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Your Reaction: What did you think of Swan Lake 2018 in cinemas and on BP Big Screens?

Audience members react to our free BP Big Screens broadcast across the UK and cinema relays across the world.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

12 June 2018 at 10.55pm | 70 Comments

If you experienced technical difficulties during the cinema broadcast, please email

What did you think of Swan Lake in cinemas and on BP Big Screens?
Add your thoughts in the comments below.

Swan Lake runs until 21 June 2018. Tickets are now sold out, but there will be a selection released each Friday for performances in the following week as part of Friday Rush.

The production is sponsored by Van Cleef & Arpels and is staged with Generous philanthropic support from The Monument Trust, Ricki Gail and Robert Conway, Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, Jette Parker, Celia Blakey, Sarah and Lloyd Dorfman, Doug and Ceri King, the Swan Lake Production Syndicate, The American Friends of Covent Garden and The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

12 June 2018 at 10.55pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged BP Big Screens, by John Macfarlane, cinema, Production, Swan Lake, your reaction

This article has 70 comments

  1. Jane Emberson responded on 12 June 2018 at 11:48pm Reply

    Glorious ....., just returned from my local cinema screening of Swan Lake. Only one word to describe every thing about it,.......Glorious! Thank you to all concerned.

  2. Just got home from the cinema - what a production, what a performance of Swan Lake. Congratulations to John McFarlane and Liam Scarlett both have done a wonderful job. Loved both Pas de Trois. Corps magnificent. Was that Miyaka Moshida as one of the princesses? Cannot choose between Vadim and Alexander or Marianella and Francesca so wonderful to see all four. Now for the DVD - YOU ARE GOING TO ISSUE ONE ARE YOU NOT? I only have 14 Swan Lakes on DVD butreally want this one. A lovely evening so thank you to everyone concerned.

    • Mary M O'Sullivan responded on 13 June 2018 at 2:06pm

      I can only add one thing to what Norma Rothwell said is 'Wow' found it hard to get to sleep still awake at 2am.
      Thank you ROH for the season of Ballet and Opera.
      Mary M O'Sullivan
      Cork Ireland

    • ML responded on 15 June 2018 at 1:15am

      It was principal and dancer Akane Takada. Miyako Yoshida retired several years ago.

  3. Wendy Thomas responded on 13 June 2018 at 12:19am Reply

    Just back from the cinema screening ijn Dundalk Ireland. Just one word -sensational !!! Far beyond expectations. Marianella Nunez was aweinspiring.
    Many many thanks.

  4. Susan Spibey responded on 13 June 2018 at 12:33am Reply

    tonight's production demonstrated the best of British - the whole production + company + principals. Please keep bringing these productions to the masses - it is so important not just for the UK but globally - a feast of cultural excellence!

  5. Geneviève Picard responded on 13 June 2018 at 7:34am Reply

    The new #ROHswanlake is utterly delightful, and I look forward to a repeat performance - and the DVD! It is dark and luminous, respectful of past yet inventive. It showcases the immense talent of all the dancers - the principals were amazing and so was the Corps de ballet!. Loved MacFarlane's brilliant sets and lavish costumes. Basically, it's the sort of production that makes you fall in love with ballet all over again. Kudos to all involved.

  6. Diana Whitty responded on 13 June 2018 at 8:19am Reply

    I love going to the Royal Opera House and do so every year. I have to say that watching on the big screen was an entirely different experience, but rewarding nonetheless. Turning a phone off was hardly necessary in the face of the Guildhall clock clanging the half-hour; for the wrapt silence of the ROH we had seagulls screaming above our heads; and, for the interval champagne we had an entertaining drunk who fancied himself to be the new Nureyev. It was certainly different - and a good evening of free entertainment. The ballet itself was great, of course. The emotion of the great pas de deux was overwhelming and made it possible to forget surroundings. The principals were tremendous and the stage set in Act 3 sensational. Unfortunately, the final act, so sinister and atmospheric, was too dark to come across on the big screen. I'd do it again, but for something I really wanted to see I'd fork out for the orchestra stalls.

  7. James Black responded on 13 June 2018 at 8:39am Reply

    The lightning was terrible at The Gate in Newcastle. It was almost impossible to see the sets and too many of the dancers blended in to the scenery. A big disappointment. I’m not in a position to comment on production or dancing as the level of transmission made it more or less impossible to judge.

