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Cast Change: Yuhui Choe to dance in The Sleeping Beauty on 27 March; 5 and 9 April 2014

Yuhui Choe to replace Natalia Osipova in the role of Princess Aurora.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

27 March 2014 at 2.18pm | 43 Comments

Due to injury, Yuhui Choe will replace Natalia Osipova in the role of Princess Aurora for the performance of The Sleeping Beauty on 27 March.

The rest of the cast remains unchanged.

Update: Yuhui will also replace Natalia in the same role for the performances on 5 and 9 April.

If you have a ticket please see terms and conditions of sale

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

27 March 2014 at 2.18pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged

This article has 43 comments

  1. Charlotte Backhouse responded on 27 March 2014 at 4:06pm Reply

    I hope Yuhui is promoted to Principal soon, she is a wonderful dancer!

  2. Steve Clark responded on 27 March 2014 at 5:42pm Reply

    What a wonderful opportunity for Yuhui and very well deserved. Hope Natalia is OK.

  3. sh responded on 27 March 2014 at 5:44pm Reply

    It would have been nice to receive an email about this substitution so I could have found someone else to use my ticket

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 28 March 2014 at 11:05am

      Dear Sandra

      In the event of a major cast change we always endeavour to send an email to audience members to let them know. When the change happens on the day of the performance, however, it is not always possible to pull together the necessary data and prepare an email at such short notice.

      We always share details of cast changes on the website and via social media (if you use it). Cast changes always appear on this page, if you want to check in future: http://www.roh.org.uk/news/tags/cast-change

      Best wishes


  4. L Y Han responded on 27 March 2014 at 8:59pm Reply

    I love Osipiva and Yuhui. Wish I was there tonight.

  5. Ray responded on 28 March 2014 at 12:09am Reply

    Get well soon Osipova! But Yuhui's so lovely and pretty.

  6. Clearly not as much of a connoisseur or as knowledgeable as Sandra above, I wonder if she was the woman sitting next to me, s she too wasn't too impressed by Miss Choe, but I and my wife thoroughly enjoyed the performance, the dinner in the Amphitheatre Restaurant and the whole night, thank you ROH

  7. Vicky Hurst responded on 28 March 2014 at 3:47pm Reply

    Will Osipova be dancing the remainder of her Sleeping Beauty performances?

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 28 March 2014 at 4:17pm

      Hi Vicky,

      Unless anything is announced, performances will go ahead as originally cast.


      ROH Content Producer

  8. Anna responded on 28 March 2014 at 4:55pm Reply

    Yuhui gave a wonderful performance in my humble opinion; understated and charming as well as being technically secure in her balances and control. She is developing the magical quality which the Principals of the ROH have. Once thing I am sure of is that she responded with great poise and professionalism to the obnoxious and as one person described 'borish' behaviour of a very small minority of the audience at the start of the performance.

  9. Sheila Cross responded on 28 March 2014 at 6:11pm Reply

    There was loud applause when she came on stage in Act 1. Although I had gone a considerable way specifically to see Osipova I did not feel short changed as Yuhui was a wonderful Aurora. It was like a master class of pure classical dancing, controlled, eloquent, beautifully placed, lyrical in the Vision, with lovely use of head, arms, eyes, with genuine charm. Takade, Stix-Brunell and Harrod also danced with lovely classical style. A wonderful evening despite the disappointment that Osipova was injured.

  10. Liviana Petterin responded on 28 March 2014 at 8:39pm Reply

    I attended last night's performance and at first I was disappointed. Last year I saw Osipova in Romeo & Juliet and I was so much looking forward to seeing her again. Yuhui performed with great technical ability and the audience gave her great support. Personally, I loved it. I wish Natalia a speedy recovery.

  11. Morton Paley responded on 2 April 2014 at 5:53pm Reply

    There is apprehension about Osipova's injury all around the word. Will you make an announcement when she has recovered?

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 3 April 2014 at 11:18am

      Hi Morton,

      All performances are planned to go ahead as scheduled. Any subsequent cast changes will be communicated via these pages and our Twitter account.


