The Winter’s Tale
Royal Opera House
Wednesday, 28th February 2018
The Winter’s Tale – 02/28/2018
Leontes: Ryoichi Hirano
Hermione: Lauren Cuthbertson
Perdita: Sarah Lamb
Florizel: Vadim Muntagirov
Paulina: Laura Morera
Polixenes: Matthew Ball
Father Shepherd: Gary Avis
Brother Clown: Marcelino Sambé
Young Shepherdess: Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Even though London’s snowy mood calls for Nutcracker (and all things Christmas) a Winter’s Tale bound feels quite appropriate as well for this wintry evening.
I had my very own winter’s tale to get to Covent Garden braving the Beast from the East, but this ravishing successful ballet is worth every frozen finger!
Cinema relays call for me to force fam and friends back at home to head to the cinema whilst I’m at the ROH – I even made a cinema cameo while my tweet was being displayed on screen.
As per usual, Royal did not disappoint in Wheeldon’s remarkable piece of work. They were all enthusiast in bringing on stage such winning and effervescent drama, and it was a great way to keep warm after such a snow daze in London.
So with the weather in character for the occasion dark act 1 opened to snowy Sicilia and I’m sure the whole world has been bewitched by Lauren’s ethereal Hermione. Her performance was just poignant, and she was the truest incarnation of emotion and grace in her created role, shining bright evoking raw emotions all round.
I mean, have you seen those bourrées? She was magnificent!
Rio’s mad scenes were maybe better than opening night’s, but I still found his Leontes way too forced in terms of interpretation. Nevertheless, his dancing was perfect, and so were his duos alongside Lauren, in particular act 3’s one.
Laura Morera’s expressive musicality and dramatic bite, paired with her fury at Leontes were a real treat – great little Mamillius by Junior Associate Sasha Dobrynin-Lait as well, and what a stunning performance by Matthew Ball! His authority and acting alongside his impeccable technique were glorious!
The first act ended with not a dry eye within the Auditorium, and I realised I forgot to breathe for a bit.
Act 2’s sunny Bohemia (probably moving there for true) featured the most beautiful piece of stage design ever seen and a true feast for the senses with the shepherd dances beneath that marvelous tree.
The full-throttle dancing, the colours, the lovely settings were a delight for the eye, and the whole company showed off such light footedness technique in their happy and sparkling routines.
Sarah and Vadim were wondrous alongside each other, and warmed up us all with their love-fueled duos. With their speed and lightness in movement, her Perdita was pure joy and his Florizel was great.
Show-stealing Marcelino was on fire as Brother Clown, flying high with comic brio beside Beatriz’s shining Young Shepherdess. She really was amazing, dazzling every step more with her infectious smile, and Gary Avis was a key element for the act, standing out with his superb performance as Father Shepherd.
And how come that Polixenes did not see Hermione’s huuuuge emerald at Perdita’s neck?! By the way, Paulina’s does, and act 3 is the latest proof that a a jewel (plus royal title) can fix everything – she’s a princess guys, no more complaints!
After the exquisite wedding dances, the profoundly moving final pas de deux is a sensitive, dramatic work of art – and Lauren’s stately arabesques?! She was so so so flawless!!
Well, this spectacular ballet by Wheeldon worth every step of the journey through the Beast from the East, and it’s so brilliant that so many people around the world had the chance to see it live in cinemas. It’s really wonderful how Wheeldon managed to turn Shakespeare’s difficult plot into such a complete piece of work narrated by the enchanting choreography, Joby Talbot’s magnificent score (the music still stuck in my head) and Bob Crowley’s amazing designs. All the elements perfectly worked together conjuring up a magical tale, crowned by brooding heartwarming performances by the whole company (I even waited at the Stage Door despite the cold – I got home literally frozen).