A classic of The Royal Ballet, La Fille mal gardée was an immediate hit with the British public. Choreographed by Frederick Ashton in 1960, it is a highly lyrical and technically demanding take on the simple tale of love prevailing, which underpins this charming story. This 2015 revival is a ‘company triumph’ (The Independent), with Principals Natalia Osipova and Steven McRae creating terrific onstage chemistry and delivering outstanding solo performances – Osipova as a ‘perky and gamine Lise’ with ‘pin-drop precise’ phrasing (The Guardian), and McRae an instantly likeable, playful Colas whose physical articulation is ‘particularly Ashtonian’ in quality (Daily Telegraph). They are joined by Philip Mosley as Widow Simone, who brings ‘music-hall gusto’ (The Independent) to the famous clog dance of Act I.
Music: Ferdinand Hérold Arranged by; John Lanchbery Lise: Natalia Osipova Colas: Steven McRae Widow Simone: Philip Mosley Alain: Paul Kay Thomas: Christopher Saunders
Choreography: Frederick Ashton Scenario: Jean Dauberval Designs: Osbert Lancaster Lighting: John B. Read
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Conductor: Barry Wordsworth Concert Master: Vasko Vassilev
Picture: 16:9 Sound: Dolby stereo/DTS Surround Format: NTSC Region code: 0 Worldwide Running Time: 110 mins Year: 2015
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A sublime pastoral. Natalia Osipova is brilliant as the ingenue Lise, and Stephen McCrae is superb both as partner and as soloist. Ashton does wonderful choreographic feats employing ribbon. The cock and hens are delightful. Osipova must be happy to be in a ballet where she doesn't have to die at the end.
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