Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera, under the direction of Antonio Pappano, is one of the world’s leading opera companies. Based in the iconic Covent Garden theatre, it is renowned both for its outstanding performances of traditional opera and for commissioning new works by today’s leading opera composers, such as Harrison Birtwistle, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Thomas Adès.

Some of the world’s most famous singers have performed with the Company, including Joyce DiDonato, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Juan Diego Flórez, Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Anna Netrebko and Bryn Terfel, as well as the late Luciano Pavarotti and Joan Sutherland.

La bohème (Royal Opera House)

Acclaimed director Richard Jones (Boris Godunov, Il trittico) directs a new production of Puccini’s La bohème. Irresistible in its witty, passionate blend of comedy and tragedy, the opera focusses on the lives of a group of young artists as they eke out an existence on the bohemian fringes of Paris, the capital of the 19th century. Jones brings his characteristically acute insight to this much-loved classic, visualized in Stewart Laing’s spectacular, stylized 1850s setting. Puccini’s romantic depiction of bohemian Paris,...
Read more

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Opera House)

Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland burst onto the stage in 2011 in an explosion of colour, stage magic and inventive, sophisticated choreography. Joby Talbot’s score combines contemporary soundworlds with sweeping melodies that gesture to ballet scores of the 19th century. Bob Crowley’s wildly imaginative, eye-popping designs draw on everything from puppetry to projections to make Wonderland wonderfully real....
Read more

The Nutcracker (Royal Opera House)

Peter Wright’s nigh-on definitive production for The Royal Ballet ranks as one of the most enduring and enchanting versions of The Nutcracker. With its festive period setting, dancing snowflakes and enchanting stage magic, Lev Ivanov’s 1892 ballet has become the perfect Christmas entertainment, with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous, sugar-spun music the most recognizable of all ballet scores....
Read more

Rigoletto (Royal Opera House)

Giuseppe Verdi wrote in 1855 that Rigoletto, based on Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’amuse, was his ‘best opera’. He had had to overcome state censorship to stage it – the censors objected to its depiction of an immoral ruler – but he was vindicated by the premiere’s huge success in 1851. Rigoletto was performed 250 times in the next 10 years and has remained one of the most popular of all operas.

David McVicar’s production highlights the...
Read more

Tosca (Royal Opera House)

From its strident opening chords, Tosca conjures up a world of political instability and menace. The Chief of Police, Scarpia – one of the most malevolent villains in opera – ruthlessly pursues and tortures enemies of the state. His dark, demonic music contrasts with the expansive melodies of the idealistic lovers, Tosca and Cavaradossi, who express their passion in sublime arias, including ‘Vissi d’arte’ and ‘E lucevan le stelle’. Giacomo Puccini’s dramatic work was a hit with audiences on its...
Read more

The Winter’s Tale (Royal Opera House)

Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, created his adaptation of Shakespeare’s late great romance The Winter’s Tale for The Royal Ballet in 2014. Building on the success of Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Winter’s Tale received ecstatic praise at its premiere, acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for its intelligent, distinctive and emotionally powerful story, told through exquisite dance. It is now widely judged to be a modern ballet classic....
Read more

Carmen (Royal Opera House)

Carmen is the best-known work by French composer Georges Bizet, and one of the most famous operas in the entire art form – numbers such as the Habanera and the Toreador Song have permeated the popular consciousness as little else has. The opera’s heady combination of passion, sensuality and violence initially proved too much for the stage, and it was a critical failure on its 1875 premiere. Bizet died shortly after, and never learned of the spectacular success his Carmen...
Read more

Bernstein Centenary (Royal Opera House)

New Wayne McGregor / The Age of Anxiety / New Christopher Wheeldon
Leonard Bernstein was one of the first classical composers in America to achieve both popular and critical acclaim. He was eclectic in his sources – drawing on jazz and modernism, the traditions of Jewish music and the Broadway musical – and many of Bernstein’s scores are remarkably well suited to dance. He was particularly associated with Jerome Robbins, their credits together including Fancy Free and West Side Story....
Read more

Macbeth (Royal Opera House)

Verdi’s life-long love affair with Shakespeare’s works began with Macbeth, a play he considered to be ‘one of the greatest creations of man’. With his librettist Francesco Maria Piave Verdi set out to create ‘something out of the ordinary’. Their success is borne out in every bar of a score that sees Verdi at his most theatrical: it bristles with demonic energy....
Read more

Manon (Royal Opera House)

Kenneth MacMillan’s source for Manon was the 18th-century French novel by Abbé Prévost, already adapted for opera by Massenet and Puccini. Renowned dance musician Leighton Lucas and his assistant Hilda Gaunt provided a score drawn from across Massenet’s music, including his famous yearning Elégie as the theme for the lovers. The premiere was given on 7 March 1974, with the lead roles of Manon and Des Grieux danced by Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell. The ballet quickly became a staple...
Read more

Swan Lake (Royal Opera House)

Swan Lake has had a special role in the repertory of The Royal Ballet since 1934. Since then there has been a succession of productions, the most recent of which was overseen by Anthony Dowell. This Season the Company creates a new production with additional choreography by Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett. Scarlett, while remaining faithful to the Petipa-Ivanov text, will bring fresh eyes to the staging of this classic ballet, in collaboration with his long-term designer John Macfarlane....
Read more