  8. Sheila Hope responded on 13 June 2018 at 9:38am Reply

    Congratulations RB on this extraordinary, long overdue production - choreography, designs, dancing & music quite spectacular. A wonderful way of concluding your cinema season, going out with a big bang! Thank you everyone.

  9. Kate Chick responded on 13 June 2018 at 11:21am Reply

    Swan lake live streaming last night was magnificent apart from the lighting.
    Not until the set designer described the process whereby the set and backcloth were designed and made did I realise there was something other than a dark dark scene !
    The whole stage was dark in the 1st act and the lighting on the dancers was deficient.
    Also the 1st view of curtains before the start was hazy. Was there a fog ?
    Please comment as I am taking my granddaughter to see the encore on Sunday.

    • Geoff responded on 13 June 2018 at 10:07pm

      It is very dark at times. But still very very worth seeing.
      Act 4 is very poor with no real climax and too dark. Fortunately very short.
      Acts 1 to 3 amazing.

    • Jane S responded on 26 June 2018 at 10:57am

      So agree, Kate. The whole production was exquisite in every detail, beyond words, but how nice it would have been to see more of it! Please, please improve the lighting, and if there is a dark backdrop then give those beautiful dancers, who give their all, light or highlighted costumes, else their efforts be wasted.

  10. Michelle Smith responded on 13 June 2018 at 11:40am Reply

    Loan Scarlet is a genius- excellent production and performance by Royal Ballet of Swan Lake

  11. Michael Sefi responded on 13 June 2018 at 12:12pm Reply

    Oh wow!! And double wow!!!! Having seen the Sarah Lamb's Odette/Odile at ROH last Friday (in place of the injured Lauren Cuthbertson) which I must say was marvellous (and although I didn't count I was told SL danced 36 fouettes), last night's live feed was tear jerking at the end, more so for some reason than last Friday. (And I also didn't count MN's fouettes - too wrapped up in the action.) Possibly it's because the close-ups in Act 4 show the tiny shakes of MN's head in response to VM's entreaties, and other movements/reactions which one doesn't see at a performance without very strong opera glasses, even when in the stalls, which I was last Friday. I had no problem with the lighting; the Act 3 set is quite amazing - but interesting that LS only included four princesses rather than the previous six. Sorry that LS dropped the (inebriated) tutor from Act 1, with the two small girls playing a trick on him; the two from the 2009 production are now Artists in the Company... There is so much more to say about last night's live feed but I won't bore any reader of this. But I will try and go to the encore on Sunday...

  12. Bill Woolhouse responded on 13 June 2018 at 12:28pm Reply

    I agree with Kate Chick regarding the lighting.
    I have had issues with this problem at The Castle Theatre in Wellingborough.They never get in right.
    It looked as though the dancers were performing in a coal mine !!!
    We could not see the back two rows of the corps de ballet,and what was Rothbart getting up to ?it was as black as night.
    Act 3 fared no better,as we could not see any of the dancers at the back.
    I had a word with the technician at the Castle Theatre who was apologetic and was unable to do anything about it.
    The last act was a complete disaster we could not see any thing it was so dark.
    It completely ruined a fabulous performance from Nuzez/Muntagirov.I was so please to see the re-instatement of Sir Fred's neopolitan dance.I fondly remember Wayne Sleep and Ann Jenner in the roles.
    The whole evening was ruined by the dark lighting,this was an error here and not at The Royal Opera house.

  13. Gwyn Watkin responded on 13 June 2018 at 12:40pm Reply

    Saw Swan Lake Live on screen at Llandudno last night - BRILLIANT! Dancing (by ALL) superb.
    Have been trying to access the digital programme for this online, but failed totally to fond any link. Neither is it available in your ROH/publications.
    HELP please!

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 13 June 2018 at 2:39pm

      Hi Gwyn,

      Thanks for your comment, and glad you enjoyed the performance.

      Unfortunately, we've experienced some technical issues with our digital programme for this production due to some ongoing development work on the website. Hopefully this should be fixed soon but it's something of a more complex problem than we'd anticipated.

      Apologies for the inconvenience.


