Boston Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty

This spring I was fortunate enough to get to see Sleeping Beauty by the Boston Ballet twice! I had plans to go with my sister since back in February, but then a friend in the pit offered me her comp tickets for opening night and I got to have a little date night with my husband. In what seems like a past life, I played bassoon in youth and adult orchestras in Cambridge/Boston. My former section mate from when I was in a youth chamber orchestra at Longy School of Music is now a professional musician totally killing it. It was SO cool that I got her comp tickets. I look up to her now as much as I did back in the 8th grade, made me feel so important to get her comp tickets haha.

When we went to see it opening night, it was a Friday evening. The audience on Friday and Saturday evenings can be interesting, more adults…..often more intoxicated. My sister and I went on a Saturday afternoon there more of a family/children vibe. Traffic was crappy getting to Boston on the Friday night, but it was a beautiful night. We didn’t really have time to do a sit down dinner, so we grabbed some slices and cannolis from Sal’s Pizza. By a slice, I mean almost a quarter a pizza! We sat on a bench on the common and ate our dinner while doing some people watching. It was definitely 5 star dining as far as  I am concerned!

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Beautiful spring evening on the common

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This skirt from J. Crew Factory has an elastic waist band- nice for my growing baby bump! Looks like its sadly sold out though! 😦

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The ballet itself was amazing as usual. We sat in the mezzanine at the Boston Opera House and had a great view. The story is pretty similar to the Disney movie except the fairies aren’t plump little old ladies, they are majestic ballerinas. The prince doesn’t fight Carabosse (the evil fairy who curses Princess Aurora), the Lilac Fairy does, she is really the hero in the ballet. Finally, the last act in the ballet is a star studded wedding reception for Prince Desire and Princess Aurora featuring Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood with her Wolf, and Beauty with her Beast. The music for “I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream” is actually from the Tchaikovsky score, so you will recognize that tune.

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The chandeliers and ceiling details at the Boston Opera House

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The reflection of the chandelier lights on my husband’s phone made the sparkle lights on my shirt, ha! I know its a little blurry, but man, it just shows the wattage of those chandeliers!!!

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So there is a little window by the men’s room on the second level that looks out over the lobby. Kind of a neat view of the beautiful chandelier there.

The Saturday I went to see the ballet with my sister we had more time before the ballet. We got breakfast from Sip Wine Bar and Kitchen, a restaurant close to the Boston Opera House.  They had a great breakfast menu. We both got the American breakfast and loved the crispy breakfast potatoes and the thick fluffy grilled english muffins. After breakfast we went to walk around the common for a bit. There was a protest going on! We grabbed a cookie at the Cookie Monstah food truck (so delicious) and went to check it out. From what we gathered, one side dressed mostly in camo was supporting free speech, the military, government, and some- Donald Trump. The other side dressed in black- some with helmets on, some with ninja face gear on, seemed to fighting against Donald Trump’s brand of free speech. There were Boston police officers and park rangers all over the place. Very exciting but sort of ruined the scenery of the common. People were on the freedom trail tour walking through that craziness, kinda rough on the tourists I think. Our seats were third row for the Saturday performance which was AMAZING. All the sparkle on all the tutus, so close, it was beautiful.

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Everyone else was photographing the protest….annnnd I snapped pictures of the mounted unit, cute pony huh? He looks sturdy, built like a table, short neck, but overall, I would take him!

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Ceiling painting in the center of the opera house

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Ceiling painting towards the stage of the opera house

Sleeping Beauty is a beautiful ballet. The costumes, scenery, and music are gorgeous. I mean, Aurora wears three different tutus- a pinkish one for her birthday party, a blue one for the dream sequence with the prince, and then a white stunner for the last scene. For this ballet they took some stunning promotional photos at Hammond Castle in Gloucester, MA.

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Gorgeous right? Follow @bostonballet on instagram to see more promo materials and behind the scenes pics/vids.

The next ballet I would go to is The Nutcracker, but who knows, I will have an infant then, so all bets are off. Next season is going to be HUGE. Boston Ballet is doing Romeo & Juliet AND La Sylphide next season, total ballet swoon.

Here are some other Boston Ballet posts from the past to check out!

Evening at The Nutcracker     Boston Ballet premieres Le Corsaire

Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker 2015

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Evening at The Nutcracker

Boston Ballet‘s Nutcracker has been a holiday tradition for me for a long long time. One of my first memories is actually of being sick sitting on a booster seat for The Nutcracker at the Wang in Boston, the former home of the Boston Ballet. My mother says I was 5 and slept through much of the ballet. The Nutcracker is magical. The story of a Nutcracker who comes to life on Christmas Eve and a journey to a magical wintery palace….the costumes, the music, the sets…all in the beautiful Boston Opera House.

This year I went with a few girlfriends and we met up at Teatro Restaurant beforehand. I can’t recommend the food there enough. I got linguine with shrimp and it was delicious. It definitely made up for not getting a goodie at the Boston Common Coffee Co, which is my usual pre ballet ritual. Boston Common was beautifully lit up which really set the scene for the winter magic of the ballet.

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The Boston Opera House was all decked out with Christmas trees and other greenery. We grabbed champagne and Nutcracker gingerbread cookies and head in for the show. One of my former section mates was playing bassoon in the pit orchestra so I went to say hi during intermission. We hadn’t seen each other since I was in 9th grade!! Crazy…oh and thanks Facebook haha!

