ROHSwanLake 2

Swan Lake
Royal Opera House
Monday, 21st May 2018

Swan Lake – 05/21/2018  

Odette/Odile: Marianela Nunez
Prince Siegfried: Vadim Muntagirov
Von Rothbart: Bennet Gartside
Benno: Tristan Dyer
Siegfried’s sisters: Claire Calvert, Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Big swans: Melissa Hamilton, Itziar Mendizabal
 Cygnets: Ashley Dean, Isabella Gasparini, Gemma Pitchley-Gale, Anna Rose O’Sullivan

So, leaving aside my heartbroken soul after the Royal Wedding (I wanted to marry Prince Harry so bad) and a dissertation proposal’s submission, this performance was me £1. £1 to see my favourite dancer in one of my favourite ballets. In Italy you won’t pay less than 35 euros for a terrible seat, and here you can get one for £1! ROH Student Performances are a blessing. Indeed, there’s no wonder why no one (young ones in particular) goes to the theatre in Italy, they should stop whining and do something real to improve the situation. The Royal Opera House is so amazing in making those shows accessible to everyone.


Nela and Vadim in the heartbreaking act 4 pas de deux

Yesterday night Nela pushed the limits of emotion and artistry beyond the boundaries of the ROH – I got home still astonished and I reckon I will be for the next week or so, thank God I have six more Swan Lake left, including one later today (Federico and Akane, replacing Lauren). Nela was unbelievable as she perfectly brought to stage a flawless Odette and a playfully evil Odile. In terms of emotions, she pulled off a memorable performance, crammed with insane balances (that endless renversé in the black swan solo though) and stunning technique all round.

Her act 2 blew me away and was, as every show of hers, a masterclass of elegance and perfection which she made look so effortless.

Her act 3 was a total feast as she was clearly having fun playing wicked Odile (baddies have always more fun).

But it was during act 4 that she broke hearts with her passionate, hurt Odette, so desperate and broken after Siegfried swore his love to Odile. Everything she dances Nela really draws you in her performances, so that you get out of the House kind of heartbroken. She absolutely killed it with her usual greatness!  

Captivating Black Swan pas de deux


Along with Vadim they were spellbinding, and I’ve actually had the feeling that their chemistry was even better than during opening night.

He was a worthy Siegfried and all his solos were amazing and technically perfect.


The white act

I am so in love with this Liam Scarlett’s production, all his new routines and choreographies are so clever and brilliant, and so wonderfully melted with Tchaikovsky’s score.

His act 1 waltz and polonaise is a delight – yesterday led by Ashley Dean, Isabella Gasparini, Tierney Heap, Anna Rose O’Sullivan, Luca Acri, William Bracewell, Reece Clarke and Ben Ella. In particular, Reece stood out with his impeccable dancing and his amazing figure.

Anna Rose O’Sullivan was shining as well throughout the whole evening in her many starring roles – leading waltz and polonaise in act 1, cygnet in act 2 and 4 and Polish Princess in act 3 – she really is one to watch.

Lovely pas de trois from Claire Calvert and Beatriz Stix-Brunell alongside Tristan Dyer as Benno. Claire’s solo was delightful, and Beatriz was beaming as per usual – they were great in both act 1 and 3 as Siegfried’s little sisters.

Swan scene

The second act’s cygnets quartet was glamorous and very well performed by Ashley Dean,   Isabella Gasparini, Gemma Pitchley-Gale and Anna Rose.

Good big swans by Itziar Mendizabal and Melissa Hamilton as well – Melissa’s lines were a dream.

The fancy gala ball in the third act saw Olivia Cowley as the Spanish Princess, Tierney Heap as the Hungarian Princess, Elizabeth McRae as the Italian Princess and Anna Rose as the Polish Princess. They all were dazzling and the following dances were really good.

The Spanish dance was performed by Itziar Mendizabal along with David Donnelly, Téo Dubreuil, Kevin Emerton and Tomas Mock – I particularly enjoyed David end Téo’s performance, which I also saw rehearsing during the Insights evening at the Clore Studio two weeks ago.

Nice Czarsas led by Romany Pajdak and Paul Kay, and Mazurka by Grace Blundell and Nicol Edmonds.

Loved the funny Ashton’s Neapolitan Dance by Yuhui Choe and Luca Acri. Yuhui is always a delight to watch!  

Tierney Heap as the Hungarian Princess in act 3

The whole company was on top form and it’s been such an amazing evening put on by the ROH Student Scheme. I cannot wait to see Nela and Vadim performing again in the coming weeks, and to be back in the House tonight for round 3 of Swan Lake!


Programme signed by Marianela and Vadim


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