The Royal Ballet have released casting details for Christopher Wheeldon's latest project for the company, an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.
It will be the first full length adaptation of a Shakespeare play by The Royal Ballet since Kenneth MacMillan's 1965 production of Romeo and Juliet. It has been timed to coincide with the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth in 1564, and there will be a performance on the 23 April, Shakespeare's birthday.
Opening night is the 10 April, but in cinemas world-over there will be the chance to see the ballet on Monday 28 April. A very brave decision by the Royal Ballet, and indicates the faith it has in Wheeldon.
The extraordinarily starry cast rivals that of Wayne McGregors's recent Tetractys: The Art of Fugue.The full company ballet is led by Principal Dancers Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson as Leontes and Hermione, Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb as Florizel and Perdita and Federico Bonelli and Zenaida Yanowksy as Polixenes and Paulina. Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares lead the second cast as Leontes and Hermione, and new boy Vadim Montagirov will also feature in the second cast.
Wheeldon is newly together with the creators of his hugely successful Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, created for the Royal Ballet in 2011: designs and costumes by Bob Crowley, score by Joby Talbot and lighting design by Natasha Katz. The Winter's Tale is a co-production with the National Ballet of Canada and David Briskin, NBC's Music Director, will conduct.
The Winter's Tale
Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Music: Joby Talbot
Designs: Bob Crowley
Lighting Design: Natasha Katz
Silk Effect Designer: Basil Twist
Conductor: David Briskin
10 / 15 / 23 / 28 April 1 and 8 May at 7.30pm
Hermione: Lauren Cuthbertson
Leontes: Edward Watson
Perdita: Sarah Lamb
Florizel: Steven McRae
Paulina: Zenaida Yanowsky
Polixenes: Federico Bonelli
12 / 16 / 29 April and 8 May at 7.30pm
22 / 26 April at 12pm noon
Hermione: Marianela Nunez
Leontes: Thiago Soares
Perdita: Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Florizel: Vadim Montagirov
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.