  14. Smd responded on 13 June 2018 at 12:51pm Reply

    Beautiful loved the choreography of the swans, the divertisssement, the pas de trois, Benno, the dance of cups, the costumes, and of course Maranela and Vadim, all brilliant

  15. Stevie responded on 13 June 2018 at 12:56pm Reply

    Produced for a new generations, this also suits the purist and traditionalist factions very well. Of course Nella demonstrated just why she is a big name, star attraction and everything in her locker, with such a big heart which she put completely into her performance. The corps de ballet appears to impress more, each time they perform. With absolute synchronisation of movement, on the IMAX screen it was evident that even the tutus, lace, feather and all were bouncing in absolute sync, as if by use of computer graphics. That implies that not only was movement perfectly timed, the forces being applied by the dancers was completely equal. There has been recent debate that ballet is a sport as well as an art from, but apparently with engineered precision such as this, it is also a branch of science. Tierney excelled in her Spanish dance, but that's what we come to expect from one of our northern lasses. Good to see Melissa, although not much of a role here to express her great talent. Congratulation to all the team, far to much merit to mention in a single review, it would need an essay. Most of all, uplifting and enjoyable.

  16. Carole responded on 13 June 2018 at 1:55pm Reply

    Wonderful show, dancing, costumes and scenery beautiful. Lovely pas de trois and customers - best I've seen. Unfortunately the stage was so dark that it was difficult to see back of stage

  17. Anita responded on 13 June 2018 at 3:25pm Reply

    Sensational production and stunning dancing; such emotional timing in the first major pas de deux. I loved it. So how disappointing is the filming. Legless dancers, corps de ballet decimated by pointless close-ups. It was so frustrating to keep losing the scene that I was almost in tears. Such a contrast to the successful filming of Manon. Please learn from this.

  18. CT responded on 13 June 2018 at 4:17pm Reply

    Is this something that can be broadcast again in theaters or online? I didnt have a theater close to me airing it. I would have loved to see it, but Im so happy it was a success and others were abke to participate. Thank you!

  19. Zena responded on 13 June 2018 at 4:37pm Reply

    The best I've ever seen from the whole of the Royal Ballet company presenting complete unison. Act II with Marianela & Vadim & the soaring violin from the fantastic orchestration stirred huge emotions! Just 2 points: Act 1 - seemed to be too many from the corps de ballet dancing on stage. I liked the changes in choreography but insufficient space to fully appreciate the transitions in groupin. ? possibly camera angles. Takada's pointe shoes were in terrible shape & quite a distraction. Again possibly unseen by the audience but picked up by camera. Or an advert for the Pointe Shoe Appeal! Today I'm still buzzing & humbled by exquisite ballet & orchestration.

  20. Catherine responded on 13 June 2018 at 6:26pm Reply

    Been looking forward to this for months. At the cinema I was at they could not link to the performance, gutted doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. Cinema was almost full the most people I have seen for some time. We all missed something spectacular.

  21. Bill Woolhouse responded on 13 June 2018 at 6:44pm Reply

    Why Was everything so dark.?

    We could hardly see a thing at The Castle Theatre Wellingborough.Every thing was so dark.
    We were very disappointed that we could not see the dancers in the lakeside acts.
    It is such a shame as it was a wonderful performance all round.

    Did any one else experience this ?

  22. NJT responded on 13 June 2018 at 8:32pm Reply

    I love the live performances but also adore the cinema screenings for the extras and the different perspective. A wonderful performance all round. Special mentions (from me) for Akane Takada and Tierney Heap - both wonderful. But Nunez and Muntagirov are a very special partnership with their outstanding technique to match each other - Nunez was a true swan and Muntagirov just gets better and better with those gorgeous lines and spectacular leaps and spins.

  23. Susan Carlton-Jones responded on 13 June 2018 at 8:49pm Reply

    My favourite production of Swan Lake since I was in the Royal Ballet Company in 1961! Principles superb, corps fantastic -particularly the men and sets and costumes really stunning. Congratulations to Liam Scarlett and of course the oldies of the original choreography. Orchestra perfect .

  24. Wendy Knipe responded on 13 June 2018 at 8:53pm Reply

    It was a truly magnificent production. Excellent work from Liam and John Macfarlane worked his magic as always.

  25. Ever since we heard about these live shows, we've done our best to see them & have never been disappointed. Swan Lake last night was fantastic. Thoroughly enjoy the background information supplied by Darcy Brussel & Ore. The technical difficulties were very frustrating, but thankfully we didn't miss too much. Well done to every single person involved. Can't wait for the next season to start!

