Seen and Heard International hopes for the happiest of outcomes for all those who are ill due to the current coronavirus pandemic. We share the optimism of those experts who hope that all those in otherwise good health will be able to resist its worst effects.
With the worldwide restrictions on travel and gatherings of significant numbers the world of classical music and many other entertainment events are currently subjected to a wave of changes, postponements, or cancellations, and it is unlikely normal recreational life will be resumed in the foreseeable future.
Seen and Heard International will continue to post reviews of concerts, operas, dance, theatre, and broadcasts for a long as we can, but bear with us if our content is not refreshed as often as readers have become used to over recent years.
We are not a listings site so if you are checking for news of whether performances have been postponed, cancelled, or might be restarting, please go direct to the websites of the venues concerned.
Attempts are being made to provide online live music and other performances – live or recorded – during this ongoing situation. Below are a few of the announcements and please also look elsewhere on Seen and Heard for more news. None of this is intended to be comprehensive or regularly updated but might be added to in coming days:
Birmingham Royal Ballet – has taken the difficult decision to move their 2020 adapted version of The Nutcracker online. The magical Christmas production will be streamed live from The Birmingham Repertory Theatre on Friday 18 December at 7.30pm, giving audiences an experience as close to watching it live in the theatre as is possible. Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker at The REP will be available to watch as a livestream event at 7.30pm on Friday 18th December. It will then be available to view as a video-on-demand recording from Saturday 19th to Thursday 24th December. Video-on-demand sales close at midnight on 21st December, but can be viewed until midnight on Christmas Eve.
Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet Carlos Acosta said ‘I guess you could say we’re trying to look on the bright side at the moment! By live streaming this new adapted version of our famous and much-loved production we can proceed with confidence and focus on making the event as special as possible for our wonderful audiences and now, wherever you are in the world, you can be part of it. I can’t deny it’s disappointing not to see everyone’s happy faces in the theatre, but we will plan to end the year on a Christmas high, finding ways of celebrating is important right now.’
In light of the performances being cancelled the Company has again focused on finding solutions and decided to tackle uncertainties by enabling audiences to enjoy the world premiere of this new adaptation from home. After the cancellation of this year’s full production at the Royal Albert Hall, this will be the one chance to experience Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Christmas classic this year.
The full-length Nutcracker will be shortened to an 80-minute magical experience that will retain all of the most enchanting moments and characters you would expect and hope for and features the cherished Tchaikovsky score performed live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Paul Murphy. Ticket holders for this pay per view production will also be able to enjoy some extra treats the Company have tied together with a seasonal red bow to make the experience as special as possible.
Two performances featuring two different casts will be captured at The REP. The second film will feature three third year students from The Royal Ballet School performing Trepak, the Russian dance, and students from Elmhurst Ballet School dancing Snowflakes will be available for audiences to watch online in early 2021. Birmingham Royal Ballet is committed to offering performance opportunities for students of the Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst Ballet School, especially at this time when such opportunities are so rare for students starting out in their careers.
Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s social media pages will reflect a celebration of The Nutcracker throughout the run, including exclusive new dance footage, ballet lessons for the very young and behind-the-scenes insights and the premiere of a new animated film inspired by The Nutcracker created with Birmingham Royal Ballet’s second company, Freefall, whose exceptionally talented dancers have learning disabilities.
For more information CLICK HERE.