It achieves a nervous balance between sprawling grandiosity and choreographic invention, beginning with the pomp of a royal wedding for Crown Prince Rudolf, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
MacMillan immediately plunges us into a sordid world of degenerate depravity where sex is both a weapon and a last resort. Rudolf’s bride (a cousin he neither knows nor loves), her sister, his mistress and his mother are all tangled up in his obsessions.
The ballet compresses the final eight years of Rudolf’s life into a relentless downward spiral of political intrigue, drugs and murder. It culminates in 1889 with the suicide pact at the hunting lodge known as Mayerling between Rudolf and his 17-year-old mistress, the fervidly neurotic Mary Vetsera.
Performances schedule is as follows:
Thu 8 Oct 2009, 7:30 PM
Mon 12 Oct 2009, 7:30 PM
Wed 14 Oct 2009, 7:30 PM
Fri 16 Oct 2009, 7:30 PM
Tue 27 Oct 2009, 7:30 PM
Thu 29 Oct 2009, 7:30 PM -- www.roh.org.uk