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It was a Tuesday night show, so I will admit, the ballet seemed a little skeleton crew-ish? The Nutcracker Prince had to also fill in for the Snow King so the Nutcracker Prince was missing from the last scene when Clara bids adieu to the palace. The dew drop was also missing? Kinda weird, but it was still a great show. I guess its just something to remember for next year.

The Nutcracker has always been a part of my Christmas season. I haven’t been in a while, but I also love the Holiday at the Pops by the Boston Pops Orchestra. What are your holiday traditions??

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Boston Ballet premieres Le Corsaire

This fall, the Boston Ballet’s Le Corsaire was the North American premiere of original choreography by Marius Petipa from the 1800s and Ivan Liska from the early 2000s. Petipa’s Le Corsaire originally premiered in St. Petersburg in 1863, and much of this new version was reconstructed by Liska from Petipa’s choreographic notations. Ivan Liska’s version premiered in Munich in 2007, and has now made its way to us in Boston in 2016.

My mother loves the ballet, and so I grew up attending the ballet as well as playing many of the famous classic ballets in youth orchestras. Le Corsaire was beautiful, dramatic, dreamy, and exciting- everything I hoped for. Corsaire is French for pirate, and there are swashbuckling fights, treasure, and scandal! The basic premise is that Conrad, leader of the pirates, falls in love with Medora, the foster daughter of Lankedem. Lankedem disapproves, but eventually agrees to sell Medora to the Pasha. Conrad vows to save Medora, and he rescues her to the pirate island. Lankedem is angered because he will lose his payment from the Pasha so he goes along too, and takes his chance to get Medora back when a fight amongst the pirates breaks out. Conrad wakes from a sleeping poison to find that Lankedem has taken Medora back to the Pasha and vows to again rescue her. Conrad and his fellow pirates go to Pasha’s palace disguised as pilgrims. The Pasha puts on a show for his guests only to have to pilgrims reveal themselves and rescue Medora in the end. The final scene is of the pirates, led by Conrad and Medora, on their ship off to the next adventure!

My husband came to this ballet with me, and we of course observed all rules and traditions of my trips to the ballet. We dressed up (even though I was not feeling great), walked around the Boston Common a bit, got a goodie at Boston Common Coffee Co (carrot pecan muffin top, so good), got a fancy drink at intermission (chardonnay for me), and no making fun of the male ballet dancers, which wasn’t hard at this ballet because they were all pirates. The costumes were exquisite; I especially loved the tutus in the Jardin Anime scene. The next ballet that I will attend will be The Nutcracker in December and then The Sleeping Beauty in the spring. Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev ballets are my favorite 🙂

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Despite feeling under the weather, I managed to throw on my gray wool skirt, black tights, penny loafers, and a sweater for the occasion.

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Boston Common is so beautiful, all the colors right now are stunning

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Looking up in the lobby of the Boston Opera House

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The Boston Opera House has such beautiful ornate moldings and chandeliers

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Another beautiful chandelier, this one in the lobby.

Has anyone out there been watching The Crown on Netflix? I just started, and its been very well done so far. I’ll be honest, I could use more English countryside and horses, but I am only in the 3rd episode.

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Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker 2015

Sunday night, my mother, sister, and I went to see Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. I am a huge fan of the Boston Ballet and the Boston Opera House. I go 2-3 times a year- definitely the Nutcracker every year, and then any other classic ballets. I have been to Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, La Bayadiere, The Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle. Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky ballets are my favorite.

Before the ballet, we walked around downtown crossings a little. We checked out the window displays at the Macy’s which were so cute, they were all scenes from the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Oh and there’s a Primark in there now?? Gotta check that out….

Then we went to one of my favorite places, the Boston Common Coffee Co.  We somehow snagged three seats, and got a congo bar to split (think one of those layer bars with chocolate and coconut), and drinks. My favorite thing there is the iced chai with soy.

After that we had probably 15 minutes before we had to head in, so we ran to the common to the see the lights! I snapped this lovely photo of a fully decorated Christmas tree, so pretty.

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree…

Growing up, the Boston Ballet’s home was the Wang, a beautiful theatre in  Boston. I don’t remember when they moved to the Boston Opera House, but the first year they moved, we actually went to see White Christmas at the Wang instead of The Nutcracker. We suspect they moved because the Wang wanted to have different Christmas shows. Its not even called the Wang anymore, its the Citi Performing Arts Center (after Citi Bank). I also think the ballet has gone through ups and downs and maybe for a time wasn’t getting enough ticket sales for the Wang. In 2012, Mikko Nissinen, the director of the Boston Ballet, overhauled The Nutcracker. New choreography, new sets, new costumes….I’ll be honest, I love some of the changes, but even 4 years later, I miss some of the costumes from before. The Nutcracker has always been a part of my family’s Christmas celebrations. There’s something special about grabbing tea and a goodie before the show, heading in to the show and knowing to use the lower bathrooms, not the upstairs bathrooms, absolutely loving the show, and then talking about how we miss the green costumes for the flowers, or the pink Sugar Plum Fairy costume on the ride home. We love the new Snow Queen costume though 🙂

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Boston Opera House

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Upper lounge of the Boston Opera House- love all the gold, the chandeliers, and the Christmas greenery/decor

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The curtain for The Nutcracker

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Painting on the ceiling of The Boston Opera House- gorgeous

This year, Boston Ballet is doing their new production of Swan Lake again, so I probably won’t go. In a couple months they are doing Onegin, so I will go to that one. Who else wants to go??

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