Find out what critics have been saying about the Royal Ballet’s revival of Kenneth MacMillan’s 1978 ballet.

(c)Tristam Kenton

The Guardian: **** “The ballet gripped from beginning to end, fresh-minted in the moment, in the identification of the dancers with their roles. It’s an astounding, engrossing achievement, a modern classic that does not wane.”

Culture Whisper: **** “John Lanchberry’s seamless arrangement of Liszt’s music was cogently played by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House conducted by Koen Kessels.”

The Stage: **** “Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet based on the real-life murder-suicide scandal of Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, captures the complexity of relationships with glittering performances.”

London Unattached: “A splendid, opulent and beautifully staged production by Nicholas Georgiadis with stunning costumes and atmospheric lighting, the complex story and graphic choreography make this a ballet that can be enjoyed by everyone.  The score, an arrangement of Franz Liszt’s music by John Lanchbery, is seamless and entirely appropriate.”

The Telegraph: **** “Principal Ryoichi Hirano makes us care deeply for the tragedy’s titanically flawed anti-hero.”

The Times: **** “Opening the new Royal Ballet season with Mayerling is certainly not playing it safe. Nothing beats Kenneth MacMillan’s grandiose 1978 ballet about the life and death of Crown Prince Rudolf, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as a study in aristocratic depravity. The title refers to the royal hunting lodge where, in 1889, Rudolf killed his teenage mistress, Baroness Mary Vetsera, then turned the gun on himself. In the ballet Rudolf is dissolute, drug-addled, sexually violent and psychologically damaged. And despite the fact that he interacts intimately with the five key women in his life the ballet is all about him.”

The Arts Desk: **** “Kenneth MacMillan’s royal-family-in-death-spiral dance drama reconfirms its potency.”

The ***** “No matter how many times I have seen Mayerling – and it is quite a few – I never fail to leave the Royal Opera House shocked and moved by the end of this disturbing ballet. Such is the power of Kenneth MacMillan’s portrayal of one of the most devastating episodes ever to hit a royal family.”

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