Somes, Michael


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Somes, Michael

Michael George Somes CBE (28 September 1917 – 18 November 1994), was an English ballet dancer. He was a principal dancer of The Royal Ballet, London, and the frequent partner of Margot Fonteyn. Somes was born in Horsley, Gloucestershire, England. In 1934, he was awarded the first scholarship given to a male by the Royal Ballet (then known as the Vic-Wells Ballet). In 1938, he and Fonteyn created the principal roles in the Frederick Ashton/Constant Lambert ballet Horoscope, after which he was described as “potentially the finest British male dancer of the half century”. He originated rôles in 24 ballets choreographed for the company by Ashton, and was the lead male dancer for the company from 1951 until the arrival of Rudolf Nureyev in 1962. From then on, Somes appeared in character roles, most notably as Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. Somes was assistant director of the company under Ashton from 1963-70.

  • Margot Fonteyn / Michael Somes

    Margot Fonteyn / Michael Somes

    SLEEPING BEAUTY (extracts)
    STUDIO RECORDING, TRANSMITTED 20 DECEMBER 1959
    -
    SWAN LAKE (extracts)
    STUDIO RECORDING, TRANSMITTED 9 JUNE 1954
    -
    THE NUTCRACKER (Act II)
    STUDIO RECORDING, TRANSMITTED 21 DECEMBER 1958
    Royal Opera House Orchestra, John Lanchbery
    London Philharmonic Orchestra, Robert Irving
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hugo Rignold

Michael George Somes CBE (28 September 1917 – 18 November 1994), was an English ballet dancer. He was a principal dancer of The Royal Ballet, London, and the frequent partner of Margot Fonteyn. Somes was born in Horsley, Gloucestershire, England. In 1934, he was awarded the first scholarship given to a male by the Royal Ballet (then known as the Vic-Wells Ballet). In 1938, he and Fonteyn created the principal roles in the Frederick Ashton/Constant Lambert ballet Horoscope, after which he was described as “potentially the finest British male dancer of the half century”. He originated rôles in 24 ballets choreographed for the company by Ashton, and was the lead male dancer for the company from 1951 until the arrival of Rudolf Nureyev in 1962. From then on, Somes appeared in character roles, most notably as Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. Somes was assistant director of the company under Ashton from 1963-70.