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Opening Night in Beijing

Published on Saturday 1 January, 2011

A brief spell of company partying last night was succeeded by a busy day of preparations for our opening night of Romeo & Juliet. The Technicians were back on stage at 9am finding ways to adapt the requirements of the production to the availability of local equipment. In the UK we tour our own lighting which is always in perfect working order but the logistics of overseas touring, particularly to the Far East, means that there is insufficient shipping time between the end of the UK tour and the date it is required overseas. Shipment to China takes a minimum of 6 weeks and air freight is too cost prohibitive. We are lucky that our technicians always work wonders with what is available to them. Class took place again in the studio 2 floors below the stage and although everyone is getting more used to the labyrinth, there is still a sense of people sticking together so at least they won’t be lost alone! The stage of the Opera Theatre is absolutely massive with space in the side and rear stages to hold around 6 productions concurrently. The clever design of Romeo and Juliet meant that it expanded well to fit the space available. Although rehearsal started 30 minutes late all was finished on time leaving the Technicians a little time work some final magic on the lighting.

Straight after the rehearsal Hannah Bateman and Kenneth Tindall were interviewed live on Radio Leeds down the mobile phone. It was good to know that at home they were pleased to know how we were getting on in Beijing – inevitably part of the conversation was about the weather. It is definitely colder here in Beijing.

We had a capacity audience this evening with the whole performance bought out by a sponsor who always buys all the seats on 1 January regardless of the production. Toby Batley played Romeo with Hannah Bateman as Juliet. From our perspective the performance went well but audience response was somewhat reserved from the almost totally Chinese audience. There was a slight hiatus at the start of Act 3 with the orchestra pit lights failing two bars into the entr’acte which brought the performance to an abrupt halt. A suspect cable was identified after a few minutes with the performance continuing without further incident. The local Chinese orchestra was very well received by the audience!

All photos: Neil Jarman


Romeo    罗密欧 Tobias Batley
Juliet   朱丽叶 Hannah Bateman
Mercutio   莫丘蒂奥 Hironao Takahashi
Nurse   奶妈 Victoria Sibson
Benvolio   斑沃里奥 Ashley Dixon
Tybalt   提伯尔特 Yi Song
Lord Montague   蒙太古勋爵 Martin Bell
Paris   帕力斯 Kenneth Tindall
Lord Capulet   凯普莱特勋爵 Darren Goldsmith
Friar Laurence    弗莱尔·劳伦斯 Michael Berkin
Lady Capulet   凯普莱特勋爵夫人 Martha Leebolt  
Prince of Verona   维罗那王子 Michael Berkin
第1幕  ACT 1    
Tybalt’s Henchmen      提伯尔特随从  John Hull, Graham Kotowich
Montague Men            蒙太古族人 Giuliano Contadini, Jeremy Curnier
Montague Women       蒙太古家族女人 Jessica Morgan, Christie Duncan, Isabella Gasparini, Rachael Gillespie, Antoinette Brooks-Daw
Capulet Women           凯普莱特家族女人 Anna Blackwell, Rym Kechacha, Dreda Blow 
Knights in Ballroom      舞厅里的骑士 Giuliano Contadini, John Hull, Graham Kotowich, Yoshihisa Arai 
Knight’s Ladies            骑士情妇 Ayana Kanda, Rym Kechacha, Dreda Blow, Anna Blackwell
Juliet’s Friends            朱丽叶朋友 Julie Charlet, Michela Paolacci, Pippa Moore, Lori Gilchrist
第2幕  ACT 2    
Capulet Friends           凯普莱特家族朋友 John Hull, Graham Kotowich, Yoshihisa Arai
Capulet Girls              凯普莱特家族少女 Julie Charlet, Michela Paolacci, Pippa Moore, Lori Gilchrist
Montague Friends       凯普莱特家族朋友 Giuliano Contadini, Jeremy Curnier
Gypsies                        吉普赛

Jessica Morgan, Christie Duncan, Isabella Gasparini, Rachael Gillespie

第3幕 ACT 3  
Morning Serenade       小夜曲吟唱者 Julie Charlet, Michela Paolacci, Pippa Moore, Lori Gilchrist, Thomas Aragones, Giuliano Contadini, Jeremy Curnier, Yoshihisa Arai
Conductor                    指挥      John Pryce-Jones


Mark Skipper DL, Northern Ballet's Chief Executive. Photo Simon Lawson.
Chief Executive

The views expressed in blogs are those of the author and not necessarily of Northern Ballet.


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