SWAN LAKE – A WORLD PREMIERE AT SAN FRANCISCO BALLET

Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson and designer Jonathan Fensom create a new vision for Tchaikovsky’s most beautiful ballet.

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

The long awaited premiere of Helgi Tomasson’s SWAN LAKE happens this Saturday night, February 21st at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House. Acclaimed European designer Jonathan Fensom was selected for the creation of new scenery and costumes for Tomasson’s re-staging of Tchaikovsky’s iconic and most treasured work. The elaborately constructed story of Prince Siegfried and his love for Odette, a young woman held captive in the guise of a swan by the sorcerer Von Rothbart, has settled deep into the hearts and souls of ballet lovers since its debut at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1877. The music of composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is filled with mystery and joy, tinged by the erotic, and resplendent in its appeal to eternal longing. San Francisco Ballet is likewise rich in its truly international company of dancers. Throughout nine performances, six sets of principal dancers will appear in the two leading romantic roles, alternately supported by Damian Smith and Anthony Spaulding as the malevolent Von Rothbart. SF Ballet music director and principal conductor Martin West will conduct five of the performances including Opening Night, and Paul Hoskins – fresh from his debut with Stockholm’s Royal Swedish Ballet – will conduct the remaining four. The new production holds the promise of the Company motto – “A new way of seeing ballet.”

HELGI TOMASSON. Photo, David Allen.PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY

HELGI TOMASSON. Photo, David Allen.
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY

The Cast List, always subject to change, has been announced as follows:

Opening Night, Saturday, February 21st, at 8:00 pm:
Odette/Odile: Yuan Yuan Tan
Prince Siegfried: Tiit Helimets
Von Rothbart: Damian Smith
Conductor: Martin West

YUAN YUAN TAN and TIIT HELIMETS. Photos, David Allen

YUAN YUAN TAN and TIIT HELIMETS. Photos, David Allen

Sunday Matinee, February 22nd, at 2:00 pm:
Odette/Odile: Lorena Feijóo
Prince Siegfried: Pierre-Francois Vilanoba
Von Rothbart: Anthony Spaulding
Conductor: Martin West

LORENA FEIJÓO and PIERRE FRANÇOIS VILANOBA. Photos, David Allen

LORENA FEIJÓO and PIERRE FRANÇOIS VILANOBA.
Photos, David Allen

DAMIAN SMITH and ANTHONY SPAULDING. Photos, David Allen

DAMIAN SMITH and ANTHONY SPAULDING.
Photos, David Allen

Tuesday, February 24th, at 8:00 pm:
Odette/Odile: Tina LeBlanc
Prince Siegfried: Joan Boada
Von Rothbart: Anthony Spaulding
Conductor: Paul Hoskins

TINA LEBLANC and JOAN BOADA. Photos, David Allen

TINA LEBLANC and JOAN BOADA. Photos, David Allen

Wednesday, February 25th, at 7:30 pm:
Odette/Odile: Lorena Feijoo
Prince Siegfried: Pierre-Francois Vilanoba
Von Rothbart: Anthony Spaulding
Conductor: Martin West

Thursday, February 26th, at 8:00 pm:
Odette/Odile: Sarah Van Patten
Prince Siegfried: Ivan Popov
Von Rothbart: Damian Smith
Conductor: Paul Hoskins

SARAH VAN PATTEN and IVAN POPOV. Photos, David Allen

SARAH VAN PATTEN and IVAN POPOV. Photos, David Allen

Friday, February 27th, at 8:00 pm:
Odette/Odile: Vanessa Zahorian
Prince Siegfried: Ruben Martin
Von Rothbart: Damian Smith
Conductor: Paul Hoskins

VANESSA ZAHORIAN and RUBEN MARTIN. Photos, David Allen

VANESSA ZAHORIAN and RUBEN MARTIN.
Photos, David Allen

Saturday Matinee, February 28th, at 2:00 pm:
Odette/Odile: Tina LeBlanc
Prince Siegfried: Joan Boada
Von Rothbart: Anthony Spaulding
Conductor: Paul Hoskins

Saturday, February 28th, at 8:00 pm:
Odette/Odile: Maria Kochetkova
Prince Siegfried: Davit Karapetyan
Von Rothbart: Damian Smith
Conductor: Martin West

MARIA KOCHETKOVA and DAVIT KARAPETYAN. Photos, David Allen

MARIA KOCHETKOVA and DAVIT KARAPETYAN.
Photos, David Allen

Sunday Matinee, March 1st, at 2:00 pm:
Odette/Odile: Yuan Yuan Tan
Prince Siegfried: Tiit Helimets
Von Rothbart: Damian Smith
Conductor: Martin West

MARTIN WEST, Music Director. Photo, David Allen. PAUL HOSKINS, Conductor

MARTIN WEST, Music Director. Photo, David Allen.
PAUL HOSKINS, Conductor

Visit Seán on YouTube:
Lorena Feijóo – A Look at “Giselle” with Seán Martinfield
SAMSON & DELILAH – Meet Seán Martinfield
CA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES – A Preview Look with Seán Martinfield

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See Related: FINE ARTS CRITIC SEAN MARTINFIELD

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Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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