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Birmingham Royal Ballet announces company changes for 2024/25 season 

Tyrone Singleton in 'City of 1000 Trades. Photo by Johan Persson.
Tyrone Singleton in 'City of 1000 Trades. Photo by Johan Persson.

Carlos Acosta, Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB), has announced promotions within the Company and new joiners for the 2024/25 season. 

“What a season we have had,” Acosta said. “From last autumn’s sold out premiere of Black Sabbath – The Ballet to our most successful tours of The Sleeping Beauty and BRB2, we also had our first European tour in over a decade which culminates in BRB performing in Hamburg Ballet’s summer festival – Hamburg Ballet Days – at the invitation of John Neumeier on 9 and 10 July. BRB also partnered with the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, with an exciting week of workshops, performances and demonstrations, giving audiences access to many different areas of the company’s activities, including a free family day, the chance to watch company class, public ballet classes, tutu making workshops, information sharing about backstage careers, Freefall workshops, and a special commission by one of the company’s emerging choreographers, Olivia Chang-Clarke. We also presented BRB’s first ever performance in Iceland with my Classical Selection and, most recently, an incredible performance of Interlinked, choreographed by Juliano Nunes on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.”

Acosta continued, “I’m so proud of every single member of BRB and freelancers working with us who have performed on, and off, these various stages. As we move forward, I am so happy to announce our supremely well-deserved promotions, excited to welcome the new dancers who are joining the company and to express my sincere gratitude to those who are moving on to pastures new.”

BRB Principal Tyrone Singleton will be leaving after 21 years with the company. 

“What can I say about Tyrone Singleton? He is a Birmingham Royal Ballet legend,” Acosta said.  “He is adored by audiences and greatly respected by every member of the company. In his 21 years with BRB, his tremendous contribution as a dancer, with such powerful stage presence, is undeniable; but also his work as a photographer, which I am sure he will continue, marks him out as an incredible multi-talented artist. Tyrone is extremely collaborative and wonderful to work with. He will be greatly missed, and I wish him all the best for what will no doubt be an exciting future.”

Dominic Antonucci, Assistant Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, said, “Over the last 21 years, Tyrone Singleton has had an incredibly impressive career at BRB. Ty is a rare talent that possesses great technique, exceptional partnering skills, deep and sensitive artistry alongside boundless versatility. He has consistently delivered these qualities in BRB productions since 2003, which is an amazing individual accomplishment but also represents a tremendous contribution to the success of BRB throughout all those years. Tyrone has always been hungry to learn and grow and approaches all his work with a professionalism that has been a fine example for the younger dancers coming up through BRB. We will miss all of these qualities that Tyrone has brought to BRB but are very confident that he will find success in whatever he chooses to focus on in the future. BRB congratulates him on a superb career and wishes him every success.”

Tyrone Singleton said, “It is impossible to sum up the last 21 years, but some of the key words would include gratitude, fulfilment, honour, exhilaration and appreciation. I joined Birmingham Royal Ballet at 17 years young. I have been given a vast range of opportunities and experiences which have not only developed me as a dancer and artist, but also as a human being. There are too many people and productions to name individually, but they have all shaped me, and the love and appreciation I have for that will stay with me forever. I literally wouldn’t be the man I am today, without these experiences.”

He added, “I am fortunate to have been cast in an exciting project, a brand-new Amazon Prime tv series, Etoile, with an incredible creative team. Such is the demand of the performing season at Birmingham Royal Ballet that these commitments cannot coexist, as I would’ve hoped. Therefore, I have to follow my heart and am excited about the next chapter. I had wished to share my gratitude with my loyal fans and bid farewell to the stage which I call home; however, windows of opportunity spring upon us, and we must jump in order to be able to fly. I am entirely grateful for the wings this journey has given me.”

Born in Surrey, Singleton trained at Arts Educational School in Tring, and the Royal Ballet School. He joined BRB in 2003, and was promoted to Principal in 2013. He is the longest serving Principal dancer in the company’s history. Singleton created a number of iconic roles during his time at BRB, and his impact both on and off stage, as a leading, world, class figure in the industry will continue to be felt and remembered. 

Of his most challenging role, Romeo in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, Singleton said, “For years, you train to perfect your technique, and in Romeo and Juliet, the technique has to be so secure that it allows you to be totally free to portray the emotion and character through your movement. The most enjoyable roles are always those I’m fully immersed in during performance, so much so that I forget who and where I am.”

Repertory includes: Frederick Ashton: La Fille mal gardée (Colas) and Dante Sonata (Child of Darkness); George Balanchine: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (Big Boss), Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Agon; David Bintley: The Tempest (Caliban), Cinderella (Prince), Beauty and the Beast (Beast), Edward II (Gaveston, Mortimer), Aladdin (‘Ruby’), Carmina burana (Third Seminarian), The Prince of the Pagodas (King of the South), ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café(Southern Cape Zebra), The Nutcracker Sweeties (Peanut Officer), The Orpheus Suite (Apollo), The Seasons (‘Summer’), The Shakespeare Suite (Othello), Cyrano (Le Bret), Hobson’s Choice (Salvation Army), Take Five (‘Two Step’) and Faster; John Cranko: The Lady and the Fool (Moondog); Mikhail Fokine: Petrushka (The Moor); Pontus Lidberg (Raúl Reinoso, Cassi Abranches): Black Sabbath – The Ballet; Kenneth MacMillan: Romeo and Juliet (Lead role), Elite Syncopations (‘Bethena Concert Waltz’) and Concerto pas de deux Hans van Manen: Twilight; Juliano Nunes: Interlinked; Rudolph Nureyev: Raymonda Act III (pas de quatre); Marius Petipa: Don Quixote pas de deux; Twyla Tharp: In the Upper Room and Nine Sinatra Songs (‘One for My Baby’); Peter Wright’s productions of The Nutcracker (Prince), The Sleeping Beauty (Cavalier), Coppélia (Franz) and Peter Wright and Galina Samsova’s production of Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried, Baron von Rothbart).

In addition to his extraordinary career as a dancer, Singleton is an accomplished photographer who captures his artform with an exceptional eye for detail, emotion and mood. 

Singleton’s final performances with BRB will be in Black Sabbath – The Ballet in Hamburg on 9 and 10 July. For tickets and more information, visit www.brb.org.uk/shows/black-sabbath.

The following promotions have been made within the company: already announced Beatrice Parma has been promoted to Principal. Riku Ito is promoted to First Soloist and Sofia Linares, Enrique Vidal and Reina Fuchigamiare promoted to Soloist. Eilis Small is promoted to First Artist. 

BRB2 dancers Maïlène Katoch, Jack Easton Frieda Kaden, Oscar Kempsey-Fagg and Mason King have all completed the two year programme in BRB’s junior company and will join the main company as Artists. In addition to those promotions, Yvette Knight is moving from First Soloist to Principal Character Artist.

After the summer break, the new BRB2 cohort — Charlotte Cohen (Royal Ballet School), Andrea Riolo (Royal Ballet School), Noah Cosgriff (Australian Academy of Classical Ballet), Ellyne Knol (Royal Conservatoire in The Hague) — joins the company with Ixan Llorca Ferrer (Escuela Nacional de Ballet Fernando Alonso) following in the autumn. Sophie Walters, who trained at Elmhurst Ballet School, completed her apprenticeship and will also join BRB2. 

From Birmingham, Marlo Kempsey-Fagg (brother of Oscar) joins the company as Apprentice Dancer from Elmhurst Ballet School. He started dancing at the age of six when his talent was identified in a local Birmingham Primary School and he joined BRB’s Dance Track programme.

After a 24-year long career as a dancer with BRB, Kit Holder joins the ballet staff as Artistic Coordinator and Yvette Regueiro joins BRB as répétiteur. 

Graduate of the National Ballet School in Havana, Regueiro joined the Cuban National Ballet Company in 1987, under the direction of Alicia Alonso. She danced a classical and neoclassical repertoire, participated in numerous tours and festivals, and was promoted to First Soloist in 1996. Alongside her career as a dancer, Regueiro took part in the choreography workshops organised by Laura Alonso for the National Ballet of Cuba’s junior company. After graduating from Cuba’s University of the Arts in 2000, Regueiro decided to resume her collaboration with the National Ballet School, this time as an instructor and choreographer. In 2001, she went to Switzerland and joined the Sinopia Ensemble de Danse. Since 2003, Regueiro has taught dance at Dance Area.

BRB2 dancer Alfie Shacklock will also leave the company at the end of the season after successfully securing a contract as an Artist in Queensland Ballet. 

Joining the Royal Ballet Sinfonia are Claire Dersley, Head of Orchestra Operations; Joana Valentinaviciute, First Violin Co-leader; and (in the Spring) Anna Wolstenholme, Principal Flute.

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