I'm glad you like the new website for Christmas - we made it for Kenneth's 80th birthday!
Thank you for your enthusiasm.
While surfing your site, I came across your campaign for 'Mayerling'.
May I put the record straight on a few details?
'Mayerling' may have been made on the Royal Ballet, but I have never decreed that it should stay only with the Royal Ballet.
Budapest built their own production and did a fine performance - and whoever put about the idea that I removed the rights from them?
Vienna has acquired it, did a splendid premiere last year, and revival this.
Other companies are in discussion for future productions.
I'd love Mayerling to come to ABT - after all it's been to New York with the Royal Ballet. But the management of ABT has told me that the New York audience wouldn't understand the story........
Good luck with your campaign!
So, New York audiences wouldn’t understand the story of Mayerling. Really, ABT Management? So we only understand Disneyfied fairytales? We are too shallow and uninformed to understand an historically-based dance drama? Haglund politely takes exception – difficult as politeness might be for him in this instance.
New York audiences are as sophisticated as audiences anywhere else in the world. Witness the productions at the Metropolitan Opera just this year: Attila - which the Met describes as “the story of civilization’s encounter with barbarism“; Elektra who is self-tortured by obsessions of her mother killing her father; The Nose where a poor guy wakes up to discover his nose is gone (it turns up in a loaf of bread); Simon Boccanegra - a 14th century based political drama; Stiffelio - set in mid 19th century Austria that explores faith and doubt; From the House of the Dead - about life in a Russian prison camp. New Yorkers love a good mind-bending, gut-wrenching drama in any form – opera, theater, music, or ballet.
Given the benefit of a sensible marketing plan, New York audiences would trample all over one another for an opportunity to see ABT's Mayerling. How many other productions does ABT have that allow its magnificent male dance-actors to carry the evening? Not many. Given the fact that the company employs, arguably, the greatest male dance actors anywhere on the planet today, it is a crime not to provide them with a vehicle that could make them truly legendary. Given the fact that the company employs the original Empress Elisabeth from the Royal Ballet's first production of Mayerling, it is a crime not to have her pass on that unique Georgina-zing to a new generation of interpreters at ABT.
But there are options. Yes, there are always options.
Some other U.S. company could jump at the chance to do Mayerling and do it very well: San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, or the Joffrey, to name a few, and they could bring their production to New York. Another option would be for the world to see Marcelo Gomes perform the role of Crown Prince Rudolf as a guest at the Royal Ballet. How mad would that make New Yorkers at ABT? Pretty darn mad.
But the best option, the very best option, is to mount the production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's beautiful, cozy 2100 seat theater where faces can be seen and world class dance theater can be produced. If BAM is big enough for ABT’s new Nutcracker, it’s big enough for Mayerling. That is the best option. Let’s not allow the opportunity to slip through our fingers.
If we wish for it, it will come.