Bolshoi tour - confirmation at last | Dance reviews, news & interviews
Bolshoi tour - confirmation at last
Ticketbuyers won't see stars they bought for as Moscow changes the team
The Royal Opera House ticketline is taking a while to catch up - last Friday's Moscow castings are now confirmed in London - but various inconsistencies are cropping up. The full confirmed casting list is below.
While it is a fact of life that dancer injury causes unavoidable cast changes, and Zakharova had suffered a hip injury earlier in the year as well, the scale of this last-minute remake of the tour is likely to cause fury among London ticket-buyers, who were booking up until this week for specific casts that the Bolshoi management at least knew last Friday were not appearing. Few of the dates will now field the names originally announced, and several of the changes have little apparently to do with Zakharova's withdrawal.
The changes bring much larger exposure to the scintillating young star Natalia Osipova, who is listed for the cream of first nights, including her much anticipated London debut in Giselle. She also now opens Coppelia and Don Quixote, partnered in the latter by her sensational young partner Ivan Vasiliev, 21, whose performances of the Bolshoi's signature work Spartacus are sold out. The couple are a trump card for the Bolshoi overseas, marketed as the face of the new Bolshoi, though back home they rank below Zakharova and Tsiskaridze, who are very much regarded as the company's stars, and have powerful voices inside the theatre.
Still, the loss of Zakharova, 31, who is said to be one of the three most expensive guest ballerinas in the world, alongside Sylvie Guillem and Diana Vishneva, is a severe blow. Her undeniable beauty and elasticity is not thought by several British critics entirely to be equalled by her musical and interpretative gifts, but she is a star of world renown and had most of the premieres, and few seats remain available for her advertised performances with the colourful Tsiskaridze, 36.
Her absence from London means that she will now not be seen in a role she loves, the courtesan Aegina in Spartacus, nor in Giselle or Don Quixote, two of her best parts, both of famously demanding physicality. The withdrawal of Tsiskaridze from Giselle will be much rued by the sell-out house for his and Zakharova's scheduled performances, though he continues to be cast in Le Corsaire and Paquita.
These changes will bring more London exposure not only to Osipova, 24, but to Ekaterina Krysanova, Anna Nikulina, Anastasia Stashkevich and Vyacheslav Lopatin, all in their twenties. But seasoned watchers will welcome that the rewarding and often unsung senior soloist Anastasia Yatsenko (who has appeared with Christopher Wheeldon's company in London in the past) has prominent appearances in the 19th-century classics Le Corsaire and Don Quixote and (particularly) Balanchine's Serenade.
Below: Yatsenko dances a variation from the Bolshoi's reconstruction of Petipa's The Awakening of Flora in 2009
The net result of the cast changes would certainly be a high-profile refocusing of the Bolshoi tour in favour of youth - a tactic not unfamiliar when the big Russian companies come over here. While those who expected Zakharova may not be too devastated to find Osipova instead, the losers will be those who bought tickets specifically for the previously advertised Osipova performances now fielding less stellar casts. The reduction of the captivating Alexandrova will also cause upset among connoisseurs.
What is unclear at this stage is why the Bolshoi Theatre announced its casting changes only in Russian and without apparently confirming these with its longstanding London promoters, Victor and Lilian Hochhauser for four days, while the public were left to buy tickets for casts whom it was known would not be appearing.
Confirmed new castings:
19, 21, 31 Ivan Vasiliev, Nina Kaptsova, Aleksandr Volchkov, Maria Allash
20, 31m Pavel Dmitrichenko, Anna Nikulina, Yuri Baranov, Ekaterina Krysanova
22, 24e Natalia Osipova, Ruslan Skvortsov, Gennady Yanin
23, 24m Anastasia Stashkevich, Vyacheslav Lopatin, Yanin
26, 28 Serenade: Krysanova, Yatsenko, Khromushin / 26 Giselle: Osipova, Skvortsov, Allash or 28 Kaptsova, Skvortsov, Leonova
27 Serenade: Krysanova, Stashkevich, Khromushin / Giselle: Nikulina, Volchkov, Allash
Petrushka, Russian Seasons, Paquita grand pas
29 Petrushka: Mikhail Lobukhin, Kaptsova, Savin / RS: Osipova, Krysanova, Merkuriev, Savin / Paquita: Maria Alexandrova, Nikolai Tsiskaridze
30 Petrushka: Vasiliev, Stashkevich, Tsvirko / RS: Krysanova, Merkuriev, Meskova, Savin / Paquita: Alexandrova, Tsiskaridze
2 Alexandrova, Tsiskaridze, Ryzhkina
3 Osipova, Vasiliev, Kaptsova
4 Krysanova, Skvortsov, Ryshkina
5 Alexandrova, Volchkov, Yatsenko
6 Osipova, Vasiliev,
7m Ekaterina Krysanova
7e Marianna Ryzhkina
8 Osipova, Vasiliev
The casting for the Bolshoi Opera production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin from 11 to 14 August, under conductor Dmitri Yurovskii, remains unchanged:
Onegin: Mariusz Kwieczen (11, 13), Vasilii Ladyuk (12, 14)
Tatyana: Tatyana Monogarova (11, 13), Ekaterina Shcherbachenko (12, 14)
Lensky: Roman Shulakov (11, 13), Aleksei Dolgov (12, 14)
Olga: Margarita Mamsirova (11, 13), Oksana Volkova (12, 14)
- See the Royal Opera House site for booking and information
- See the Bolshoi Theatre site for the tour and casting announcement, currently in Russian only
theartsdesk is changing
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. In September we reached our fourth birthday and feel that the time is now right, in line with other media outlets, to start asking our regular readers for a contribution to help us develop the site further. Theartsdesk has therefore moved to a partial subscription model. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
Take an annual subscription now simply click here.
There's snap in the Christmas cracker yet
Russia's infamous ballet acid trial ends, and everyone is brought low
John Cranko's Shakespearean ballet-comedy falls flat these days
German culture, German quality, and (yes, really) German humour
A modern classic and two relative newcomers
Tango and contemporary dance work surprisingly well together
Prosecution opens, amid storm over sacked Bolshoi star's job scoop
Sunny, with the odd cloud is the forecast for Shechter
Contemporary dance is cool for kids
It's all about the music in this diverse programme of modern dance
Pirate premiere is a rollicking good ride
Birmingham Royal Ballet, good and lucky in this production