fri 25/09/2020

Classical ballet and recorders? | reviews, news & interviews

Classical ballet and recorders?

Classical ballet and recorders?

The recorder is indelibly associated with school and dreaded first music classes, but the association will be on a considerably higher plane on 21 June when the world recorder star Michala Petri combines with the Royal Ballet School for a one-off show on Midsummer’s night.

michalapetriStaged at the school’s White Lodge, Richmond Park, the performance is a fund-raiser to redevelop the grade 1-listed 18th-century former royal hunting lodge, which has taken a battering from centuries of first riding boots, then ballet shoes. The programme, titled A Magical Misummer’s Night, has Petri (pictured right) accompanied by guitarist Lars Hannibal playing music associated with birds, and involving a wide selection of recorders.

There will be a ballet for the pupils, set to a programme of Scheindienst Variations for recorder played by Petri. The event is one of the highlights of the Petersham Festival in Richmond, which runs through the summer and also includes organ recitals by Simon Preston and Christopher Herrick.

White Lodge was built in 1727 by architect Roger Morris for George II, and its use switched between royals and prime ministers for almost 200 years - Edward VIII was born there. The royal family finally abandoned it in the Twenties, due to the lack of privacy, and it became privately owned until the Fifties. Sadler's Wells Ballet School took it over in 1955, and the school is now in the throes of a £22million redevelopment project.

  • The Royal Ballet School website - the school's public end-of-year performances are at the Linbury Studio Thatre, Royal Opera House, 30 June-3 July, and the main stage Royal Opera House Matinee 11 July
  • The Petersham Festival website

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