NO experience of ballet is needed to enjoy the classics.

This message is the one Alexej Ignatow is most anxious to get across to anybody who fears they need to be steeped in the medium before attending a new performance.

Alexej is producer of the Russian State Ballet and Opera House’s touring production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, which comes to the Wyvern Theatre on Sunday, November 10.

He promises: “Our sets and costume designs, as well as the informative programmes, make the production very accessible and, most of all, enjoyable.

“With extensive national tours that get our productions seen the length and breadth of the country, we are able to offer national audiences in various theatres an unforgettable experience at a fraction of the price of the major opera houses, all without sacrificing quality.

“So, continuing to work with theatres all over the UK it is very close to my heart. We aim to deliver top quality productions every year and make new converts wherever we go”.

Directed and choreographed by former Bolshoi Ballet soloist Konstantin Uralsky, Swan Lake is performed by a cast of young stars including Anton Piastsekhin and Maria Stek, pictured on our cover.

Swan Lake is the story of a princess, Odette, who is the victim of a curse which turns her into a swan by day.

She returns to her human form at night and is seen transforming by a prince, Siegfried, who falls in love with her - but will his love prove strong enough to break the spell?

The ballet was first performed in Moscow in 1877 and has been a favourite with audiences throughout the world ever since.

Alexej is with an organisation called Amande Concerts Ltd, which has brought many Russian productions to the UK.

He said: “It all began in Autumn 2006, when we brought the Russian Cossacks to the UK for the first time. This was a great learning curve.

“You can never imagine and account for all the details that can happen when you are physically on tour.

“The best lesson most likely was to be flexible and be able to quickly adapt to situations.”

In the years since, Amande has organised about 30 ballet and opera tours, together amounting to more than 1,000 performances.

“As we do work with established Russian state theatres, we tend to rely on their vision and ideas.

“Having said that, we still actively participate and get involved in guiding the theatres when it comes to brand new productions.

“In the UK, where we tour our productions, the audience appreciates - and understands better - the more traditional productions.

“Therefore, it’s very important to us that the visiting theatre is in full awareness of this and fully responds to the needs of the UK public.”

The music for the current production of Swan Lake comes courtesy of an orchestra with more than 30 members, and Alexej firmly believes such strength is vital.

“Classical music is timeless! When performing operas and ballets, it is always exciting to imagine the time when the music was composed, and how it’s still so relevant and enjoyable today.

“I don’t think people will ever get tired of listening to classical music.”

Tickets for the Wyvern Theatre performance on November 10, which will start at 7.30pm, cost from £30.50 to £42.50, with various concessions available.

The box office can be contacted via and on 01793 524481.