  26. Lovely production but SO disappointed with casting of Rothbart. It should have been the unequalled and enormously talented Gary Avis especially as no one can set the scene as he does. Impressive scenery and dancers all on top form and the four main dancers producing magical dancing as usual. Thank you to all concerned.

  27. Paola responded on 13 June 2018 at 10:39pm Reply

    Marianela was incredibile, wonderful, perfect and sublime. Unforgettable performance. Super fuettes! From Milan with love to roh.

  28. Andrea Derungs responded on 14 June 2018 at 12:15am Reply

    We loved so much about this production - the dancing was out of this world; Marianela and Vadim breathtaking and mesmeric, everyone else amazing too. Beautiful sets, choreography - the orchestra wonderful as always. However, I have to agree with Anita above - the big negative for me was the camera work. Too many close-ups - not enough full screen shots of the stage with the corps de ballet, which is so important in this particular ballet, and anyway, as it should be seen as if in the opera house. We don't need to see close-ups to understand the meaning and emotion - the dancing conveys that. For me, this was shot like a movie, with lots of quick cuts and half bodies - we want to see the full bodies so we can see the dancing and everyone else on stage around them reacting and dancing too. I'm trying to be constructive, not negative, but it seemed as if the cameras were directed by someone who doesn't understand ballet. A couple of examples, when the Mongolian (?) dance finished, the camera ended on two couples, not the three - in the last act, wide shots of the whole stage with the swans, then just of Marianela and Vadim - pull back and the swans have disappeared. I really hope that you can sort this out for next time, because otherwise it was wonderful - just very frustrating!! Thank you to everyone involved.

    • ML responded on 15 June 2018 at 1:17am

      It was the Hungarian dance (but I agree the men's hats look like Mongolian ones)!

  29. Rob Hawker responded on 14 June 2018 at 1:48am Reply

    Swan Lake can rarely have been so beautiful in set and costume design. Add superb dancing, with Nunez a divine Swan, and everyone at a peak of excellence, this was a jewel of the Royal Ballet.
    Shame the relay was not as good as it should have been again.

  30. Rosemary bremner responded on 14 June 2018 at 9:37am Reply

    Absolutely phenomenal, I was emotionally shattered

  31. Kenneth Spektor responded on 14 June 2018 at 10:51am Reply

    We viewed it at Vue Westfield.
    The screening was so dark that all the emotion,beauty and wonderful dancing was negated by virtually watching the performance through a thick fog.
    I cannot believe that there was not a technical problem with this particular screening!
    We were not the only members of the audience who commented on this fact.

  32. Ginny responded on 14 June 2018 at 11:42am Reply

    I loved this new production and went to an encore to watch again. The dancing and choreography were superb and I really appreciate being able to watch live in a local cinema. However, would love to see the choreography and dancing in full though. The camera kept changing shot every 4 seconds so we missed the overall effect. Would it be possible to at least have the camera covering the whole view of each dance and not follow individuals about the stage or cut off their legs for a close up? Please next time give more whole stage still camerawork so we can see the ballet as it was designed to be seen.

  33. I loved this new production and went to an encore to watch again. The dancing and choreography were superb and I really appreciate being able to watch live in a local cinema. However, would love to see the choreography and dancing in full though. The camera kept changing shot every 4 seconds so we missed the overall effect. Would it be possible to at least have the camera covering the whole view of each dance and not follow individuals about the stage or cut off their legs for a close up? Please next time give more whole stage still camerawork so we can see the ballet as it was designed to be seen.

  34. Michael Slocombe responded on 14 June 2018 at 1:02pm Reply

    As an end of season performance it was truly enthralling. Conjured was inspiring in the way he appeared out of nowhere. My companion was in floods of tears by the end. Roll on September.

  35. Liz Fawcett responded on 14 June 2018 at 3:32pm Reply

    Just wonderful and I couldn't stop thinking about it afterwards. Thank you so much to everyone involved.

  36. George Atkinson responded on 14 June 2018 at 8:52pm Reply

    Absolutely loved it - every aspect - superb dancing, orchestra and sets. Many congratulations to all concerned.
    Watched it in awful Redditch cinema that switched off the transmission before the final address to the appreciative audience!!
    They also managed to print the programme upside down again for the umpeenth time!
    Do they really care??

