Forty-five years after Sir Peter Wright was appointed Director of Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) announces that his title will change from Director Laureate to Founding Director Laureate of the company. This recognises Sir Peter's important role moving Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, (the touring company of The Royal Ballet), from London to Birmingham in 1990, and changing the company's name.
Sir Peter said, “I am delighted to be honoured in this way. Birmingham Royal Ballet remains very close to my heart.”
More than 30 years before the current levelling-up agenda, Sir Peter (now 95), had the ambitious vision to relocate one of the country's largest arts organisations from the capital to Britain's second city. To celebrate his new title, BRB will perform during the 2022/2023 season, three of the most important ballets that he created for the company.
This autumn Birmingham Royal Ballet will stage his Coppélia in Plymouth and Birmingham followed by the £1 million refurbished production of his Nutcracker in the company's home city, and in the spring, Swan Lake will tour across the UK.
Sir Peter is delighted. “I can't wait to see the refurbished version of my Nutcracker in all its original glory, this Christmas. I made the show as a gift to the City when we moved to Birmingham. In 2020, the Company had plans to mark the 30th anniversary of Birmingham Royal Ballet's bold move to the West Midlands, so this moment feels like a delayed celebration of that to me. And what better way to mark the occasion than by reviving three of my productions, two of which will tour and all three staged in our home city! I have so many wonderful memories of this company and remain devoted to it.”
Director of BRB, Carlos Acosta, said, “He was one of the great Artistic Directors, building on the heritage of Dame Ninette de Valois, but also always looking to the future success of Birmingham Royal Ballet. He has been a constant inspiration to everyone he has worked with during his tenure and ever since.
“I particularly want to thank him for the support he has offered me as I took over during the challenging pandemic. I am very proud to be following in his footsteps and to be upholding the classical values and traditions manifested in his repertoire.”
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.
Lovely news! I remember the first Nutcracker performance.