      ROH Content Producer

  12. John Mathers responded on 3 April 2014 at 11:47am Reply

    I wish Natalia well for a speedy recovery. I am very disappointed at this news but decided not to return my tickets but just enjoy what will be a wonderful the night out. I am doubly disappointed that the replacement is not a Principal, although I was assured she is by the Box office.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 3 April 2014 at 1:24pm

      Hi John,

      Apologies for the error. We'll pass the feedback onto the Box Office.


      ROH Content Producer

    • Milan responded on 4 April 2014 at 4:59pm

      Well. if there's any error, it's the one from the Management - Choe is still not a principal unfortunately.

  13. Melanie Morrison responded on 4 April 2014 at 7:37pm Reply

    HUGELY disappointed to find out only this evening that Osipova is injured and won't be dancing tomorrow. Although everyone's comments above praise Choe, I specifically booked to see Osipova. I know injuries occur, but it would have been nice to have been notified of the change of cast - why no e-mail? I always receive an e-mail a few days before attending a performance to remind me of the start time, with a link to the cast. However, not a peep about this - not really good enough ROH.

  14. Paul responded on 5 April 2014 at 8:39pm Reply

    Thanks for the updates - tickets promptly returned.

  15. Michele responded on 6 April 2014 at 8:17pm Reply

    I attended the performance flew in from abroad had I known I could have returned the tickets I would have.

  16. MF responded on 7 April 2014 at 12:52am Reply

    I have been a huge fan of Osipova since her early days with the Bolshoi I was disappointed she was not dancing Aurora on Saturday night but very happy YC would be dancing as I think she is very special Her arms and feet are beautiful and her musicality in this role was stunning in parts Hope Natalia recovers soon !

  17. Olga responded on 7 April 2014 at 10:24am Reply

    Wasn't aware of the change (as there was no email), and left half through. Came to see Osipova, and saw a "star" which was hard to separate from support cast (very low & heavy jump, heavy legs, no flexibility in the back). After the loss of Cojocaru, Royal Ballet has no first rate dancers left unfortunatelly...

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 7 April 2014 at 2:22pm

      Hi Olga,

      Principal cast amendments will always be communicated via social media and these News and features pages as well as the production page. We do always stress that casting is subject to change and do try and email in regards to Royal Ballet cast changes but unfortunately this is not always possible given often short time-frames to work with.

      That said, we are looking at our cast change procedures for ballet.


      ROH Content Producer

    • veronica ollero responded on 7 January 2015 at 1:20am

      Totally agree Olga

  18. Steve Clark responded on 7 April 2014 at 11:24am Reply

    Is it now policy not to send e-mails notifying major cast changes ? I only discovered that Natalia would not be dancing on 9/4/14 by accident. Whilst we are massively disappointed not to see the wonderful Natalia we will still attend as I have long been a fan of Yuhui and feel that her promotion to Principal is well overdue. How many performances has Natalia missed since joining the Royal Ballet ? Her health and well being are obviously the prime concern but I do wonder if there is more to this than meets the eye ?

  19. SDB responded on 7 April 2014 at 2:40pm Reply

    After the cancellation of Osipova's performance on 27 March for which I had and used a ticket, I booked a second ticket for 9 April, but went to the theatre to collect to check the likelihood of Osipova performing on other evenings. I was told there was every likelihood as it had been touch and go whether she would do the 27th and so it was nothing serious; on that basis I went ahead and bought the ticket. When was the decision taken to substitue Choe for the other performances? Was the delay in an announcement tactical to avoid a rush of returned tickets?

  20. Richard King responded on 7 April 2014 at 3:55pm Reply

    Have a ticket for Wednesday night and bought it specifically to see Miss Osipova. Shall still go but it would have been nice if the ROH had emailed to let me know. Previously had reminders about performances I was due to attend but no reminder or notification of the cast change. I do not use social media so posting notifications there is of no help. Having purchased the ticket on the web site and being a Friend the ROH has my email and they have known of Wednesday's change since last week so no excuse for not emailing by now. Really not good enough.

  21. Rob responded on 7 April 2014 at 4:48pm Reply

    I do hope you're wrong Steve, but am beginning to think the same thing re Natalia. I hope not,

    There ares so many complaints on here about people not being able to see their chosen dancer, makes me wonder if RB should put casting lists up at all. I don't think they used to? I will be going on Weds to see Sleeping Beauty, shame Natalia won't be dancing but sure Yuhui Choe will be excellent. I find it hard to believe anyone could think she has a "heavy" jump.

