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Mayerling - dangerous desires, secrets and political intrigue

Author: Opus Arte

Daring choreography in Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet inspired by true events.

  • Mayerling. Sarah Lamb as Mary Vetsera and Steven McRae as Prince Rudolf | Copyright: © ROH 2017 / Alice Pennefather

    Mayerling. Sarah Lamb as Mary Vetsera and Steven McRae as Prince Rudolf © ROH 2017 / Alice Pennefather

  • Mayerling. Steven McRae as Prince Rudolf | Copyright: © ROH 2017 / Alice Pennefather

    Mayerling. Steven McRae as Prince Rudolf © ROH 2017 / Alice Pennefather

"Mayerling" is based on the true story of the deaths of Crown Prince Rudolf and his teenage mistress Vetsera in 1889. This dark intense ballet created for The Royal Ballet in 1978 is regarded among many as Kenneth MacMillan’s finest works. Orchestrated and arranged by John Lanchbery, the music of Franz Liszt sweeps the story to its intense conclusion, and sumptuous designs by Nicholas Georgiadis bring to life the formal, oppressive world of the Austro-Hungarian court.

The large-scale crowd and court scenes show the whole company off at its dramatic finest – but it is MacMillan’s choreography for Rudolf [Steven McRae], one of the most technically and emotionally demanding roles in the repertory for male dancers, that makes this ballet so iconic. Rudolf’s emotional decline is charted through daring and visceral pas de deux with his mother [Kristen McNally], his wife [Meaghan Grace Hinkis] and Mary Vetsera [Sarah Lamb] – choreography that pushes classical ballet to its limits.

“It’s a great piece of theatre and MacMillan’s dramatic skill has never been better. Nicholas Georgiadis’s opulent sets, from ballroom to bedrooms, bring a fairy-tale glamour to the stage while keeping it clear for what we are all there for – the dancing. John Lanchbery’s adaptation of Franz Liszt’s music is obviously made for dancing and the company as a whole looks terrific these days.” (The Sunday Express ★★★★)

“MacMillan’s extraordinary pas de deux, violent and searingly erotic, can still take your breath away.” (The Sunday Times)

Genre Ballet
Audio format LPCM 2.0 & DTS Digital Surround 5.1 (DVD)
Choreography by Kenneth MacMillan
Dance Company The Royal Ballet
Orchestra / Band Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Conductor Koen Kessels
Soloist Steven McRae
Soloist Sarah Lamb
Soloist Meaghan Grace Hinkis
Soloist Kristen McNally

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