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 15 June 2018 at 5:33pm

      Hi George,

      We work closely with all of our cinema partners and can assure you that they do care! But we'll go back to them to ensure our next relay is closer to the standards you might expect from a Royal Opera House cinema relay. If you have any further comments, please email and let us know which cinema in Redditch you attended.

      Many thanks,


  37. Robert Crabb responded on 14 June 2018 at 9:30pm Reply

    Definately not a production I would wish to see again,act1 corp not coordinated,act 2 start of the dark season (yes its supposed to be atmospheric) but not this dark,act3 scenery overpowerering stage seemed cramped,act 4 lacked passion and emotion Von Rothbart about as menacing as a tame budgie.Lightning effects hopeless ,finish an improvement but set still very dark.Camera work not up to usual standard.Unable to appreciate this performance as I struggled to see through the gloom.

  38. William Swales responded on 14 June 2018 at 10:40pm Reply

    I have seen many versions of ‘Swan Lake’ but this amazing version wipes the floor with ALL of them.

    Brought right into the 21st Century, this amazing ballet has much to see, and savour, and ‘digest’ right from the Prologue which explains the curse; its purpose (to seize ultimate power); and the only way out of the horrific predicament (including it is a masterstroke) before we are swept away on a roller-coaster journey of entrapment, terror, trust, hope, love, and insidious malicious deception, treachery, and retribution as we confront law, truth, and justice of jurisprudence - and evil is once again destroyed - but never eradicated.

    The majesty, grace, and stamina of the amazing dancers, married to the grandeur and potency of the sets and the incredible poetic stagecraft - reminiscent of Hollywood blockbusters - were breathtaking and spellbinding as we watched a sumptuous palace seamlessly transform into a moonlit lake- scene right before our eyes – so spectacular – all made possible by the genius of the costume and set designer John Macfarlane and the lighting designer David Finn - each bringing their own unique skill-set to create amazing ‘colour-scapes’ using clever ‘forced perspective’ rotating set elements married to low-key lighting to change the mood as the harp roulade announced something truly ‘magical’ was about to take place – and it does not get more magical as the palace transforms into a lake and regal royalty transform into a garland of swans (representing memories and thoughts - good and bad - black swans representing dark memories and sinister thoughts and emotions; white swans representing pure thoughts and emotions, and dreams and aspirations; and ‘cygnets’ representing fresh emotions filled with love, joy, and hope).

    In the final magnificent pas de deux we see that the prince is full of woe - he has a lot of explaining to do - and as the final deeply moving pas de deux unfolds (thank you Marianela and Vadim x), the forlorn prince expresses deep sorrow in his apology - and now the Swan Queen - a woman with purity in her heart - must make the ultimate decision - to 'be' or not 'to be'?

    We then see that with 'oneness' and 'togetherness' they have the combined strength to kill the raptor (bird of prey) that is Rothbart - and they DO - but although Odette forgives the prince his folly – caused by the deceit of others what has Odette decided? To take arms against a sea of troubles – or crush the torment and doubt and put an end to her misery - knowing that should she drown herself the prince will suffer anguish for the rest of his life.

    Which is it to be?

    Just GO!

    PS: Dear Royal Ballet, be like feature-film makers and release this spectacular ballet on 4K and BluRay ASAP – a years wait is torture for us all when all you have to do is sub-contract it to Sony – who will release it on your behalf in a matter of weeks. Thank you.

  39. Erika responded on 16 June 2018 at 7:48pm Reply

    One word to describe this performance: "Waw"! It really touched my soul, so beautiful, the costumes, music and of course the dancers! Perfect Marianela and also loved Akane Takada (strong presence, she danced with her heart (not saying that the others didn't)), I really enjoyed watching her dance.

    But some (tiny) things I less enjoyed:
    First act when the guests were dancing all together, that seemed for me quite overcrowded and not really "neat"...a little bit "too much" or maybe it was just the filming that gave me this impression...

    About the filming, I feel that it could have been better, it was too close (for example for the solo dancers, on the screen, there were no enough spaces "around" the dancer (too zoomed in) )
    I also agree with the previous comment: for some scenes, we could have seen more of the corps :)

    And not very negative but Rothbart's costume and makeup was kind of scary really, he almost could have acted in a horror movie haha

    That's all for the "negative", the rest was absolutely sublime!
    I hope you will release a DVD of this performance!!