  22. sh responded on 7 April 2014 at 6:36pm Reply

    I think it's great for Yuhui Choe and her ardent fan club to have been given this opportunity, but like Olga, I could not see what all the fuss is about. She is a decent enough first soloist who filled in on short notice, but I would have hoped that she does not replace all 3 performances. Never mind, watched one, returned tickets for the other.

    As to "not publishing cast lists" - I'm sure that would help to keep sales down from regular ballet goers. Some people don't like taking potluck when they are paying something in the £100 region.

    • Rob responded on 8 April 2014 at 3:20pm

      My point being that I'm sure not so long ago you did just that and took pot luck. Casting was only revealed a short time before the actual performance and if you wanted to get good seats you took your chances. Didn't stop me booking and sales seemed fine.

  23. r.a. responded on 8 April 2014 at 1:19am Reply

    Like many others, I was concerned to hear that Osipova was injured and would be unable to dance Aurora. Also like many others, I think Yuhui is a lovely dancer and well suited to the role. However, I do think that the House could have handled this much better. Of course it's in the nature of ballet that injuries can occur, but given the marketing based around the new Osipova/Golding pairing, including a lengthy interview in the Friends' magazine, I do think that an email to ticket holders was in order, explaining and expressing regret about the change. It's been pointed out that we all receive reminders of upcoming performances by email, and the substitution for Osipova's April dates was known in plenty of time for an email to be sent out. I also hope that some information about Osipova's injury will be given out soon: people are concerned about her, and an update would do a lot to stem the unfortunate speculation which seems to be developing in more recent posts. Lastly, while, like many others, I think Yuhui is a lovely dancer and hope she will be made principal soon, the fact is that she is not currently a principal, and it is clear that people who haven't seen her work are wondering why, when they paid to see one of the world's leading ballerinas, they are being offered a substitute who is not currently a principal with the company. Maybe Yuhui should have been promoted after her first night substituting for Osipova when by all accounts she delivered a great performance.

  24. sandie responded on 8 April 2014 at 2:30pm Reply

    I agree an email would have been nice, but at least the information was available through the ROH website. Thank you for announcing cast changes far enough in advance to give those of us in the provinces the option to return or exchange tickets by post. Obviously we are all disappointed that Ms Osipova is not dancing, but would not want her to risk further damage by rushing back from any injury. Good things are worth waiting for and she is way more than just good! Please give her our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  25. Michele responded on 8 April 2014 at 2:31pm Reply

    Leaving London after having spent a fortune to get here to watch the BEST ballet dancer of our time, disappointed and wondering if I will ever have the opportunity to see Natalia perform live.

  26. Janet Clark responded on 9 April 2014 at 1:37pm Reply

    Like the above people, I am disappointed to only learn of the cast change today, when I happened to look at the website. Having spent a lot of money and having booked specifically to see Osopova, an e mail to let me know she would not be dancing would have enabled me to change my tickets for a future event. To also learn that her replacement is not a principal also gives me cause for concern, as I am paying to see Principal Dancers perform at the price you are charging for tickets. I have supported the Royal Opera House for many years, and this is very poor treatment from them.

    • Allison Goring responded on 10 April 2014 at 1:04pm

      Yuhui Choe was technically very good but devoid of emotion. I agree with other comments that it is inappropriate that the RB management did not cast another principal dancer in the role. The performance on 9 April was enjoyable but for me felt decidedly flat.

  27. John Vickers responded on 10 April 2014 at 2:15am Reply

    I only found out about the change when I arrived at 5.30. Advance notification would have been nice. I appreciate that injuries can necessitate cast changes, but the ticket, food and travel cost me £200 and whilst I have no complaints about the performance I would not have chosen to book for it - I have seen the production before and only booked to see Osipova. I have just got home, tired and frustrated.

  28. L** responded on 10 April 2014 at 12:35pm Reply

    I have to agree with many of the above comments: I only found out about the change in cast just before the beginning of Act I last night, when I happened to pick up a cast book! Given that we receive both reminders and requests to fill in customer feedback surveys by email, ROH is perfectly capable of notifying audiences about significant changes in the cast by email. The Southbank Centre even sent me a letter, once, to let me know about a change in programme, proving that it can be done! I also booked specifically to see Osipova - if I had known about the change I would have exchanged my ticket for another evening, as I also would have loved to have seen Muntagirov. Let's hope the ROH can take these comments on board!

