January 18, 2020 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Royal Ballet Takes on L.A., La Traviata Takes on Roaring ’20s

To add to the drama of opening night of “The Mayerling” at our music center, we were surprised to the effects of the 7.1 earthquake vigorously shaking of third-row center seats.  But nothing seemed to deter the thousands of audience members from watching this masterpiece!

Fortunately, the big rumble occurred during the first intermission, so none of the high leaping artists were injured.  Leading the huge cast of performers as Crown Prince Rudolf, Ryoichi Hirano,was perfectly cast as the mad royal; while Mary, his 16-year-old doomed mistress, Natalia Osipova,  displayed the youthful exuberance and charm required for the exacting role. Unfortunately, both the protagonists are dead at the end (as they were in real life).

Kudos to Kenneth MacMillian who created this dark and intense ballet in 1978, based on the true tale of dangerous desires and family secrets 

Take my word for it – the next time the Royal Ballet is in town, be first in line to purchase tickets

We had the pleasure last year of seeing Verdi’s La Traviata at the Music Center, directed by Marta Domingo.  She created the world of the “Demi-Mondaines” a period when the privileged classes ruled Paris.  This was the perfect environment for “Ladies of the Evening” – quite apart from common prostitutes.  Violetta, performed by Adela Zaharia from Romania had all the attributes, extreme beauty, intelligence and of course a magnificent voice.  Rama lahaj as Alfredo and particularly Charles Castronova, who is acclaimed as the leading lyric tenor of our time, supported her immensely.  But the real star of this production is Marta Domingo – who took us back to the world of art deco,  flappers, period drama and thrilling music by the greatest Italian composer of his time, Giuseppe Verdi.

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