    End of act3 was breathtaking!! The finale too, lot of emotions! Beautiful additional pas de deux.

    (I wish "Russian dance" was more presented in the different swan lake productions, this beautiful piece of music deserves to be "seen").

    Bravo and thank you for this brilliant performance! I will remember this production for a long time!

    • Elena responded on 21 June 2018 at 2:46pm

      Dear Erika.
      Many thank for a mentioning of the Russian Dance (Danse russe pour Mlle). This is a jewel in the Ballet, written by Russian genius Composer Tchaikovsky and people from over the world use to enjoy watching it for 140 years!
      I would love to ask Mr Scarlett with all my respect to him: “Why the Russian Dance has been vanished from his production?” I feel very offended for myself and all Russian people and a memory of one of the Greatest Russian Composer.
      All opinions will be appreciated.
      Kind regards,

  40. Pat Vickers responded on 16 June 2018 at 9:09pm Reply

    Fantastic show loved the new set and costumes the interviews we always go to the streamed shows always fantastic so much nearer than London a big thank you to all the cast

  41. Loved the new production - choreography, costumes, drama and most of all the amazing world class dancers. I look forward to buying a DVD in the future, hopefully. However I'd rather wait a bit for this, if a performance could be filmed with less severe close ups and longer views of the whole stage. It was difficult to get an overall appreciation of the dances as the camera view kept changing every few seconds. Sorry to be negative as I really appreciate being able to watch the Royal Ballet in my local cinema.

  42. Jeanne Evans responded on 19 June 2018 at 10:35pm Reply

    Tried to see it at Bristol Millenium Square - never happened due to 'a technical issue'. Lots of very disappointed punters...! Will an encore be shown?

    • Joseph Chadbourn (Cinema Account Officer) responded on 20 June 2018 at 1:44pm

      Dear Jeanne,

      Thank you for your comment. We are sorry that you could not experience Swan Lake as part of the BP Big Screens at Bristol.

      While the encore for Swan Lake has unfortunately now passed, some venues are scheduled to screen a recorded version of this performance. Please use the following link to search for potential cinemas near your desired viewing location(s), and their screening dates and times:

      Best regards,
      ROH Cinema

  43. Urte responded on 20 June 2018 at 6:10pm Reply

    I try to get hold of all RB Cinema relays here in Hamburg and as always was delighted. Again I was sorry not to find the whole cast on the programme - neither on the internet nor on the leaflet. Or was I just looking the wrong way online? So I took fotos from the credits and was happy to discover some of my personal favourites. I was still more astonished about the lacking detailed cast, because D. Bussell interviewed some members of the group and stressed their importance. Greetings Ute

  44. Andrew responded on 21 June 2018 at 12:45pm Reply

    I love the Cinema experence with Swan Lake but have to agree with many .The direction of the filming of the performance left much to be desired . To many close ups left us wondering what was happening on the rest of the stage. I would have thought that given the wonderful new production a wider view with a FEW selected close ups would have been wiser. If the forthcoming DVD is based on the cinema performance i for one will delay my purchase for fear of doing damage to my telly in frustration!!

    This in no way is a complaint on the tremendous new production which has been created , it was just a shame that the formula of live relay production that has been used in the past wasn't present on the 12th

  45. Glenys McDonald MBE responded on 21 June 2018 at 8:52pm Reply

    A wonderful production with superb dancing.
    The Odeon Tunbridge Wells was our venue - the cinema experience is marvellous, from the introduction, interval interviews and information and of course the ballet, and all at low costs for first class seats!

  46. Thistle Garmonsway responded on 21 June 2018 at 11:31pm Reply

    Congratulations, echoing all of the above, but also to the peerless orchestra. The soloists should have been on stage at the end, particularly the violinist, but also cellist, viola, flautist... The sound was heaps better at Watford Palace than at Trafalgar Square where it has been heaps better for Opera, so it can be good and the pas de deux solos were breathtakingly accompanied - or was it the other way round?
    Please sort the digital programme so that we can get it in due course - I want to know the whole cast, at the least. Am very pleased to see that it should be possible to have the mime decoded, eventually.
    Thanks for taking me to a totally other place.

