The Royal Opera House will continue its first full Season since 2019 with a selection of world class productions throughout 2022, showcasing the very best of opera and ballet.  In anticipation of the new year, here are a selection of upcoming world premieres and classic revivals from The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet.

In 2022, to mark The Royal Opera’s 75th anniversary, audiences will be able to enjoy a Season of century-spanning repertoire. In January, Julia BullockJoyce DiDonato and Jakub Józef Orliński will star in Katie Mitchell’s thrilling new production of Handel’s Theodora – a tour de force for soloists and chorus alike, not heard in Covent Garden since its 1750 premiere and conducted this Season by Baroque specialist Harry Bicket. In March, following Deborah Warner’s award-winning production of Billy Budd in 2019, The Royal Opera will continue its Benjamin Britten series with her new production of Peter Grimes, conducted by Mark Elder and starring British singers Allan ClaytonBryn Terfel and John Tomlinson. In May, multi-Olivier Award winning director Richard Jones will return to stage a new production of Camille Saint-Saëns’s grand-opera Samson et Dalila – not performed at Covent Garden since 2004, and starring Elīna Garanča as the Philistine Dalila and Nicky Spence as the inspiring Jewish hero Samson. And in July, Antonio Pappano will conduct a star cast led by Jonas Kaufmann and Royal Opera favourite Ermonela Jaho in Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci.

In the Linbury Theatre, and in collaboration with Irish National Opera, The Royal Opera will present Antonio Vivaldi’s Bajazet – the first Vivaldi opera staged at Covent Garden, here brought to life by director Adele Thomas. And in July, The Blue Woman will explore the psychological aftermath of sexual violence on women. Composed by Laura Bowler, written by Laura Lomas and directed by Katie Mitchell, the new work excavates the interior landscape of a woman who has experienced a post-traumatic shattering of self as a consequence of being assaulted.

In 2022, The Royal Ballet will present two world premieresChristopher Wheeldon’s hotly anticipated Like Water for Chocolate, inspired by Laura Esquivel’s novel, and a new work by American choreographer Kyle Abraham, celebrated as an innovative voice in balletAudiences will be able to enjoy revivals of Crystal Pite’s Solo Echoheritage ballets by Frederick Ashton, and Swan Lake, which will make a welcome return to stage after its 2020 run was cancelled due to the pandemic. And 2022 will also see the launch of Dance Reflections, an exciting new dance festival in partnership with Van Cleef and Arpels.

The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet Season Highlights 2022

75th Anniversary of The Royal Opera Company
In January 2022, we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Royal Opera company, which first came together for Carmen, performed at the company’s Covent Garden home on 14 January 1947. More details on the anniversary celebrations will be announced soon.  

The Marriage of Figaro
9–27 January 2022
The Royal Opera
From the headlong rush of the overture, Mozart’s timeless comedy is a breathless journey through one very eventful day in an 1830s château. Figaro and his bride Susanna conspire to foil the unwanted advances of Count Almaviva, while the countess has her heart stolen by a cross-dressing pageboy. Mozart’s music unfolds with beautiful solos and ensembles to amplify the deep emotions behind a seemingly farcical surface.

Music Director of The Royal Opera Antonio Pappano will bring his specialist perspective to Mozart’s effervescent score, sharing the baton with Christopher Willis. A young and predominantly Italian cast will perform this revival of David McVicar’s sumptuous and hugely popular period staging.

31 January–16 February 2022
The Royal Opera, co-production with Teatro Real, Madrid
Word Premiere
Julia Bullock, Joyce DiDonato and Jakub Józef Orliński will star in Katie Mitchell’s thrilling new production of Handel’s Theodora. In an alternative modern-day reality, Theodora, a religious fundamentalist, plots for the resistance against the Roman occupation. But when her secret plan to destroy the Roman embassy is discovered, she learns the true brutality of her oppressors.

Not heard in Covent Garden since its 1750 premiere, and sung in the original English libretto by Thomas Morell, Theodora is a tour de force for soloists and chorus alike, with ensembles, duets and arias of profound depth and beauty. This new interpretation, conducted by Baroque specialist Harry Bicket, will shine a new, feminist light on the story.

4–12 February 2022
The Royal Opera, co-production with Irish National Opera
The Linbury Theatre
A recent revival of interest in Vivaldi’s operas has introduced modern audiences to the adrenalin rush of his instrumentally virtuosic vocal writing. His opera Bajazet, first performed in Verona in 1735, is an extraordinary thriller set in a dark, tense, claustrophobic environment. Powerful men and strong women negotiate their relationships as desires of the heart clash with rank and duty.

The drama will be brought to life in the intimate setting of the Linbury Theatre by director Adele Thomas, experienced in the repertory. The Royal Opera and Irish National Opera, whose production of Vivaldi’s Griselda made waves in 2019, will join forces for this wonderful opportunity to discover Baroque opera anew.

