Royal Ballet Collection Box

 

Royal Ballet Collection Box set released 2016. Below are the discs. All of them have already been reported on this website, and you can get more details by using the links provided:

  1. Adam Giselle. 2014. (Grade: A)
  2. Delibes Sylvia. 2009. (Grade: A-)
  3. Hérold La Fille mal gardée. 2015. (Grade: A-) This is a fine recording, but the 2005 version with Marianela Nuñez as Lise and Carlos Acosta as Colas is even better and, well, still indispensable. 
  4. Liszt Mayerling. 2010. (Grade: A+)
  5. Minkus Don Quixote. 2014. (Grade: B-)
  6. Minkus La Bayadère. 2011. (Grade: A+)
  7. Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet. 2013. (Grade: B+) Again the older A+ version from 2007 with Carlos Acosta as Romeo, Tamaro Rojo as Juliet, and Laura Morera as the Head Harlot is still indispensable.
  8. Talbot Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. 2011. (Grade: A+)
  9. Talbot The Winter's Tale. 2015. (Grade: A+)
  10. Tchaikovsky Swan Lake. 2010. (Grade: D) Just ignore this sadly obsolete title. This production is not competitive.
  11. Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker. 2010. (Grade: B) This production is also not competitive.
  12. Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty. 2009. (Grade: B+) This production is also not really competitive.
  13. McGregor Triple Bill. 2011. (Grade: A+)
  14. Ashton Celebration. 2013. (Grade: A)
  15. Ashton Rhapsody/The Two Pigeons. 2016. (Grade: B-)

What should you make of this offer? At this time it appears the box will be priced at about $180. So if you wanted all 15 titles, that would work out to $13 per title, which sounds attactive. But the only titles above that are on my Dance Hit Parade List are the Alice, the McGregor Triple Bill, and the Winter's Tale. None of the famous Tchaikovsky ballets from the ROH are competitive. And both the Romeo and Juliet and the Fille mal gardée are second rate to other versions that are also offered by the ROH! So if you went a la carte, there would only be 3 titles from the box you would buy. (Well, the excellent Mayerling in the box is also a great ballet that nobody else has recorded.) So I can't get excited about buying these 14 titles from the ROH even at $13 each. A lot of chaff with the wheat. When the price gets down to less than $120, the box starts looking reasonable: 4 titles you really want at $120 is more or less full normal retail and you get 10 titles free. As the price goes south of that, at some point this becomes a bargain, depending on how picky you are.