5 October 2022
MAYERLING (Royal Opera House) Ballet Review

I had previously seen (and reviewed) the BBC recording of Mayerling with Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb and Prince Rudolph and Mary Vetsera.  This time I opted to see it in person with Ryoichi Hirano and Natalia Osipova.  It’s difficult not to compare the two sets of casts…

For what it’s worth, I found the chemistry between Hirano and Osipova somewhat lacking.  Each of them was eye-catching in their own way and technically perfect too, but it felt a little too clinical, whereas McRae and Lamb were easily passable as a couple in love.  I wanted to be whisked away into the story, but something awkward about the pairing kept me at arm’s length.  Can’t quite put my finger on it, but it might be because Osipova, whilst a phenomenal dancer, is not really a good actress (a skill that’s absolutely required for this production).

Laura Morera as Marie Larisch was terrific:  the dancing, the acting, the lovely lines, it all added up to a joyous exhibition of her skill.  Marianela Nuñez as Mitzi Caspar was engaging and beautiful.  I can never see enough of her on stage (in fact, I was gutted that she wasn’t dancing Mary in any of the performances).  The rest of the cast provided strong support support for the leads.  The costumes were somehow less distracting watching the show in person.

I am not really in the position to critique the technical aspects of the performance, but I can vouch for it being a brilliant evening of delightful ballet, lack of chemistry notwithstanding.

Cheapskate enjoyment value: £5.

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