Royal Opera House
Friday, 1st December 2017
Sylvia – 12/1/2017
Sylvia: Marianela Nunez
Aminta: Vadim Muntagirov
Orion: Thiago Soares
Eros: Valentino Zucchetti
Diana: Itziar Mendizabal
Well, I couldn’t cope with the idea of no Marianela ’til January, so, last week after the opening night I took advantage of ROH Friday Rush to get a last minute ticket for another Sylvia by the queen. I know, I know, that makes four Sylvias in a row… wait, does the general rehearsal count as one as well? Ok, five. Five in ten days… not bad, not bad at all – well, bad for my father’s bank account obviously, but I have to deal with killer deadlines for university, I need my daily dose of Royal alongside intravenous injections of Marianela magic (I really have to wait till January now: my heart is breaking already).
So, even though the 1st of December calls for Nutcracker out loud (25 days of Nutcracker hit my main account in all its glittery sugar for the advent’s start) that’s to Sylvia again, so
charming with its sugary silly glory. Even having seen it barely 24hrs before, this production is always all thing gorgeous, a tale of pure entertainment and delicate scenes, and made even better by the queen of queens herself.
Marianela’s really the most versatile ballerina ever, I’ll never get tired of saying that, and London obviously loves her. If I had a penny for every time I got emotional over her amazingness I probably would be richer than JK Rowling and HM the Queen put together. Oh, look, I even succeeded in citing three queens in the same quote!
Vadim was amazing as per usual, both in interpretation and technique, and I particularly enjoyed his act 3 variation, during which he seemed to be flying around the stage like it was the easiest thing ever.
Thiago then, is always a great villain, and I liked how he portrayed Orion in act 2. He’s such a brilliant partner, I’d really love to see him dancing more with Marianela again.
It was really good to see Leticia Dias as one of Sylvia’s attendants in the final act, she’s definitely one to watch among the youngest artists of the company.
Again, my favourite scene from the ballet was amazing (I’m thinking about making a canvas painting of that part of the ballet, I’ll keep you informed): I adore the huntresses’ entrance and their whole routine, and I have to say, after seeing Osipova on Thursday, I had a totally different feeling: Osipova was obviously great, technically speaking, as was Marianela, but with the former I couldn’t see that sort of companionship among the huntresses and Sylvia, whilst with Marianela on stage, even her fellow attendants conveyed the public a sense of ‘sisters in arms’, you know.
Marianela herself was astonishing: I’ll miss seeing her dancing in this role, I really wish ROH could realise more filming and dvds rather than just the ones of the cinema relays. Still have to understand why there was no cinema relay of Sylvia by the way – maybe it’s because they opened it so late (last year Nutcracker opened on November 23rd, and this year Sylvia premiered on the same day).
I’m always so amazed by her incredible interpretations: she was such a powerful huntress in act 1 whilst dancing around with her companions sporting her helmet and brandishing bow and arrows, and a smart and brilliant damsel in distress when kidnapped by Orion in act 2. In act 3 she swaps her helmet and weapons for a tiara and a sparkling tutu, but she’s still a proud nymph, not a passive princess at all. Sylvia, indeed, covers such a variety of moods and characters, and a remarkable technical range as well: Marianela pulled out her best balances in the first act dancing fiercely and charming the audience with her natural charisma, while in act 3 her pizzicato was so freaking amazing! Her footwork was so dazzlingly bright and needlepointed!
I’m writing this review after getting out from ROH after seeing Lauren (I’ll talk about her Sylvia in my next article), and I have to say that among the three (Nunez, Osipova, Cuthbertson) Marianela was my favourite (yeah, unsurprisingly I know): her Ashton style is a gift from heaven, and even though Lauren is a great Ashtonian-ballerina as well (Osipova definitely isn’t, too Bolshoi style), Marianela was the one more ‘in the role’. She wasn’t too sweet (as Lauren, who was perhaps too lovely), nor too powerful (I mean, even Orion had some problems in kidnapping Osipova’s kick-assed Sylvia). And she wasn’t even too ‘amazonian’ as Darcey.
In short, SHE RULED. She sparkled, from her fierce entrance to the gorgeous closing pas de deux alongside Vadim.
So, as per usual after a Marianela show, ROH was on fire and absolutely delighted by her masterclass of technique and musicality. How can she be so talented, please?!
And here come the Stage Door chronicles, once again: forgot what I said some months ago about being just a few of enthusiasts waiting there, the Stage Door is getting crowded. Really really crowded, and considering that it’s freezing outside, that’s not so nice when the glass doors continues to open and close. Anyway, it’s a ‘de rigueur’ bound, and it was lovely to chat with Marianela, she’s so sweet and always so kind. I’ll definitely miss her dancing – how can I wait till Giselle?!