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Cast Changes: Swan Lake on 19 and 21 February 2015

Cast changes in effect for roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

17 February 2015 at 12.06pm | 25 Comments

We regret that due to a number of ongoing injuries and the close proximity of the performances it has been necessary to make changes to the published casting for performances of Swan Lake on 19 and 21 February 2015.

For the matinee performance on 19 February, Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares will be replaced by Roberta Marquez and Nehemiah Kish in the roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried.

For the evening performance on 19 February, Sarah Lamb will be replaced by Marianela Nuñez in the role of Odette/Odile.

For the matinee performance on 21 February, Zenaida Yanowsky will be replaced by Roberta Marquez in the role of Odette/Odile.

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

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

17 February 2015 at 12.06pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged by anthony dowell, cast change, Marianela Nuñez, Nehemiah Kish, Production, Roberta Marquez, Sarah Lamb, Swan Lake, The Royal Ballet, Thiago Soares, Zenaida Yanowsky

This article has 25 comments

  1. Angela Hurlstone responded on 17 February 2015 at 2:25pm Reply

    Always sorry to hear of injuries, and wish those concerned a speedy recovery. However, really excited that Marianella and Carlos will be dancing together on Thursday evening #mydreamteam Especially excited as I am bringing my son to his first ballet at ROH. He is very lucky to be seeing such an amazing cast.

  2. Nina Battleday responded on 17 February 2015 at 5:14pm Reply

    Lucky him- it will probably,spoil him for ever!

  3. Helen responded on 17 February 2015 at 5:23pm Reply

    Well - my daughter is in tears. Having watched Nunez and Soares on TV, she is desperate to see them, so it seemed too good to be true that they were dancing the half term matinee performance. Think this is out of order - I accept that casting can be beyond your control due to injury, but Marianela Nunez clearly isn't injured if she's dancing in the evening.... One very disappointed little girl here.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 18 February 2015 at 10:05am

      Hi Helen,

      Sorry to disappoint you and your daughter in regards to the change of cast. Unfortunately, with the nature of a live art form and due to injury, it is sometimes necessary to make cast changes - in this case for more than one performance.

      Please do see the terms and conditions of sale:


      ROH Content Producer

  4. Phoenix responded on 17 February 2015 at 11:40pm Reply

    I've seen Swan Lake thrice but bringing my young sons for the first time. Really sorry about the injuries (inevitable, of course) but pleased that the show goes on. We're there on the Tuesday; really looking forward to it.

  5. Andrew Walters responded on 18 February 2015 at 12:34am Reply

    Me too Angela! What a great surprise! Couldn't agree with you more on all counts, especially injured dancers. Hope you and your son have a great evening!

  6. David Yarwood responded on 18 February 2015 at 12:40pm Reply

    Very disappointed to just receive the email from Kevin Hare announcing cast change for tomorrow afternoon. Taking nothing away from the replacements, I booked my ticket way back on 24 Oct for the Nunez/Soares pairing and I had booked annual leave to attend. I know they have covered other performances for injury but tomorrow is also a sell-out. Are matinee audiences less important than others, couldn't anyone else have covered the other performances? I think you should at least offer us the option for our money back.

  7. Judith Carroll responded on 18 February 2015 at 1:45pm Reply

    I am very disappointed at this late notification for tomorrow's matinee. I would have returned my ticket, but it is alas too late. Very disappointed!

  8. Eric Peel responded on 18 February 2015 at 3:41pm Reply

    Yet again, a late notification of cast change. Yes, we all understand that injuries can occur but as Helen asks, why can't Marianela dance the matinee with Nehemiah? Sadly, there's a certain degree of complacency and arrogance with this decision which we see reflected by RB too frequently.

    • Rosemary Wild responded on 18 February 2015 at 7:54pm

      Agree with previous comments. We booked especially for this performance. To lose two principals is a major change and should be refunded. Obviously matinees don't count as cast change Nunez/Lamb shows. Why not Marquez?Lamb. In anger RW

  9. Andy S responded on 18 February 2015 at 7:35pm Reply

    Yes, it's disappointing that ballet's No1 couple aren't dancing - especially if they were the reason you booked that particular performance - but some of the me, me, me responses are quite rude. There's always another day..

    • A Pedley responded on 22 February 2015 at 10:52am

      I agree, Andy, and some of the remarks are disrespectful of the undoubted talents and skills of other principal dancers.

  10. Helen responded on 19 February 2015 at 9:09am Reply

    Thanks - yes, I know I can't have my money back and that it's too late to exchange! I can only echo the other comments here; au think we all understand that injuries happen and that casting is only ever indicative. That said, I think we should be able to believe that it is published in good faith and it doesn't feel like it in this case - seems more like the matinee audience doesn't matter....

  11. Caroline Cawston responded on 19 February 2015 at 11:13am Reply

    I'm another disappointed and irritated matinee ticket-holder. Commiserations of course to those dancers who are injured, but as far as I am aware neither Nunez or Soares are, so surely they should do the matinee, they being the team we all booked for, and someone else should replace Sarah Lamb tonight? It seems as though Nunez and Marquez are the only dancers left standing! What troupers they are!

  12. Marina responded on 19 February 2015 at 11:21am Reply

    I am utterly disappointed about cast change for today's matinee. It is not respectful with the public. I booked for today's matinee to see Marianela and now it's too late to change my ticket. If tonight show needs to be change because an injury, that shouldn't affect another casts.

