Monday, 8 November 2010
At the weekend we had a wonderful outing to the Royal Opera House to see the ballet Sylvia. The tickets were my birthday present to K (perhaps it was a bit of a cheat since I knew that I would equally enjoy the occasion), and since I came up with the idea a little late, I had missed the opening of booking and had to buy rather more expensive tickets than I would usually. This meant that we were sitting in the stalls, but not just in the stalls, three rows from the front, which was fantastic. My only quibble was that we were slightly below the level of the stage, so I couldn't quite see the tips of the ballerina's toes when they went up en pointe, but it meant that we could really appreciate the height that the dancers gained when they leapt around the stage.
Like most ballets, the plot is very simple, along the lines of boy meets girl, and they get together. Unlike most ballets, where the girl is usually delighted to have met a boy, Sylvia at the start is feisty and not terribly interested in the opposite sex. Set in the world of mythology, in a forest where creatures dance in worship of Eros, Sylvia is a huntress, and arrives on scene to mock him. Aminta, who has already fallen for Sylvia, is hiding, but when Sylvia tries to shoot Eros, he intervenes and is shot himself. Eros then shoots at Sylvia. Sylvia regrets shooting Aminta, but finds herself carried off by Orion, another hunter. Aminta is revived by Eros, but Sylvia has disappeared. In the second act, Orion tries to make Sylvia fall in love with him, by plying her with expensive jewellery. She grieves for Aminta, but then Eros appears, showing her a vision of him, and helps her escape. In the third act, they are reunited and get together. (I found this a little disappointing given Sylvia's independence in the first act).
The dancing was beautiful, the costumes were lovely, and the music, by Delibes, was also good, so it was an absolutely wonderful trip.
I have a bit of a ballet "thing" going on at the moment, so have been borrowing DVDs from the library and rereading my Lorna Hill books, so it was very good to go and see a live ballet. I also have three more ballet trips to look forward to before the end of January, so I will hopefully be writing about those too if people are interested.
In other news, Christmas cross stitching continues apace and have been doing some "The snowman" decoupage cards - I can't wait to get these finished and show them off - watch this space.
PS: Picture taken from the ROH website.