The Arts Desk in London reports today that Lady Deborah MacMillan recently approved the re-orchestration of the Massenet music for Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Manon and has decided that the new score will be the standard orchestration for all productions. Premiered by the Finnish National Ballet, the new orchestration was prepared by Martin Yates, a conductor who has much experience conducting the original ballet orchestration. According to AD's Natalie Wheen, who heard the new score last weekend in Helsinki:
Yates has taken a really serious look at the Massenet originals and intelligently married nuances of orchestral colours to the choreography so that the sounds from the pit complement the unfolding story in the dance: the drama and its emotional sub-text building properly together over the full span of the evening.
He apparently also restored some of the harmonies that were not used in the original compilation. AD planted some clips of the new orchestration within its article including this one from that most passionate Bedroom PdD.
Since ABT has omitted all MacMillan productions from its 2011 Spring Season at the Met, it sure would be a treat to hear this new music at the Opening Night Gala. Not that it would make up for the lapse in program planning, but it would be nice, nonetheless. Haglund has a few ideas for a new Manon or two.