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Dmitry

I'm so glad you were able to get in to the ballet! I listened to the rest of CESARE on Sirius at work and sounded a little better on the radio, but was lacking overall. I can't claim to be a big Handel fan anyway, but "Giulio Cesare" is at the top of my Handel list and this performance was seriously lacking. I think Harry Bicket is a big nothing; I can't understand why he's so highly regarded in Handel. His "Rodelinda" last year was also palid, although Renee Fleming's howling - which he was unable to reign in - did the most damage. I agree with you about Zazzo and Pittsinger. And about the rest. I was disappointed in Jill Grove - perhaps Handel really is not for her at this stage. De Niese looks smashing and has her vocal moments, but the frequently sour top is a turn-off. Gerald Thompson - aside from disastrous embelishments he couldn't actually pull off - was such a queen. And Ptolomeo is staged in this production as a raving homosexual already, so it was a wonder he just didn't skip around the stage and get it over with. The charms of Alice Coote elude me. She looked fantastic and was very manly/masculine, but the voice is so dull and hollow and unattractive. Oh, well. They're set to revive this with Cecilia Bartoli in a few years - let's hope they cast it a bit better (Scholl, Zazzo, Mehta, Blythe - try to beat that!)

Bob

Glad you at least got to see Symphony in C. Yes, I thought the timing was slightly off tonight not only for Symphony in C but for the other ballets as well (due either to the conductor's tempo or the fact that it was opening night after a two month layoff). Nonetheless, there were a plethora of excellent performances - not only the ones you mentioned in Symphony in C (Scheller, Stafford, Kowroski - once she got into it, Neal, Bouder, De Luz, Peck and Angle were all superb; it's rare that the leads in the third allegro movement get called back onstage for an extra bow but it happened tonight with Bouder and DeLuz), but also Suozzi, Sylve, Askegard, La Cour and Bar in Four Temperaments, Kyra (of course) in Pavane, and Whelan, Evans, Reichlen and Veyette in Agon. Seth Orza, Amar Ramasar, and Savannah Lowery also stood out in Agon. As you said, things will get sharper by the end of the week but overall, it was a good start to the season and it's great to have them all back. There's a pretty good article in this week's New York magazine on the new wave of young dancers at City Ballet, with focus on the lead roles they have been given in Romeo & Juliet. Robert Fairchild (the opening night R & J Romeo)in particular is given a lot of attention.

philip

Thanks, Bob, for the additional info on the ballet opening.

Dmitry, I promise to go see Bartoli's Cleo...maybe they should revert to a mezzo Cesare?

Sarah

Phillip:

I am so glad you got to NYCB for a bit last night. I am heading to the State Theatre tomorrow (Thursday) and looking forward to seeing some of my favorites on the same evening. Hopefully, as you pointed out, the orchestra will have it down by then and the kinks will be worked out!

Glad to be back in NYCB season and happy to see you posting again.

Sarah

tonya

Ha ha, I LOVE that you abandoned the opera and went to the ballet! I also love Dmitry's description of Cesar -- couldn't stop laughing -- I feel like I need to see it now just to experience the horror of it all!

I read that article too, Bob, and was a bit annoyed by it. The writer seemed to be saying that all these old people (particularly older women) are offended by young dancers perhaps because they're jealous (?)... which doesn't make a lot of sense because why would you go to the ballet anyway if you're jealous of young beautiful dancers?... I think it's more that the dancer develops his or her artistry as s/he ages, which is what makes it so unfortunate, so horrible really, that dancers retire just at the age that they really begin to come into their own artistically. Of the Romeos and Juliets I saw at ABT last year, I was shocked to find that Jose Carreno and Alessandra Ferri were by far, BY FAR, my favorites -- and others have said the same. Jose, as Jennifer said, "oozes boyish charm" like no other, including David, who's far younger than he, and those two at the end brought me almost to tears, which NEVER happens with me! I am so not a softy! Anyway, I know this is a different choreographer and production, but, all I can say, lord help these 18-year-olds to even hold a candle to the two greatest dancers of our time!!!

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