Sep 202014

Tamara Rojo and Claudio Coviello - photo Brescia and Amisano Teatro alla Scala
What an extraordin­ary dan­cer Tamara Rojo is. Here she was, fab­ulous at forty, able to toss off the fiendishly dif­fi­cult — and long — role of Kitri in Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quix­ote.

No bal­ance is missed, and some are held for an improb­able length of time, usu­ally inter­rup­ted only by the demands of the music, and her legendary fou­ettés are as secure as ever with inter­spersed quad­ruple turns dur­ing the first six­teen. But she is no per­form­ing seal and every aspect of the char­ac­ter is right under her skin: the play­ful­ness, the determ­in­a­tion, the cun­ning. Her appear­ance is also spot on with her hair gleam­ing like a hel­met, eyes flash­ing and a wide smile that effort­lessly reaches the back of the theatre.

It is curi­ous how a true star can shine without a fol­low spot. …con­tinue reading.

Sep 172014

La Belle Ferronière by Leonardo da Vinci

The Louvre in Paris has given the ok for three of its Leonardo da Vinci paint­ings to travel to Milan for the ambi­tious exhib­i­tion of the painter’s works to coin­cide with the Milan Expo in 2015.

Leonardo lived in Milan for 17 years and, of course, his The Last Sup­per is painted on the walls of the mon­as­tery of Santa Maria delle Gra­zie in the city.

The Expo runs from the begin­ning of May 2015 for six months, and the exhib­i­tion will open in April and run through to July at the Palazzo Reale, next to the Duomo.

The three works that the Louvre will send are are the “Annun­ciazione”, “La Belle Fer­ron­ière” and “San Gio­vanni Bat­tista”. …con­tinue reading.

Sep 172014

tamara-rojo“It’s a shame, but I am not going to cri­ti­cise him. Every­one makes their own health choices: in the past, I risked a lot by dan­cing with an appendicitis.”

Tamara Rojo was talk­ing about her inten­ded part­ner for Don Quix­ote at La Scala, Ivan Vasiliev, who has with­drawn as he is recov­er­ing from a pneumonia.

“Instead of Ivan, I will dance with Clau­dio Cov­i­ello: very young and very talented.”

While the role of Kitri is on her black list of female roles thought through by men, she approves of the Nureyev pro­duc­tion which is danced at La Scala.

“Nureyev was gen­er­ous and he has given us a bal­let that can be freely shaped to fit its inter­pret­ers.” …con­tinue reading.

Sep 162014

Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel in Sweeney Todd - Photo by Chris Lee, 2014

After the suc­cess of Sweeney Todd in con­cert with the New York Phil­har­monic in March of this year, Bryn Ter­fel and  Emma Thompson return  in their roles for thir­teen per­form­ances at the Lon­don Coliseum.

It will be the first musical under the new col­lab­or­a­tion between Eng­lish National Opera and the GradeLin­nit Com­pany, which will see sev­eral semi-staged music­als and one fully staged musical a year for the next five seasons.

Emma Thompson first came in to the spot­light in Lon­don as the first cast in the Me and My Girl revival in the mid-80s. Now after 25 years away she returns and the meat-pie maker, Mrs Lovett. Of her per­form­ance earlier this year, the New York Times said,

Could she sing? Could she ever; the per­form­ance was by vir­tu­ally all meas­ures a tri­umphant one. Scut­tling around the stage with a vari­ety of silly walks, jab­ber­ing in a per­fect cock­ney accent, and singing with impress­ive range and assur­ance (some more care­ful, less char­ac­ter­ful stretches in her higher range not­with­stand­ing), she put a lively per­sonal stamp on the role.

…con­tinue reading.

Sep 152014

don_quixote_osipova_vasilievIvan Vasiliev has been forced to pull out of the Don Quix­ote per­form­ances at La Scala with Tamara Rojo.

The cast­ing has already suffered some upsets as The Vasiliev-Osipova coup­ling was to share per­form­ances with Leonid Sara­fanov and Svet­lana Zakhar­ova. When Zakhar­ova with­drew for unknown motives requir­ing her to be in Moscow dur­ing this period, the dream team were split up and Nat­alia Osipova was paired with Sara­fanov (the per­form­ances will be broad­cast), and Rojo paired with Vasiliev. Now local boy Clau­dio Cov­i­ello will step in again for Vasiliev, as he did when the Rus­sian sud­denly put his back out minutes before cur­tain up on Roland Petit’s Notre-Dame de Paris eight­een months ago. …con­tinue reading.