  47. Michael Sefi responded on 22 June 2018 at 12:20pm Reply

    As a further comment to my earlier post on 13th June, I did go to the Encore screening - and it moved me even more than the first screening - partly because one sees details one missed the first time. It is such a marvellous, stupendous (not a word I often use!) performance... And yes, it must be put on DVD, and sooner rather than later please...
    But there's the disappointment of the digital programme still not up on the website; will it happen??
    The lack of full cast details for the performance is also very disappointing - can that be published, please, please... Even post a copy of the full handout Programme Note given out free at the performance to the audience at ROH...

  48. Rob S responded on 24 June 2018 at 11:21am Reply

    For people asking about the cast:
    Odette/Odile: Nunez
    Von Rothbart: Gartside
    The Queen: McGorian
    Benno: Campbell
    Siegfried's sisters: Takada & Hayward
    Polonaise: Heap, Hinkis, Kaneko, Magri, Ball, Hay, Montaño, Sambé
    Two Swans: Calvert, Magri
    Cygnets: Hinkis, Gasparini, Pajdak, Harrod
    Italian Princess: Choe
    Spanish Princess: Mendizabal
    Hungarian Princess: Hamilton
    Polish Princess: Stix-Brunell
    Spanish Dance: Heap, Emerton, Edmonds, Clarke, Montaño
    Czardas: Pajdak, Dyer
    Neapolitan Dance: Hinkis, Sambé
    Mazurka: Harrison, Bracewell 

  49. Margaret L responded on 25 June 2018 at 11:35am Reply

    I took a friend with me to Swan Lake who never goes to ballet, and she was thrilled, as was I. The costumes and sets are gorgeous, and the corps de ballet were exquisite,quite breathtaking. The whole performance was so fresh, This is why I am a friend of Covent Garden, to help new productions like this one. Thank you from a fan!Margaret Lubbock

  50. Thought it looked very good on the small screen. Have always loved Nunez but, for me, no one beats Zenaida Yanowsky, the best white swan ever, Muntagirov a superb dancer but, perhaps, too young and gauche for Siegfried? Look forward to my next RB HD showing. Thank you.

  51. I certainly enjoyed the "new" Swan Lake and am sure it is a winner. All the stops were pulled out for the first night which of course had the same cast as the cinema evening. Because all the stalls were pretty much taken up by the guests for the subsequent reception I was in the Amphitheatre for the first night and not in my usual stalls seat. However I did have the benefit of the elevated view of the corps de ballet and they were sublime, especially as it was their first show with the new choreography. The work to achieve such excellence must have taken many hours. I went again on 1st June to see it from the stalls - I know Marianela again, but I am, I'm afraid a Marianela nut. Her range is amazing, whether a joyful La Fille Mal gardee, a tragic Giselle, Swan Lake or Manon or an exhuberant Kitri in Don Quixote she is sublime and always perfect for the role. I was at the cinema on 12th June (I live on the East Kent coast so such a change to have only a 15 minute drive home). 2 or 3 minor quibbles about the direction of the cinema show, for instance Beatriz S-B's look of utter contempt as Odille seduces the prince was a picture but almost totally missed. However I did note that the corps de ballet did have some slightly elevated shots, good but oh so much better if we could get a camera higher up as they do at the Bolshoi. Another item that would really be appreciated by cinema audiences is a fuller cast list, someone else has mentioned this and I fully support them. When Marianela is dancing in the cinema performance I will have seen the ballet with her at the ROH before hand and always take a few of the left over cast lists so that I can pass them round to members of the audience near me. In this modern age when these items can be emailed I am surprised the full cast list can not be emailed to the cinema. In fact it was particularly usefull on this occasion as the vision at the cinema stopped immediately after the curtain came down, we still had sound but no vision and so no one saw the full cast. My extra copies were very useful.

    My final comment regards the DVD. I am sure there will be one, eventually, as there was such a steller cast. I am sure it is too late now but I would have had a DVD ready for the teatro Madrid performance so they could have been sold - no doubt in large numbers - to the Spanish audience, They would have been thrilled. One can just imagine them wending their way home walking on air after seeing the superb ballet danced by the best company in the world - their acting is always superb it is such a theatrical show, and grasping a DVD to watch over and over again. Of course you may have that in hand,

  52. John Stone responded on 29 June 2018 at 2:06pm Reply

    I was so looking forward to the encore screening at the
    Vue Westfield London. From what I could see it was spectacular; wonderful dancing. But, and it is a big bit, it was so dark at times it was impossible to see what was going was as though viewing through a for. Was this a fault with the cinema or the general transmission?

