You can see how this tale of fatal attraction amid the political machinations of a weak and corrupt court would appeal to the choreographer Kenneth MacMillan. Always fascinated by the dark depths of the human soul and the tragedies they engender, MacMillan created some of the Royal Ballet’s most unforgettable works, among them Romeo and Juliet, The Invitation and The Judas Tree.
Many consider Mayerling MacMillan’s masterpiece. With his genius for portraying complex events and feelings in often extremely graphic choreography, MacMillan plunges his audience right into the Austro-Hungarian court, with its opulence, political intrigue and sexual excess.
Owning the stage in one of the most demanding roles for any male dancer is the unhappy and deranged drug addict Prince Rudolf. Over the years this role has been inhabited by some of the Royal Ballet’s best dance actors; this time round the compelling Edward Watson is again the lead in the first cast.
Opposite Watson as the reckless 17-year-old Maria Vetsera - victim or architect or her own demise? - is Natalia Osipova, herself a powerful dance actress, who should be able to put her extraordinary technique to good use in a very demanding role.
Other casts give some of the Royal’s exciting principals, such as Laura Morera, Lauren Cuthbertson, Thiago Soares and Stephen McRae, the opportunity to make the lead roles their own.
And the ballet has quite a few meaty secondary roles providing glorious platforms to many company members.
Music is by Franz Liszt. Eye-filling period designs are by Nicholas Georgiades.
In our view this is a must see - a full evening of unparalleled drama worth every penny of the ticket price… We couldn't recommend it highly enough.
Age guidance 12+
|What||The Royal Ballet, Mayerling at Covent Garden|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
28 Apr 17 – 13 May 17, 19:15 Sat mat. 13:30, Sat eve 19:00, Mon 1st May 12:00
|Website||Click here to book via Culture Whisper and See Tickets|