Ballet and Opera Favorites

06May13

Some months ago, YouTube suggestions threw up something absolutely golden. It was a video by the Royal Opera House on the evolution of ballet and since then, there has been no looking back. I used to be a casual ballet follower, but now I am familiarizing myself with the art. And, that is a blog post for another day.

I wanted to share some of the ballet pieces I have been watching on YT and listening to (the OST) This post might seem rather casually conversational since I took it directly from an email to my best friend.

1. Manon – the great weirdly good looking Jonathon Cope dances this; both the music and the dancing is so sad yet beautiful. When the music goes higher, it’s such a moving love theme. (By the way, this is from the final act, and SPOILER ALERT she dies in this)

2. This Christopher Wheeldon rehearsal for Alice in Wonderland; it seems like such a fun ballet and Joby Talbot’s music must sound amazing during a live performance. Also, I am crushing on the Mad Hatter and the dormouse.

3. Va Pensiero – an apparently famous aria written by the Opera composer Verdi. Opera frankly used to scare me, with its unnatural sounding voices but as I go deeper into my vocal lessons, I am starting to appreciate it a lot more. Takes a lot of training, perseverance and of course, talent. They are not only singing, they are also acting at the same time. Va Pensiero is now one of my favorite pieces; I just downloaded 3 versions of this so that I can listen to it on my commute.

4. This Pas De Deux from Mayerling. Another depressing ballet where the main protagonists SPOILER ALERT die; but wow, the dancing and the music. I am a sucker for all the music that is being played. Also, I am slightly in love with the male principle, Edward Watson. He is magnificent in his gingerness.

5. By the way, remember the amazing Jonathon Cope from No 1? He is now much older and now coaches at the Royal Opera House. Here he is coaching for The Nutcracker and it features the Sugar Plum Fairy Pas De Deux with the piece of music (Tchaikovsky) that I shared with you earlier. So lovely.

Not a paid advertisement! But if you want to see what the fuss is all about, you can engage with the Royal Opera House via their Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram feeds. They are also very social and active so if you have a valid question, they will most likely reply.

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