Royal Opera House Ballet: ‘Mayerling’ at a cinema near you

Mayerling at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and in a cinema near you.

Ballet as you’ve never seen it before, with classically trained dancers properly acting out the story thanks to modern choreography by the great Kenneth Macmillan. Out with the cardboard cut-outs, out with the repetitive Russian symmetry, out with the synchronised swim in tutus.

Ryoichi Hirano and Sarah Lamb in Mayerling. © Helen Maybanks, courtesy the Royal Opera House

Ryoichi Hirano and Sarah Lamb in Mayerling. © Helen Maybanks, courtesy the Royal Opera House.

This is visceral. Crown Prince Rudolph is seriously rich and seriously messed up. He’s a king-in-waiting, all dressed up with nowhere to go. So he indulges himself. In sex. Sounds familiar. With his wife, which looks more like rape, and countless ladies of all ranks, so much so that it is said to be the most demanding male role in ballet! He’s also having a breakdown, so he has frequent hissy fits with family and friends and it all ends (nope, I’m not saying nuffink).

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The music is a compilation of Liszt pieces chosen by the choreographer and are so interwoven into the action that you hardly notice it. When there’s no composer-ego to placate, you can do away with the hum-along hit tunes which detract from the dancing.

Can I recommend that you check out the live screenings of cultural events in your local cinemas, ranging from opera and ballet to pop concerts. Tickets are around £25 instead of £250 and you feel right up close and personal. When it’s pop, everyone sings along. There are even star interviews, and inside stories to enhance the experience.

www.roh.org.uk/cinemas 

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