Samuel Zaldivar dances with English National Opera
Samuel Zaldivar, 2nd Year student at the Upper School, has starred as Tadzio in English National Opera’s production of Britten’s Death in Venice which closes at the Coliseum this week and goes on tour to the Netherlands.
Deborah Warner’s acclaimed production features choreography from Kim Brandstrup bringing to life the reflections on youth, beauty and mortality in Thomas Mann’s celebrated novella.
Samuel was headhunted for the part by Kim Brandstrup who saw him in a class and cast him in the role without audition.
Reviews of the production have included glowing write-ups of Samuel’s performance:
The Independent: ‘Sam Zaldivar’s Tadzio is as definitively right as Bjorn Andresen was in the film: whether doing slow pirouettes or whirling no-hands cartwheels, he possesses a more perfect line than any young dancer-gymnast has a right to.’
The Artsdesk: ‘Young Sam Zaldivar is curly-haired and Greek-looking as per the libretto, able to pull off nonchalant no-hands cartwheels as well as a hallucinatory final solo as Aschenbach dies, seraphically turning graceful arabesques in silhouette against the fading sun. It fits into the whole, it vanishes in a perfect beauty into an exceptional production.’
The Stage: ‘Sam Zaldivar represents the Polish youth with whom Aschenbach falls in love with grace and energy, in a near perfect encapsulation of the part.’
The Guardian: ‘Kim Brandstrup's varied choreography, which centres on Sam Zaldivar's enigmatic Tadzio and gives the scenes on the beach their energy, is integral to the fluency of the whole conception.’
Photo: Hugo Glendinning