Tickets go on general sale on Tuesday 24 August.
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet needs no introduction. It is surely the greatest love story of all time, with a special place in hearts the world over; and Kenneth MacMillan, one of the greatest storytelling choreographers Britain has ever produced, distilled its very essence in a ballet which became an instant modern classic upon its 1965 premiere.
Everything coalesces to make MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet an unforgettable spectacle, one to which you want to return again and again. Sergei Prokofiev's score is graphic and eloquent: majestic for the hieratic ballroom scenes, raw and urgent for the street fights, tender, soaring and poignant for the love scenes, and truly heart-breaking for the tragic finale. The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House is totally familiar with the score and plays it with tremendous elan, in this run under the batons of music director Koen Kessels, Alona de la Parra and Jonathan Lo.
ROYAL BALLET DIRECTOR KEVIN O'HARE TALKS ABOUT THE NEW SEASON HERE
Nicholas Georgiadis's sumptuous sets transport the audience to Renaissance Verona, be it the rich interiors of the noble Capulet palace, all velvet, silk and gilt columns or the sunlit town square peopled by traders, prostitutes and rogues, and the scene for the edge-of-your-seat realistic sword fights. And, of course, the cold, dark, desolate crypt where the lovers end their days.
And then there is MacMillan's outstanding choreography, full of detail, nuance, power and intention. Royal Ballet dancers make it very much their own, and with the company currently enjoying great strength and depth, we're bound to see some wonderful pairings for the two main roles. There will be new pairs, alternating with tried and tested ones – among the latter, the ideal partnership of Matthew Ball and Yasmine Naghdi.
Watch out also for Culture Whisper favourites Marcelino Sambé and newly promoted principal Anna Rose O'Sullivan; and César Corrales, also recently promoted to principal, and Francesca Hayward. Fumi Kaneko, a sensitive and highly technical dancer, who earned her promotion to principal this year, is bound to get a go at Juliet, as is the Russian superstar Natalia Osipova, though we wouldn't hazard a guess at their respective Romeos. Each pair will bring something special and unique to the characters.
MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet also has an abundance of good roles for corps de ballet, soloists, and character dancers. Among the soloists the plum role is that of Romeo's friend Mercutio; among the latter that of Juliet's cousin Tybalt, at which veteran Gary Avis excels.
In short, this is a must see programme. Do make sure to join the online queue early on Tuesday 24 August, as demand is likely to be high.
|What||The Royal Ballet, Romeo and Juliet|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
05 Oct 21 – 25 Feb 22, Most evenings at 19:30. Some 19:00 starts. Mats also available. Check website for full details. Dur.: 2 hours 50 mins approx inc 2 intervals