This performance of Swan Lake was the latest in The Brunton's series of live streamed events from the Royal Opera House in London. It was introduced, on screen, by Darcey Bussell who gave a brief resume of the storyline, and gave insights into the training and rehearsals, and the whole process of staging a major ballet.
The entire performance was a joy from start to finish. Starring Natalia Osipova as Odette/Odile and Matthew Golding as Prince Siegfried, there was a huge cast who all played their parts very effectively. The costumes - and there must have been hundreds of them - were stunning, ranging from the shimmering white swan dresses to the multi-coloured peasant outfits and the elegant outfits of the ladies of the court. The sets were superb too.
Tchaikovsky's music for Swan Lake is very familiar to many people, and it was played beautifully by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, conducted by Boris Gruzin.
Natalia Osipova was just incredible as Odette/Odile. Her dancing was of course technically perfect, but she also brought such emotion to the role, and the chemistry between her and Matthew Golding - who was excellent as the Prince - made the story believable.
Gary Avis was also outstanding as the menacing Evil Spirit/Von Rothbart.
It was at times difficult to remember that this was actually a live performance and not a film which had been cut and edited - it was so good, moving from wide panoramic views of the whole stage, to specific dancers, to close ups.
Although this is a fairly long ballet, the time just flew by, and there was always so much happening on the stage, not just with the principal dancers but with everyone.
Altogether, just a wonderful evening's entertainment.
Review by Lisa Sibbald