Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dinner at Mast and A Night at the Ballet

          The new season at the Boston Ballet just began, and I was thrilled to be able to see the world premiere of Mikko Nissinen's Swan Lake on opening night! Before the show started, the fiance and I decided to check out Mast - an Italian restaurant that just opened a few blocks from the Opera House.


          Mast is a Southern Italian restaurant and craft cocktail bar with a wood-fired pizza oven. We went less than a week after they opened, and this place definitely has potential. Our server was helpful in steering us away from items that might take too long (we told her we were going to a show) and we ended up ordering  some apps and pizza to share.

          My favorites were the meat and cheese plate with parmigiano, prosciutto, sopressata, and salami and the pizza with Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, and parmigiano.

          I would definitely like to give Mast another try once they've been open longer, and check out some of the entrees!

Swan Lake

          After dinner, we headed to the Opera House for an incredible show! I've been to several Boston Ballet productions over the last few years, and Swan Lake was by far the best I've ever seen. Everything was perfect - from the dancing, to the music, costumes, and sets. 


           The production is choreographed by Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, and features costumes and sets by award-winning designer Robert Perdziola. Due to the high-ticket demand, Swan Lake has been extended from two to three weeks. The show will now run from October 30–November 16 at The Boston Opera House.

          “Swan Lake is one of the greatest ballets of all time, set to a score that is celebrated throughout the world,” said Nissinen. “After a six year hiatus, I am so excited to bring this exquisite classic back to Boston with a fresh look.”

          Swan Lake is designer Robert Perdziola’s second commission from Boston Ballet, following his highly acclaimed debut of The Nutcracker in 2012. He describes the new production’s designs as having “some recognizable German influences” set in the late gothic/early renaissance period.

          In addition to the reimagined sets and costumes, Nissinen has adjusted the choreography to what he feels is the authentic Swan Lake. The new production features an added prologue that depicts the abduction of Odette and the beginning of Rothbart’s spell. “If I have done my job correctly, this production will stay classic, but fill in the gaps,” said Nissinen. “Our version is updated to meet the skills of today’s dancers but remains true to the intent, impact, and feeling of the original.”

          Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake follows the Swan Queen Odette and Prince Siegfried in a tale of romance, sorcery, and deceit. The second act, created by Lev Ivanov, is historically considered the finest piece of classical choreography for the corps de ballet. The production is set to a luscious score by P.I. Tchaikovsky, and will be performed by The Boston Ballet Orchestra.

          After seeing Swan Lake, I'm even more excited to see Nissinen's The Nutcracker, which returns to the Opera House November 28-December 31!

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