Swan Lake
1–25 March 2022 / 4–28 May 2022
Cinema relay 19 May
The Royal Ballet
The Royal Ballet’s sumptuous production of Swan Lake will return to the Royal Opera House stage after its 2020 revival was cut short by the pandemic’s closure of theatres. The reimagining of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov’s towering masterpiece by Liam Scarlett is testament to the late choreographer’s abiding love of classicism and innate musicality which shine through the production. With its sublime score by Tchaikovsky and glittering designs by John Macfarlane, an irresistible mix of spectacle, mystery and passion infuses this audience favourite, one of the best-loved works in the 19th-century classical ballet canon.

Dance Reflections
11 – 23 March 2021
Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival is an exciting new partnership with the High Jewellery Maison, a devotee of dance ever since its foundation. The Royal Opera House has enjoyed a close partnership with Van Cleef & Arpels since 2006 and this showcase of modern and contemporary dance will feature works by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Lucinda Childs, Ola Maciejewska and Alessandro Sciarroni, all performed across our stages – in the Linbury Theatre, Paul Hamlyn Hall and Clore Studio.

The festival has been developed in partnership with Sadler’s Wells and Tate Modern. In addition to performance, it will feature a series of events and films offering greater insight into the works and themes explored. The film series shown in the Linbury Theatre will offer a reflection on the history of modern dance and will include work by Merce Cunningham, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Giselle Vienne and Christian Rizzo.

Peter Grimes
17–31 March 2022
The Royal Opera co-production with Teatro Real, Madrid, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and L’Opéra National de Paris
Following Deborah Warner’s award-winning production of Billy Budd in 2019, The Royal Opera will continue its Benjamin Britten series with her new production of Peter Grimes, which had its premiere in Madrid in April 2021. Warner’s sympathetic approach to Britten’s sombre parable foregrounds the complexity of Peter Grimes himself and the tragic conflict between the group and the individual. Mark Elder will conduct a cast that includes British singers Allan Clayton, Bryn Terfel and John Tomlinson, alongside Maria Bengtsson and former Jette Parker Young Artist Jacques Imbrailo.

New Kyle Abraham / Solo Echo / DGV: Danse à grande vitesse
28 March–7 April 2022
The Royal Ballet
World Premiere – New Kyle Abraham
Three of the world’s most exciting contemporary choreographers will come together for an extraordinary showcase of modern ballet that includes the world premiere of a new work by Kyle Abraham, an innovative new voice in ballet.

Love, loss and acceptance are at the heart of Crystal Pite’s moving and melancholic Solo Echo, inspired by Mark Strand’s poem ‘Lines for Winter’, and set to Brahms’s sonatas for cello and piano. Royal Ballet Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon’s energetic DGV: Danse à grande vitesse, created for The Royal Ballet in 2006, is a mesmerising blend of movement and metaphor set to a compelling score by Michael Nyman.

Samson et Dalila
26 May–19 June 2022
The Royal Opera
Pious restraint comes face to face with sensuous hedonism in Camille Saint-Saëns’s grand-opera retelling of the Bible story of Samson and Delilah.

Multi-Olivier Award winning director Richard Jones will return to The Royal Opera to stage this spectacular fin-de-siècle masterpiece, not performed at Covent Garden in over 40 years. Elīna Garanča will star as the Philistine Dalila, Nicky Spence as the inspiring Jewish hero Samson and Antonio Pappano will conduct the full forces of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. With superb singing in solos and duets of great intimacy and fervour, gorgeous music with thrilling orchestral interludes, and splendid choral numbers for the Royal Opera Chorus, this will be an opera evening to remember.

Like Water for Chocolate
1–17 June 2022
The Royal Ballet
World premiere
A co-production between The Royal Ballet and American Ballet Theatre
A modern Mexican classic of magic realism provides the basis for The Royal Ballet’s new full-length work, reuniting Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon with the creative team who transformed Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter’s Tale into dance: composer Joby Talbot and designer Bob Crowley. Journey into Laura Esquivel’s captivating family saga where the central character’s emotions spill out through cooking to influence everyone around her in startling and dramatic ways. 

In this co-production with American Ballet Theatre, Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra will act as musical consultant for Talbot’s newly commissioned score, with Wheeldon working closely with Esquivel to reshape her richly layered story as an entertaining and engrossing new ballet.

Royal Opera House Cinema Season 2022

The Royal Opera
Encore: Wednesday 19 January 2022, 7:15 pm 

The Royal Ballet 
Romeo and Juliet
Special Screening: Monday 14 February 2022, 7:15 pm (performed on 3 February 2022) 
Encore: Sunday 20 February 2022, 2pm 

The Royal Opera  
Anniversary Screening: Thursday 10 March 2022, 7:15 pm (performed in September 2021) 
Encore: Sunday 13 March 2022, 2 pm 

The Royal OperaLa Traviata
Live: Wednesday 13 April 2022, 6:45 pm 
Encore: Sunday 17 April 2022, 2 pm 

The Royal Ballet  
Swan Lake
Live: Thursday 19 May 2022, 7:15 pm 
Encore: Sunday 22 May 2022, 2 pm