  13. Anna responded on 19 February 2015 at 9:07pm Reply

    I would probably be another "Woe is me, I'm so disappointed" commenter, except for the fact that I understand that, if at all possible, when a dancer needs to be replaced, it should be with someone who has rehearsed with the dancer still there. So if Nuñez is being taken out of previously-advertised shows to dance with Acosta, consider that (a) she may be the only other available dancer who has worked with Acosta, or (b) she may be the only other available dancer Acosta will accept as his partner!

    We in Australia often complain to The Australian Ballet that casting never goes up until at most two weeks before a season opens. We can never book in October for. February performance and say "I'm booking to see Madeleine Eastoe and Kevin Jackson". We also don't get given any formal notice by the company once we have booked of any cast changes. Only personal acquaintance with a company dancer gives the average balletomane any chance of knowing what's happening (and my source left the company nearly two years ago!).

  14. Ruth Clampitt responded on 20 February 2015 at 1:13pm Reply

    Yes I understand about pairings etc. but I too booked this performance months ago specifically to see Marianella and Thiago. I paid £94 for a ticket plus £30 train fare to London, and I feel cheated. Plus having watched the performance I have to say that Nemehiah Kish and Roberta Marquez were particularly ill-suited, no chemistry and a large disparity in their heights. Come on ROH your customers deserve better.

    • Kevin O'Hare responded on 20 February 2015 at 4:22pm

      Thank you all for your feedback. Unfortunately it was necessary to make several changes to the published casting due to a series of injuries. Sarah Lamb is injured and has not been able to dance her scheduled performances of Swan Lake. Marianela Nunez replaced her for the first two by which time it was hoped that Ms Lamb would be recovered as the third performance fell on a day with two performances. The matinee was scheduled as Nunez/Soares and the evening as Lamb/Acosta. It was not possible, due to lack of rehearsal time, to change the partnership of Nunez/Acosta for the last of his three scheduled performances and therefore Ms Nunez moved to the evening performance to dance with him. Roberta Marquez is dancing three performances of Swan Lake this week as, in addition to her scheduled performance with Rupert Pennefather last Saturday afternoon, she is replacing an injured Zenaida Yanowsky, partnered by Nehemiah Kish, this Saturday afternoon. As she also replaced Ms Nunez at the Thursday matinee it would not have been possible for her to rehearse with three different partners for the three performances so the most appropriate solution in terms of the amount of rehearsal time for her was that she should rehearse with Mr Kish and dance both the Thursday and Saturday matinee with him.

      We do appreciate that this was upsetting news for everyone but we have a duty of care to the dancers to minimize the amount of extra rehearsals caused by injury and illness as they already have a very busy schedule and to overload it could lead to further injury. We thank you for your understanding.

      Kevin O'Hare
      The Royal Ballet

  15. David Yarwood responded on 20 February 2015 at 4:44pm Reply

    Kevin, thank you for responding but did you consider Marquez/Kish dancing the evening performance and leaving the matinee pairing alone? We all know how great Carlos Acosta is but why if his partner is injured should everyone else shunt around? Wouldn't the evening audience be more accepting of this eventuality. I feel most sorry for Thiago who missed dancing altogether and Marianela who I expect would have been disappointed to upset all of us who had booked specially to see her dance with Thiago. Were the dancers consulted at all in fact?

    As for the perfomance itself the corps danced beautifully and the orchestra and sets were wonderful too.

  16. M Hill responded on 20 February 2015 at 9:36pm Reply

    It's naturally disappointing when the dancers you expect to see are changed. However, at least Mr O'Hare has responded with a detailed explanation. I accept that that the challenges of balancing the right dancers with each other, particularly in the event of injury, are many, and the overall quality of the performance has to be taken into account. If you arrive with a view that you will be disappointed - then you will be, I'm afraid.
    This was an expensive trip for me too; booked and planned well in advance with annual leave. It might not have been what I expected initially, particularly having seen Nunez dance last year, however I decided to put that out of my head. I loved the performance - Kish and Marquez were great, in their own right (in my humble opinion of course), furthermore the the sets and lighting were amazing. More importantly, my Mother had the most wonderful time - still in raptures when I telephoned her tonight. Finally, I do hope the dancers don't read the bulk of the comments on here as some are undeservedly negative.

  17. A Pedley responded on 21 February 2015 at 5:44pm Reply

    strikes me that some people need to realise that the dancers are human beings and not automatons to be switched on and off. I was at the Thursday matinee and although the cast change was a shame I had no problem whatsoever with The Marquez/ Nish partnership and thought they gave a wonderful performance. Of course we all have our favourites and if we have particularly selected a performance for a cast it's disappointing when injuries happen. I don't think there was arrogance I the rearrangements but a solution to what must have been a logistical nightmare. I also hope that all the injured dancers recover soon and well. It is still a wonderful production and many thanks to the whole cast for producing another magical afternoon.

  18. Elain responded on 22 February 2015 at 8:15pm Reply

    My daughter and I travelled from Manchester together to see the matinee on Thursday, our first ever ballet that we have waited patiently for. What a wonderful experience and one we will never forget, beautifully danced. We can't wait for our next one!

  19. A brilliant performance on the Thursday matinee. My mother really enjoyed it; her last visit was 43 years ago. In addition my two girls also really enjoyed it, and several days on are still looking at the programme for bedtime reading! Thank you.

  20. michael responded on 7 March 2015 at 12:22am Reply

    could Mr O'Hare not give us all an update on Sarah Lamb's condition and injury and likely return? How is she? It what other activity would the injury of a world star be so little reported by her employers?

  21. Fiona Erleigh responded on 17 March 2015 at 3:33pm Reply

    Sounds like RB needs some more female soloists to step up? Cuthbertson, Lamb and Yanowsky injured simultaneously is unlucky. Always exciting to see new talent given a chance. Muntagirov needs a partner for the future ....

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