1977, a performance of Don Giovanni, and became Music Director of The Royal Opera in September 1987. Haitink has conducted a wide repertory with The Royal Opera, working with a remarkable range of singers, directors and designers, and has also conducted performances of The Royal Ballet and concerts with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. This exhibition will consider all aspects of his career at the Royal Opera House.
There will be additional exhibitions throughout the year celebrating aspects of the Royal Opera House's history. All exhibitions are open to the public during normal day-time opening hours of the Royal Opera House.
The Royal Opera House's education programme falls into two main areas: that which is broadly speaking audience development; and that designed to contribute to the development of the art forms of opera and ballet. The Royal Opera House, through its education programme, seeks to contribute to the lifelong learning, personal and professional development of people both within the wider society and within the organisation. Everyone has the right to experience ballet and opera performances and arts education of the highest quality and to contribute to the continuing development of the art forms of ballet and opera.
During the 2001/2002 Season, the Royal Opera House will continue its already extensive education projects, currently reaching over 40,000 people each year, while building on new initiatives and developing a range of new programmes.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2001-2002
THE TURTLE OPERA: OPERA COMES OUT OF ITS SHELL
EXCITING NEW ARTS INITIATIVE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH AUTISM & ASPERGER SYNDROME
Supported by the D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
The Royal Opera House and Turtle Key Arts are collaborating to create an exciting and unique new opportunity for autistic young people and those with Asperger syndrome to participate in the creative arts and work alongside professional artists.
A group of twelve young people, aged between eleven and fifteen, will meet at the Royal Opera House on Saturday afternoons from 12 May to 14 July 2001. They will participate in a wide range of music, drama, dance, movement and visual arts activities led by a team of artists with extensive experience in arts education and work with young people with disabilities, including autism.
The aim is to develop the participants' artistic skills, as well as social and communication skills and self-confidence. The Turtle Opera will culminate in a performance by the group of original work they have created. They will also have the opportunity to work with singers and musicians from the Royal Opera House during the course of the project.
The Turtle Opera has the support of the National Autistic Society, which distributed information about the initiative to all its members. The hugely positive response and large number of applications clearly indicates the demand for such opportunities and the current lack of provision available.
THE PARTNER ORGANISATIONS
The Turtle Opera is the result of a partnership between Royal Opera House Education and Turtle Key Arts. The Royal Opera House's education programme aims to extend opportunities to engage with its art forms and resources to people of all ages, backgrounds, needs and abilities. Turtle Key Arts is a leader in its field in delivering and promoting arts education and training opportunities for children and young people on the disability spectrum. The two organisations are delighted to be working together and hope to establish The Turtle Opera as an ongoing initiative. It is also hoped that the partnership will lead to the development of further education projects for children and young people with disabilities.
THE ARTISTIC TEAM
An exciting artistic team has been put together to lead The Turtle Opera. Clare Whistler (director) is a director, choreographer and dancer, and currently Director of Glyndebourne Youth Opera group. Steve Rose (musical director) has composed numerous pieces for theatre, dance and television productions, and performed with groups including The Style Council and the Jonathan Gee Trio. Sara Bannerman-Haig (movement leader) is a teacher and dance movement therapist who has worked extensively with dance in education and in the community. Alexandra Julyan (visual artist) has exhibited widely in such places as The Royal Academy, as well as working on a number of cross-arts projects involving music.
CHANCE TO DANCE
Supported by The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, The Candide Charitable Trust, Christ Church Educational Foundation, The Daisy Trust, The Emily Temple West Trust, Freed of London, The Friends of Covent Garden, Mrs Marina Hobson, John Lyon's Charity, Kobler Trust, Jane and Glenn Melrose, The Mercers' Company, The Woo Charitable Foundation, Arabesque Leotards and Sportswear, Porselli, and the London Boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth, and Southwark
This exciting and successful project celebrates its tenth birthday in September. As the project team commences the annual programme of visits to schools in Lambeth, Southwark and Hammersmith & Fulham, 12,658 children will have participated in the project. The project functions on a number of levels. 491 children have been awarded scholarships which comprise special ballet classes in their local community, free dance wear, and associated activities and outings. Strong links are forged with the Royal Opera House and its performing companies with students attending performances and occasionally taking part in Royal Ballet productions. Members of The Royal Ballet have participated in the annual lecture demonstrations, and have performed with the children in the ROH Linbury Studio Theatre in short versions of The Nutcracker (November 1999) and Coppélia (December 2000).
18 children have been successful in gaining Local Education Authority grants and/or bursaries and progressed to full time training at vocational dance schools including: The Royal Ballet School (White Lodge); Arts Educational School (Chiswick); Arts Educational School (Tring); Elmhurst Ballet School; Northern Ballet School. In addition, 16 Chance to Dance students have also been successful in auditions for places on The Royal Ballet School Junior Associates programme, which offers Saturday classes for children who show exceptional talent.
* One of the aims of Chance to Dance is to ensure that in the long term, no child will feel that the world of ballet is inaccessible.
OTHER PROJECTS INCLUDE
SCHOOLS' MATINEES PROGRAMME offers six performances per annum (three operas three ballets) with all seats at £5 and free preparatory activities for teachers and students.
Supported by The Donald Gordon Foundation
A major, long-term project in South Africa, working with artists, teachers and students, involving exchange visits and sharing of experience and expertise. Following training courses for local artists in February, South African teachers have been sharing their new-found expertise with their students. Performances of the work they have created will take place during October.
WRITE AN OPERA
A SmithKline Beecham Community Partnership Education Programme
The Write an Opera project, annually reaches teachers and students in 40-60 primary and secondary schools. Each student undertakes at least 120 hours of work to create an original opera, and so far teachers from 20 countries have participated.
YOUNG/NEW AUDIENCES INITIATIVE
A programme of new small-scale work for performance in the Linbury Studio Theatre and for touring is being developed as part of a Young/New Audiences Initiative. Following enthusiastic reception to Sixty Minute Cinderella, a further new opera for 8-11 year olds will be premiered during the season.
INSIGHT DAYS AND WORKSHOPS
The extensive programme of in-house activities aimed predominantly at adults includes insight days and evenings, pre-performance talks and masterclasses. Activities for families include backstage tours, opportunities to watch The Royal Ballet in class and practical weekend workshops looking at specific operas and ballets. Monday Moves, is a programme of weekly dance classes for blind and visually impaired adults held in The Royal Ballet's studios.
BEHIND THE SCENES COURSE for students aged 18-22. This intensive annual course has proved to be a popular strand in the Royal Opera House's provision of courses aimed at students and young adults.
TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Ongoing training and professional development for Royal Opera House artists will continue. This will include courses, a new mentoring scheme, plus opportunities to study at degree level. In addition, artists will continue to be involved in planning, delivering and evaluating education projects.
BEYOND THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
Last Season 1.5 million people watched the performances on BBC television of The Nutcracker and La Cenerentola and a .5 million saw the enlightening series of masterclasses from the Linbury Studio Theatre, shown on BBC2, given by leading professionals working with gifted younger artists. Several millions more heard our opera performances on BBC Radio 3. We were especially delighted to welcome the return of relays screened free of charge into the Covent Garden Piazza. The 'BP Opera in the Piazza' series began with relays of The Royal Opera productions of Tosca, Les Contes D'Hoffmann and Otello. . For the first time a full-length ballet was screened when 'BP Ballet in the Piazza' was launched with a relay of The Royal Ballet's Swan Lake. In the new Season 'BP Opera in the Piazza' continues with Rigoletto and The Queen of Spades.