Members will have been delighted to hear that Royal Ballet Principal Federico Bonelli has been appointed Artistic Director of Northern Ballet from the 1st May, though saddened to see him leaving the Company. We have sent Federico a cheque to buy a present from the Association and hope that he will be able to attend our next Annual Dinner. His final public performance was as Siegfried in Swan Lakeon Friday 4th March, after which there was an emotional presentation to him on stage by all his partners and the Company management, as well as his wife and daughter. We look forward to following Federico in his new role.
As well as the Main Stage performance at the Opera House at 12pm on Saturday 16th July, some Upper School students will be performing in the Next Generation Festival in the Linbury Theatre on 13th & 14th June. The School’s Summer Performances at Opera Holland Park will be 7th & 9th July at 7pm for the Upper School and 8th July at 7pm and 9th July at 2pm for White Lodge students.
As reported in our last newsletter, our Committee was re-elected at our AGM in December. At our recent Committee meeting, David Bain was re-elected as Chairman and Ann Dawson and Rachel Holland were elected as Deputy Chairmen.
We are all saddened to hear of the deaths of Henry Danton, Sheila Humphreys, Financial Times critic Clement Crisp and former Chair of the Royal Opera House Board, Lord Sainsbury of Candover. Henry, who died on 1st February aged 102, had been one of the original cast of Ashton’s Symphonic Variationsin 1946 and danced with the Royal Ballet companies from 1944-47. He then performed around the world before settling in the United States. Sheila, who also passed away in the States, danced with the Royal Ballet companies for 15 years, rising to Soloist and Ballet Mistress. She was one of the original cast of Joe Layton’s The Grand Tourand had assisted Iain Webb and Margaret Barbieri in its revival by Sarasota Ballet. Clement Crisp died on the 1st March aged 95. His reviews were recently published as Clement Crisp Reviews: Sixty Years of Dance.Married to former Royal Ballet Principal Anya Linden with whom he co-founded The Linbury Trust, Lord Sainsbury died on 14th January aged 94.
We were also saddened to hear of the deaths of our members Elizabeth ‘Tuck’ Owen and Janice Mules. A regular at Ballet Association events for many years, Tuck passed away peacefully in hospital on 28th January aged 88 after a fall. Many ballet regulars attended her cremation, including former Royal Ballet Principal Bruce Sansom.