Performed by: Birmingham Royal Ballet
Grand Opera House, Belfast
Tickets & info here
Birmingham Royal Ballet return to the Grand Opera House Belfast with David Bintley and Galina Samsova’s stunning production of Giselle, one of the most celebrated classical ballets ever.
In a village deep in the mountains, two young people, Giselle and Loys, are deeply in love. But Loys has not been truthful with his beloved. He is actually Count Albrecht, son of the local lord, and is already betrothed to Bathilde, a lady, and his social equal.
When jealous Hilarion, a rival for Giselle’s hand, proves who Loys really is, and Bathilde arrives to claim her fiancé, the heartbreak is too much to bear. Driven mad by despair, Giselle takes her own life.
After her funeral, a sorrowful Albrecht visits her grave, but it is night and he is in terrible danger. The bitter ghosts of jilted brides rise and condemn him to dance himself to death. Only Giselle’s love, powerful enough to reach from beyond the grave, can save him; she must keep him safe until dawn breaks and he can escape, but dawn is many hours away…
Giselle is a story of love and sadness and this production delivers on the core themes magnificently. The performances of Giselle (Jenna Roberts) and Count Albrecht (Iain Mackay) are flawless. From the tenderness of their love displayed through some of the most graceful moves ever performed at the Grand Opera House, to the anger and fury as they whirl round the stage and culminating in one of the most tragic incidents in folklore.
The main cast are backed by an incredibly gifted ensemble, highlights of which are Tyrone Singleton as Hilarion (the villain of the piece), and the incredible duo of Momoko Hirata and Tzu-Choa Chou as they perform their mesmerising duet.
The score to the ballet, composed by Adolphe Adam and revised by Joseph Horovitz, was expertly conducted by Koen Kessels and performed live by a superb orchestra. The set and backdrops however, are two of the most detailed that I have ever seen.
The first act depicts a small village in a valley, with wonderfully detailed houses, trees that give the village scope and a shimmering waterfall that thanks to some creative lighting, gives the appearance that the waterfall is indeed flowing steadily through the valley. The second act scene is set in the graveyard of a church, complete with a grave, tall marble-looking columns and the backdrop of a church that has windows and the all important moonlight.
This production of Giselle, which was last performed six years ago, makes a welcome return to Belfast’s Grand Opera House and one that fans, old and new will surely relish.
Giselle will be at the Grand Opera House from 26th-29th June and tickets are available for all performances.
4 out of 5 Nerds
Special thanks to The Grand Opera House, Belfast for their invitation and hospitality to this performance.