Tales of Beatrix Potter ballet. Choreography by Frederick Ashton. Music by John Lanchbery. Produced 2008 by Anthory Dowell at the Royal Opera House. Stars Victoria Hewitt, Ricardo Cervera, Jonathan Howells, Gemma Sykes, Gary Avis, Bennet Gartside, Laura Morera, David Pickering, Zachary Faruque, Giacomo Ciriaci, Iohna Loots, Joshua Tuifua, and Steven McRae. The Royal Ballet Synfonia was conducted by Paul Murphy. Designs by Christine Edzard; masks by Rostislav Doboujinsky; lighting by Mark Jonathan; staging by Christopher Carr and Grant Coyle; TV direction by Jonathan Haswell. Released 2010, this disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A
Beatrix Potter wrote over 30 short illustrated children's tales about the misadventures of anthropomorphic animal characters. The books were translated into many languages and are still popular all over the world. This ballet version begins with a Mouse Waltz, includes seven of the tales, and ends with a fantastic finale. Frederick Ashton was a master of comical ballet. John Lanchbery was a wizard at stringing together folk and popular tunes from buy-gone days to create delightful light ballet music. Christine Edzard and Rostislav Doboujinsky designed unbelievably winsome costumes and masks for the cast of critters. But the real heroes are the dancers, mostly from the middle ranks of the Royal Ballet, who don the awkward, sweaty gear and then dance so charmingly. All technical aspects of this production are superb.
Each Thanksgiving we have a party for my 6 girl cousins in town (age 6 to 66 this year) and we watch this. Here's the finale :
Let's meet some of these critters. Here's the Mouse Mayor (my name):
A mouse waltz party:
And a mouse picnic:
Peter Rabbit, the Lord of Lettuce:
Mother Pig (my name---I can't keep the Potter pigs straight) and her children and their friends (I think):
She takes in washing:
She meets a fine gentleman:
Oh! I'm too young to go for a walk with a guy!
We end with some shots from the Tale of Two Bad Mice. They find the cutest dollhouse. But life there is frustrating, so they get their revenge!
There are many other delightful characters in the title. If you are good at Potter trivia, please correct any mistakes I've made describing the shots above!
Here's a cute clip: