“Mayerling,” Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s 1978 ballet about Austria’s Crown Prince Rudolf, is steeped in death. The show is bookended by funeral scenes and centres on a grisly murder-suicide. MacMillan himself actually died backstage during a performance in 1992. And now, 30 years later, a revival meant to mark that national loss unfolds amid another one. Opening night was the Royal Ballet’s first performance since Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.
Natalia Osipova and Ryoichi Hirano in “Mayerling” by Kenneth MacMillan. Photograph by Helen Maybanks