Bucket List: Attending the Ballet

Seeing a ballet has been on my bucket list for years, but circumstances kept stopping my visits. The first time I was due to see the Scottish Ballet, I was involved in a car crash, and then the next time, Covid happened.

After 2 years basically locked inside, the thought of getting out again was pretty hard. Like many people, a bit of depression and anxiety happened during the last two years, but it’s time to start working through that and getting back out into the world again.

On the 7th of May, I headed along to His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen to see “The Scandal at Mayerling”.

“The year is 1889 and, in the woods outside Vienna, the royal family must hide a terrible secret.

At the royal Mayerling hunting lodge, Crown Prince Rudolf is found shot dead alongside his teenage mistress.

We rewind the clock to watch this desperate young man, the heir to the throne, plunge into his own paranoia. Trapped by the stifling opulence of the Habsburg court, Rudolf’s mental turmoil envelops all those around him. In a series of increasingly intense duets with his mother, his wife, and his mistress, Rudolf descends deeper into his obsession with death, and hurtles towards tragedy.

Rudolf’s morbid fascination, sexual appetite and ultimate violence make this real-life anti-hero as compelling as Hamlet, while Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s breathtaking choreography takes us on a physical and emotional rollercoaster. The sweeping intensity of the ballet is matched by the sumptuous music of Franz Liszt, performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

Reimagined and redesigned by Scottish Ballet, this dramatic world premiere will be the first time MacMillan’s iconic ballet is produced in the UK outside of London.

Recommended for audiences 12+”

Having never seen a ballet before, I wasn’t sure how easily I would follow the story, but the story guide handed out at the door explained each scene in detail.

The work that goes into ballet dancing, has always impressed me, but what I didn’t expect was watching the dancers explain what was happening through their dance AND facial expressions.

I definitely agree with this being not recommended for children under 12, due to its themes of sex, drugs and death, but for my introduction to ballet, this was definitely an interesting story to me.

The Scottish Ballet have 3 other ballets on their What’s On schedule at the moment:

The Crucible

Coppelia

and The Snow Queen.

Whilst The Scandal at Mayerling was my first ballet, it most certainly won’t be my last. It was great to get out and do something special again, and I look forward to experiencing more again now that we can.

*Ad, These tickets were provided to my by the Scottish Ballet, but as always, all opinions are my own.*

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