Akane Takada as Odile and William Bracewell as Prince Siegfried in 'Swan Lake' © Bill Cooper, ROH

British swans are about to fly to Madrid

The Royal Ballet will perform Liam Scarlett’s new production of “Swan Lake”, incorporating new set and costume designs by John Macfarlane, at the Teatro Real in Madrid from July 18 to July 22.

The brand new production of “Swan Lake” created by Liam Scarlett for the Royal Ballet is about to tour to Madrid – the company’s new version of the world famous classic will be represented outside of England for the first time a couple of months after its premiere.

From July 18 to July 22 the Royal Ballet will return to the Teatro Real in Madrid to join the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Spanish theatre’s reopening. The Spanish audience, so, will be the first able to watch this new “Swan Lake” after the British one.

William Bracewell as Prince Siegfried and Akane Takada as Odette in ‘Swan Lake’ © Bill Cooper, ROH

More than three decades after the opening night of Anthony Dowell’s production, whose sets and costumes designed by Yolanda Sonnabend got sharp criticism, Scarlett’s “Swan Lake” replaces Dowell’s version, with lavish sets and costumes designed by Scottish artist John Macfarlane. The swans, here, wear tutus again – they all began life as watercolours painted by the designer. His sketches of the costumes can be seen below.

Artistic director of the Teatro Real Joan Matabosch said to “Dance for You”, «The Teatro Real is delighted to welcome the Royal Ballet in Madrid because of its stature as a company. They are one of the best, if not the best, dance companies in the world. The Company was the first major international dance company to perform on the stage of the Teatro Real after its reopening as an opera house twenty years ago, and it is an honour for us to have them here closing the commemorative season of the Teatro Real’s Bicentenary. Furthermore, it will be a privilege for the Teatro Real to present the Company’s recent production of “Swan Lake” in Madrid, which will undoubtedly be one of the Royal Ballet’s hallmarks for the upcoming decades».

During the Madrid run, the role of Odette/Odile will be danced by Royal Ballet Principals Marianela Nuñez (on July 18 and 22), Natalia Osipova (on July 19), Sarah Lamb (on July 20), Akane Takada (July 21 matinee) and Yasmine Naghdi (July 21 evening). Their princes will be Principals Vadim Muntagirov (opposite Nuñez), Ryoichi Hirano (opposite Lamb), Federico Bonelli (opposite Naghdi), First Soloist Matthew Ball (opposite Osipova) and Soloist William Bracewell (opposite Takada).

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, commented, «Everyone in the Company is very much looking forward to performing in Madrid, and I’m thrilled to be able to share this production with Spanish audiences after it receives its premiere in London in May».

Alessandro Bizzotto


Odette, Act III © Royal Opera House
Siegfred, Act I&II © Royal Opera House
Siegfried’s sisters, Act I © Royal Opera House
Swans Bodice & Tutu © Royal Opera House
The Queen, Act I © Royal Opera House