Mayerling, Royal Ballet, 29th October 2009

Tamara Rojo as Mary Vetsera, Royal Ballet photo by Bill Cooper

This was the October 29th performance with Carlos Acosta as Crown Prince Rudolf. A brief discussion of the story appears in my review of an earlier performance with Johan Kobborg as Rudolf. Certainly Kobborg was very good, but Acosta was arguably better, portraying Rudolf’s angst with emotional restraint and superb physicality. Tamara Rojo as his mistress Mary Vetsera was prettily seductive, and their pas-de-deux at the end of Act II writhed with passionate intensity. Rudolf’s wife was very well danced by Iohna Loots, and Countess Marie Larisch was well performed by Mara Galeazzi. Last time, Laura Morera took that role, but on this occasion she was Mitzi Caspar, the courtesan, and danced beautifully. This ballet has a large cast of soloists, and I won’t list them all, but I did particularly like Ricardo Cervera as Bratfisch.

Liszt’s music, arranged and orchestrated by John Lanchbery, came over very well under the baton of Martin Yates. The designs by Nicholas Georgiadis are still fresh and entirely in keeping with the story, and the whole cast worked well together in reviving this Kenneth MacMillan ballet. As the programme noted, it was on this same day 17 years ago that he died back-stage at the Royal Opera House — his creative talent is sadly missed.

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