|Interior of La Fenice, Venice 2015|
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Rome Opera Ballet, The Sleeping Beauty, La Fenice Theatre, Venice, 10-14 May 2017
I have just received an interesting note from Mr Ian Wishart of a performance of The Sleeping Beauty by the Rome Opera Ballet at La Fenice Theatre in Venice which he attended while on holiday in Italy earlier this month. Ian is a chartered patent attorney who now works as a director of an insurance broking company which arranges specialist intellectual property insurance.
Ian remarked that the preeminence of Itay's opera tends to eclipse the brilliance of its ballet despite the enormous contribution to that art which Italy has made and continues to make. He described the show that he attended as "an excellent account of Tchaikowski’s famous and emotional score". He noted that "the staging, lighting and costumes reflected centuries of opera experience," The company has also posted a trailer of the production to YouTube and it looks magnificent.
The ballet was staged by the French choreographer Jean-Guillaume Bart. The Rome Opera House has released an interesting interview with Bart on YouTube in French. There are some beautiful clips of the dancers in rehearsal and the other preparations. The assistant choreographer is Patricia Ruanne, formerly of the Royal Ballet. The conductor was David Colman.
Ian saw Rebecca Bianchi dance Princess Aurora and Claudio Cocino Prince Désiré. Ian said they "brought skill and emotion to their parts". He added that "Annalisa Cianci clearly enjoyed her role as the wicked fairy Carabosse" and noted that Maianna Suriano danced the Lilac Fairy. He was also impressed by Bluebird but did not pick up the dancers' names. I have googled Bianchi and found this interesting feature on her in Gramilano (Introducing Rebecca Bianchi, Rome Opera Ballet’s new Principal Ballerina 3 May 2016). I also found this clip on Cocino's elevation to principal (see Claudio Cocino nominato Primo Ballerino del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma 11 Feb 2017).
La Fenice is described by Ian as "a tiny gilded jewel box, with stalls and four tiers of boxes." La Fenice means The Phoenix in Italian and it was given that name because it was burned down three times. That happened to a lot of opera houses in the 19th century including Covent Garden.