  53. John Andrews responded on 3 July 2018 at 6:50pm Reply

    Never seen ballet better than this

  54. Sharon Goodenough responded on 4 July 2018 at 3:52pm Reply

    Loved this production, in particular the designs, and have been trying to download the digital programme ever since, but still no luck. When will this issue be resolved?

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 5 July 2018 at 12:00pm

      Hi Sharon,

      Our apologies for the ongoing problems that you are experiencing in accessing our digital programmes. The difficulties have been caused by an essential security update to our website, which has had unexpected technical consequences and is proving very challenging to fix.

      We have every expectation that the programmes will be working again in time for the start of the new Cinema Season in October, but unfortunately we can't offer the Swan Lake programme at this time.

      Best wishes,


  55. Richard responded on 4 July 2018 at 8:32pm Reply

    It was lovely to catch this again today in Brighton, after being fortunate enough to see several of the performances at the ROH. The filming was rather too dark in places but it did show various nuances not obvious from the auditorium, and the overall production remains fantastic. I was particularly delighted to catch again the lovely partnership of Akane Takada and Francesca Hayward, supported sensitively by Alexander Campbell. DVD a.s.a.p. please!

  56. Manon1753 responded on 13 July 2018 at 3:44pm Reply

    Finally managed to catch up with this new production, albeit in the cinema. And no, I am not bowled over. Yes the dancing was great, superb at times and had all of the 7 visitors to my local cinema sitting on the edge of their seats. So was the music and SOME of the scenery, and SOME of the costumes. Abolishing the break between Acts 1 and 2 was a good idea too.
    We skipped the chatting (in English and therefore mostly uintelligble to the locals here - and again little material of visual interest during the intervals) and had icereams outside in the sun.
    Why were none of us unreservedly enchanted? Some of us had seen more Swan Lake productions than we care to admit to, for fear of betraying our age, others were absolute new comers. But there was a consensus: Acts 1 and 3 were too dark. If you must have a black floor and a black or dark back drop (lower half), please remember we have come to see the dancers - not just their top halves. The costumes, lovely, taken individually, were a terrible mish mash of shapes and colours. The sort tutus were lively!! Personally, I did like the gates and their positioning. The choreopraphy, particularly for the ensembles, was not worth remembering and three cheers to the dancers for still making it look good. That also applies to many bits in Act 3 and the addenda to Act 4.
    And then there is THE END. There is a major key ending, so one might be able to defend the "Rothbart 0, Odette and Prince 1" version. One might chose to ignore the shfit to a major key and allow prophecy to kill the couple and then, either let Poetin-Rothbart-Raspoetin rule or kill him off as well. But here we have swans behave like a bunch of Willis on the wrong train, and then Odette dies, the Prince survives. Is this not confusing Albrecht and Siegfried? We couln't figure out what happened to Rasputin.
    There were many detailed niggles too. For example, what happens to Court Protocol when Odile sweeps in? And why does she then sweep out again with Siegfried? What are they getting up to in the wings? Why don't they watch the festivities? Very rude!
    Yes, the courtroom was absolutely magnificent, but did someone say there was a Russian dance going on? We did not see it. That problem with colour on colour again, and possibly lighting too.
    Despite the company's brilliant performance, and I mean every one in the company, I won't be coming to the ROH to see this Swan Lake live. I'll just have to hope for a more coherent, more visible and better told version before I die.
    Meanwhile, don't fear, we will take the long drive again to the Luberon Cinema in Pertuis to see the Royal Ballet in Mayerling.

  57. Renee Chen responded on 1 August 2018 at 3:35pm Reply

    We watched in San Diego, California last night. The best Swan Lake I've ever seen. Thank you ROH!! :)

  58. Colin Ede responded on 26 December 2018 at 12:16am Reply

    I watched this on Christmas Day, BBC4 and did pick up on the darkness in the long shots. Also the excellence of the corps de ballet. However the tempi seemed to be slowed at certain points, maybe for dramatic purposes, which seemed to test the dancers a bit.
    I wasn't disturbed , as some other reviewers were, by the shot selection. Ross MacGibbon has always been the most reliable and knowledgeable director.

    I wish he could do 'Strictly', hither-to the home of legless dancers.

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