  29. David Gifford responded on 10 April 2014 at 1:22pm Reply

    I do wish people would judge dancers on the quality of their dancing and not on their rank. Yuhui was a memorable Aurora, and last night I thought her poise, technical and dramatic skills, and musicality were of a high level. Having said that, it is unjust that she is still a First Soloist. I do hope she will be promoted to Principal after these performances. I not, I fear there is something badly wrong the judgement of those at the top.

  30. Margarida Césae responded on 10 April 2014 at 6:36pm Reply

    I agree with all those that mention that ROH should have sent an email about the change. Once she did not dance on the 27th March and then in all the other performances, it was certainly possible to send an email.
    ROH forgets that many people book specifically to see Osipova and come from abroad. Paying a travel, hotel and ROH ticket to be deceived is a risk It makes us wonder why should we go on being ROH Friends if ROH does not even care to send an information so important as this one.

    This was also the first time I did not receive any questionnaire to fill in. Or any reminder of the performance. Is this going to be the usual procedure in the future?

    The performance - Matthew Golding was far from convincing in its role. Clearly not able to feel comfortable in all the steps that included the ballerina dancing with him. She had some very nice moments, but her jumps are flat.

  31. Margarida Césae responded on 10 April 2014 at 6:37pm Reply

    Important information:

    Osipova news.

    Public would like to know if she has strong probabilities of dancing in May, or not. This is not clear at all.

  32. I'm in the western part of the US but have been following the broadcasts avidly. We are as big Yuhui fans as one can be living many thousands of miles from Covent Garden. I was thrilled to hear she got Aurora, and my first thought when I read that this came about because of Miss Osipova's injury was "OMG! What pressure to be under!" Every ballerina I have ever interviewed who was preparing Aurora has used the exact words "There's nothing to hide behind" because it's such a technical challenge. I'm so disappointed to read that people are *returning their tickets* just because Osipova is not dancing or being disappointed in Miss Choe as replacement simply because she's not a principal. Seriously? The company is at the top of its game right now even with its recent roster changes; it's not "Natalia Osipova and her assorted second-stringers of The Royal Ballet." Osipova was brought in as a principal when it wasn't *that* long ago that Alina Cojacaru had to work her way up through the ranks---that had to have been harsh for the first soloists. Do the people who returned their tickets not get that rank can be very misleading as a yardstick by which to measure the artistic quality of a dancer? I am very proud as a long-time critic and dance enthusiast that so many members of the ballet community held onto their tickets and voiced support for Miss Choe. Much as I'd love to see Osipova (and, of course Vasiliev---at least he's on this side of the Pond), I would have been thrilled to have those tickets that so many wanted to turn in. Yuhui just lights up the stage when she dances! If this seems harsh, please think of those of us who are completely dependent on FATHOM even to see the Royals perform---and aren't even getting The Winter's Tale.

  33. Michele responded on 15 April 2014 at 12:03am Reply

    Seriously Karen there is no way you could even begin to compare Natalia to Miss Choe. Natalia is phenomenal and many of us paid top pounds to see her, travelled from abroad had to obtain visas to mention but a few of the costs involved. Injuries happen but please don't compare Alina cojacaru with Natalia having started as a Principal trust me I'd have preferred her staying with ABT at least I was able to see her perform with Ivan Vasiliev who made a superb partner. The show with Yuhui was not to my expectations. No news of Natalia's injury? Will she be performing in Manon? I need to obtain another visa and don't wish to do this unless she will not be performing in London!

  34. May responded on 22 April 2014 at 2:20am Reply

    I enjoyed Yuhui's performance very much although I understand the reasons for disappointment if someone has travelled a long way or even taken a flight to see a particular dancer because I have been in that position (to see a favourite soloist who is now a huge star who was replaced at the last minute - not by the Royal but a visiting company). Natalia is scheduled to dance Manon on 7 and 25 October. If she is recovered and able to dance in Serenade and DGV in late May, that will be great news but of course between now and October is a long time. NB Natalia wasn't the only one who was injured in this series of Sleeping Beauty performances; lots of principals had to be replaced.

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