ROHSylvia 2

Royal Opera House
Thursday, 30th November 2017


Sylvia – 11/30/2017

Natalia Osipova and Federico Bonelli as Sylvia and Aminta in act 3
Sylvia: Natalia Osipova
Aminta: Federico Bonelli
Orion: Ryoichi Hirano
Eros: Benjamin Ella
Diana: Claire Calvert

A week haul is even too long to me, in particular because of Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle. I mean, even without considering that I’m still trying to recover at the idea Prince Harry is not marrying me, Kate waited almost ten years to get a ring (and what a ring, I’ll love it forever – and Meghan’s is pretty awesome too) and she gets one in less than two years? I definitely need baby Cambridge number three to come soon, really really soon, to cheer me up. Or better, I need Kate to give birth to baby Cambridge number three on Meghan’s wedding day, that would be hilarious!
And yeah, I’ll obviously be gathering in Windsor next May, but I promise I will not feel even one ounce of happiness I felt for William and Kate (I was over elated, I have to say it), and I’m not doing RepliMeghans: Kate rules and slays, always and forever, and at least Kensington Palace treated us with the sweetest anecdote about Prince George sending his dad to hand over a letter for Father Christmas – because apparently William has a direct line to Santa, you know, the perks of being a royal.

Natalia Osipova rehearsing Sylvia (love her ripped tutu btw)

By the way, for I need frequent ROH doses, this last week of Winter term it’s pretty well jam packed with Sylvia yesterday, today (last minute ticket to see Marianela guys!), tomorrow (matinée bound for Lauren), Nutcracker general rehearsals on Monday and opening night on Tuesday.
I know, I know: when my parents enrolled me to ballet classes ages ago, they had no idea of what they was getting into (and what they was actually getting their wallet into). But I mean, I’m a ballet nerd, it could have been much much worse for them, isn’t it? I’m ROH drugged, a bless for (almost) any parent!

I don’t know exactly why but I’d never thought about Osipova as a match for Sylvia: no clues, but I maybe am used seeing her in really different roles. I’m happy to say, I really enjoyed her performance: here in London she’s not the most loved dancer, but she’s definitely one of mines.
After seeing Marianela twice I had the highest standards ever (and yeah, it’s not a Marianela review but I obviously have to spend some works on the queen she is, cannot wait to see her dancing again tonight), but Osipova gave a fantastic Sylvia, even though it felt like totally another character than Marianela’s. That was much more a “let’s tear down the barricade” kind of Sylvia, and Osipova was all like “Let the 76th Hunger Games begin – I’ll kill the other 23 tributes in the next hour or so”.
Her technique cannot absolutely be criticised, she’s one of the greatest of all times, but she has no middle ground between being cold or possessed: she was maybe a bit too much into the character I think. Quite stormy throughout the whole ballet.
Overall, Sylvia is a quite silly ballet, but it is also all thing sublime! Let’s talk about those amazing sets and scenery – hands up for those who set it up, for real- and the costumes are dazzling as well (I love the huntresses’ ones and Sylvia’s former one).
My favourite scene had to be the attendants’ one: another great portray of girl fierceness! It’s quite remarkable how Ashton was capable of incredible misogyny – as in The Dream, I mean guys, Oberon decides to make his wife falling in love with a donkey and then he also gets a pass by saying it was not his fault, think about it – alongside portraying a story of major women power like in Sylvia. Yeah, ok, Orion actually kidnaps her, but she escapes all by herself using her wit, she does not need a cavalier in a sparkling armor to save her. Yes, hands up for Sylvia please.
So, it is a ballet of no particular substance, but it is so fabulous on the tongue!
And well… such a blessing after those MacMillan runs I still have to recover from. Here there’s no need to worry or to go home darkened by haunting scenes. It’s pure candy floss, all time long!

Natalia Osipova and Federico Bonelli rehearsing Sylvia and Aminta

In the first act after a slightly stiff entrance sequence, Federico pulled through amazingly,
Natalia Osipova and Federico Bonelli rehearsing Sylvia and Aminta even though I like him more in more princely roles than in the peasantly ones. Indeed, the third act suited him way way better and I loved his variation: he was great, and his jumps were impeccable.
Amazing Rio as Orion as well as he partnered an even more stormy Osipova in act 2, and hands up for Benjamin Ella: he managed the “keep an eye on the staircases, they like to change” moment (made in Percy Weasley) quite well as Eros!
In the third act, Anna Rose O’Sullivan was lovely as one of the goats, and I really enjoyed Elizabeth McRae as Persephone – I wish we could see more of her. In this act as well I liked Sylvia attendants, in particular Yuhui Choe, who was flawless in the role.
Then, I didn’t think the pizzicato could be so… possessed (?), but yeah: Osipova. She amazingly pulled out wondrous footwork and great technique, but God…
I loved the pas de deux, not considering the unsuccessful entrance lift at the beginning of the coda, as it was just another evidence of Federico’s greatness.
In conclusion, that was a completely different yet amazing Sylvia, and I got out of ROH with my signed programme after freezing cold at the Stage Door – and by the way, I am probably the only person in the whole town not having seen the snow yesterday morning. Hoping tonight the weather will be less inclement (because I just know we’ll all have to wait hours for Vadim and Marianela), I’ll now stop procrastinating on reviews to finish my essays and research journals ahead of deadlines next week (I wanna die). Cannot wait for Marianela’s run tonight!!

Programme signed by Natalia Osipova and Federico Bonelli


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