Very sad news for one of the showpiece productions of the forthcoming Royal Opera season. One of Giuseppe Verdi’s lesser known operas Les vepres siciliennes (I vespri siciliani), it has never been performed at Covent Garden and was due to feature a 40-minute lavish ballet on the theme of the four seasons. The new staging, a co-production between the Royal Opera and the Royal Danish Opera, was to have featured principals of both The Royal Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet in choreography by Kobborg.
As a result of artistically differing approaches to the project between Johan Kobborg and director Stefan Herheim, Johan Kobborg and The Royal Ballet will no longer be working on this production. In the official press statement released last friday, ROH assured there would still be ” a strong element of dance in the production” even though it will be performed by freelance dancers.
The production, which opens on the 17th of October, will be conducted by musical director Antonio Pappano and is one of the most anticipated of the season, celebrating the bicentenary of Verdi’s birth.
All in all, a very unpleasant event, concerning one of the most talented and renowned ballet dancers and coreographers, Johan Kobborg, who already announced his departure from Royal Ballet together with partner Alina Cojocaru.
Here is the official statement by ROH on this subject.