Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty

COMPOSERS: Tchaikovsky
LABELS: Opus Arte
ALBUM TITLE: Sleeping Beauty
WORKS: Sleeping Beauty
PERFORMER: Alina Cojocaru, Federico Bonelli, Marianela Nuñez, Genesia Rosato, Christopher Saunders, Elizabeth McGorian; Royal Ballet; Royal Opera House Orchestra/Valeriy Ovsyanikov; chor. Marius Petipa (London 2007)
In 2006, the company revived its classic Sleeping Beauty, featuring pretty Oliver Messel designs and a spruce choreography combining the romantic Petipa original with Ashton’s hallmark narrative. Again, Nuñez is charm personified as the Lilac Fairy, and has there ever been a more enchanting Aurora than Cojocaru? Her en pointe Rose Adagio is a wonder of the ballet world. It’s good to have a classy lady as wicked fairy Carabosse, Genesia Rosato, and other company stars take smaller roles, among them Lauren Cuthbertson and Laura Morera as two of the fairies at Aurora’s christening and Sarah Lamb as the Princess Florine (though the Bluebird is not the advertised José Martin). The problem is the brutal abbreviation of Tchaikovsky’s score in the interests of a cleaner storyline. Casualties include most of the 18th-century pastiches from Act II and several fairy-tale characters from the wedding. If you want to see how Act III can work at its dazzling best, seek out the Mariinsky New Year’s Gala conducted by Gergiev (Bel Air). The Royal Ballet conductor, Valeriy Ovsyanikov, is supportive enough and the violin solos, taken by Sergey Levitin, dazzle. David Nice