You will have been delighted to hear that the Royal Opera House will announce its programme on 13th April 2021 and intends to reopen for performances on the 17th May 2021, assuming the Government indicates that the easing of the lockdown is on schedule. They have already announced that two Crystal Pite works, new to the Company, will be performed and there will be a programme of Draft Works in the Linbury, to which the Association has already made a donation.
In the meantime, we hope most of you have been able to watch the many ballets being streamed by companies from around the world. For those without internet access, Sky Arts is now available through Freeview and is showing regular ballet performances, although often early in the morning.
Our annual visit to the Royal Ballet School along with members of London Ballet Circle was virtual this year. On 27th April 2021, the School gave us a fascinating day watching a variety of classes, in fact many more than we could have on a normal visit.
We watched part of the 3rd Year Ladies class with Daria Klimentova, 3rd Year Men with Ricardo Cervera, 1st Year Ladies with Nicola Tranah, 2nd Year Ladies with Daria Klimentova, 2nd Year Men with Zhan Atymtayev and a 1st Year contemporary class with Angela Towler, formerly a dancer and then Rehearsal Director with Rambert.
We are extremely grateful to all in the School who enabled this virtual visit and to the teachers and students for sharing parts of their classes with us.
It is with great sadness that you will have heard of the death of former Royal Ballet dancer and choreographer Liam Scarlett on the 17th April 2021, aged 35. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
You will have also been saddened to hear that Patrick Dupond, former Etoile and Director of Paris Opera Ballet, passed away on 5th March 2021, aged 61. We are also greatly saddened to hear that our New Zealander member Ann Watt passed away in Switzerland in February 2021. A regular at meetings when in this country, Ann will be greatly missed by people.
You will have been delighted to hear that Kevin O’Hare marked the Company’s return to the stage with some celebratory promotions. Fumi Kaneko and Cesar Corrales are promoted to Principal with immediate effect and Mayara Magri and Anna Rose O’Sullivan are promoted to Principal with effect from September 2021.
Kevin has also made the following promotions within the Company with immediate effect: Meahan Grace Hinkis, Nicol Edmonds and Calvin Richardson have been promoted to First Soloist; Gina Storm-Jensen and Joseph Sissens to Soloist; and Leticia Dias, Mariko Sasaki and Harry Churches to First Artist
You will have heard that that Dame Darcey Bussell is hosting a British Ballet Charity Gala at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday 3rd June 2021. For those unable to attend, it is being streamed from 18th June-18th July 2021.
Following the success of 2020’s Athelhampton Ballet Charity Gala in Dorset, Royal Ballet Soloist Meaghan Grace Hinkis is organising another Gala this year with members of the Royal Ballet on the 11th and 12th September 2021. Tickets go on sale on 15th June 2021.
Tickets for Johan Kobborg’s production of Romeo and Juliet with Alina Cojocaru and Sergei Polunin are now on sale at the Royal Albert Hall for a new date of 1st December 2021. Sergei has also written an autobiography, Free, which is available on Amazon and at some bookshops. We can also recommend Clement Crisp’s book of Reviews: Sixty Years of Dance with reviews over six decades of performances.