PROMO The Dream / Symphonic Variations / Marguerite and Armand


The Dream / Symphonic Variations / Marguerite & Armand

Frederick Ashton


Although he choreographed more than 100 ballets over the course of his career, Frederick Ashton was not one to repeat himself. From full-length narrative creations to miniature pas de deux, each of his works is unique in concept, performed in a style that is uniquely suited to its particular story, its music and the dancers in which it was created. And yet, despite the precision of his choreography, each dancer in an Ashton role can find their own way through it, creating an interpretation that is not only faithful but also personal.


On this recording, before Marguerite & Armand come two excellent performances by the Company, each showing different aspects of Ashton. His exquisite The Dream (1964), an adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, set to Mendelssohn's musical response to the play, stars Steven McRae and Akane Takada as the ethereal king and queen of the fairies. In an interview (also included), Dowell, the original Oberon, mentions his relief at how dancers still find the roles difficult: Oberon, especially, is among the most demanding male roles in the repertoire. But, despite all the challenges, McRae and Takada are as light as air in their moving pas de deux de reconciliation.


In collaboration with Naxos


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Music by Felix Mendelssohn, César Franck and Franz Liszt

The Royal Ballet

Royal Opera House Orchestra


Artistic team

Conductor | Emmanuel Plasson

Royal Ballet Director | Kevin O'Hare

Choreographer | Frederick Ashton

Lighting designer | John B. Read

Concert master | Vasko Vassilev


The Dream

Music arrangement | John Lanchbery

Designer | David Walker

Set designers | Anthony Dowell, Christopher Carr

London Oratory Junior Choir

Chorus master | Charles Cole


Symphonic Variations

Designer | Sophie Fedorovitch

Set designer | Wendy Ellis Somes, Malin Thoors

Piano soloist | Paul Stobart

Marguerite & Armand

Orchestration | Dudley Simpson

Designer | Cecil Beaton

Set designer | Grant Coyle

Piano soloist | Robert Clark



The Dream

Titania | Akane Takada

Oberon | Steven McRae


Symphonic Variations

Marianela Núñez

Vadim Muntagirov


Marguerite & Armand

Marguerite | Zenaida Yanowsky

Armand | Roberto Bolle


Royal Opera House
Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky
Marius Petipa, The Royal Ballet
Camile Saint-Saëns
Trio Zadig, George Cespédes, Compania Danza contemporanea de Cuba
Bolshoi Theatre
Piotr Illitch Tchaïkovski
Yuri Grigorovich, Bolshoi Ballet
Wiener Staatsoper
Adolphe Adam
Manuel Legris, Wiener Staatsballett