The Royal Ballet: Live
Ariodante in Concert
Falstaff in Concert
Royal Ballet Class on Stage
The Nutcracker [pictured]
Meet the Young Artists Week
The Royal Opera Christmas Concert
Twelve Days of Christmas
The Royal Opera House is excited to open its doors to audiences for a wealth of festive, socially-distanced events, live performances and much-loved repertory favourites from both The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera in the run up to Christmas.
Following the celebrated The Royal Ballet: Back on Stage live-streamed performance on 9 October, The Royal Ballet returns for its first public performances with The Royal Ballet: Live, two special 75-minute programmes that will run without an interval, celebrating cherished works and modern classics from the Company repertory. Dancers drawn from across the Company will perform a selection of excerpts from traditional and contemporary classics, and each evening will close with a celebrated one-act ballet. The Royal Ballet: Live – Elite Syncopations, 4–7 November ends with Kenneth MacMillan’s showstopping Elite Syncopations. The Royal Ballet: Live – Within the Golden Hour, 10–14 November ends with Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet of shimmering beauty, Within the Golden Hour.
As The Royal Ballet returns to rehearsal and daily class, we invite the public to join us in the stunning auditorium of the Royal Opera House to watch the Company take Class on Stage. This unique insight on 13 November at 10.30am reveals the daily preparation of a dancer’s day as they prepare their bodies and minds for a day of rehearsal.
Christmas favourite The Nutcracker makes a welcome return from 7 December–2 January in a reworked, COVID-safe version for The Royal Ballet. This restaging of Peter Wright’s celebrated two-act production features students of The Royal Ballet School alongside the full Company. Many of the much-loved elements of this cherished classic remain, from the magical growing Christmas tree, to the enchanting dance of the snowflakes and spectacular pas de deux with the Sugar Plum Fairy and her prince in the Kingdom of Sweets. There will be a new battle scene between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King and their armies, choreographed by Will Tuckett. This festive treat for the whole family has a special place in the hearts of ballet fans around the world, a production that has captivated children and adults alike since its first performance by The Royal Ballet in 1984. Combined with Tchaikovsky‘s sumptuous score performed live by the Orchestra of The Royal Opera House and charming designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman, this is a magical ballet for the whole family.
We are delighted to continue our free #OurHouseToYourHouse broadcasts with a new Friday Premiere of Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite’s Olivier award-winning Flight Pattern (2019), which will be broadcast for free, wherever you are in the world, on 6 November via the Royal Opera House’s YouTube channel. Her first work for The Royal Ballet, Flight Pattern was critically-acclaimed at its premiere and won best new dance production in 2018.
Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, said: “It has meant so much to The Royal Ballet to be back on stage and we are delighted that we can now share the experience with audiences coming back into the Royal Opera House. Our art forms thrive with this connection between performer and audience. The prospect of another showcase for the brilliance of our dancers plus a festive Nutcracker in time for Christmas is sure to lift the spirits!”
In the run-up to the festive season, the Royal Opera House will open the doors to its historic Covent Garden home as part of its Twelve Days of Christmas promenades. The promenade through the world-famous London theatre will include activities for the whole family, seated performances in the beautiful Crush Room and Paul Hamlyn Hall, as well as opportunities to encounter some orchestral and choral festive highlights from artists of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera House Chorus. More information will be announced in the coming weeks.
Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said: “We are delighted to present this exciting programme in the run up to Christmas. It is vital for theatres across the UK and for our community of diverse artists, that we begin to bring our art forms safely back to our stages. This programme of new work, events, live broadcasts and festive favourites is underpinned by our efforts to reach new and existing audiences online, showcasing the very best of our art forms in new and unexpected ways.”
This October the Royal Opera House welcomes the return of Meet the Young Artists Week – a week dedicated to the rising stars of the opera world as they join the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme (JPYAP). Running from 26–31 October this annual event provides audiences the opportunity to get to know the new intake of Young Artists and check back in with returning artists. On Friday 30 October to round off a packed week will be Jukebox 2 – a live concert curated by our online audience. Each singer performs the full song that received the most votes of the excerpts they performed in Jukebox 1 earlier in the week – interspersed with interviews, this is the ideal opportunity to get to know the personalities behind the voices.
Continuing its celebration of the operas Handel wrote for Covent Garden, The Royal Opera presents two concert performances of Ariodante on Friday 20 and Sunday 22 November. Ariodante was the first opera written by Handel for the first theatre on the current Royal Opera House site in 1735 and has not been performed at Covent Garden since. These concert performances bring together singers Paula Murrihy, Chen Reiss, Gerald Finley, Sophie Bevan and the Royal Opera Chorus with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House conducted by Baroque music specialist Christian Curnyn.
Two concert performances of Verdi’s Falstaff will follow on Friday 27 and Sunday 29 November. World-leading singers – bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in the title role and baritone Simon Keenlyside as Ford – will join Royal Opera Music Director Antonio Pappano, who conducts the Royal Opera Chorus, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and a cast including members of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.
In December, The Royal Opera will present three performances of a sparkling Christmas Concert. Soloists Jennifer Davis, Hanna Hipp, Jeremy White and Roderick Williams will perform with the combined forces of the Royal Opera Chorus, Jette Parker Young Artists and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. The festive staging will include extracts from fairy-tale favourites Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, and from repertory classics including Puccini’s La bohème and Mozart‘s The Magic Flute. The full flavour of Christmas will come via Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas.
Oliver Mears, Director of The Royal Opera said: “At a time of national gloom, we are thrilled to be presenting three effervescent sets of concerts with our united forces of Orchestra, Chorus, Jette Parker Young Artists and an outstanding selection of guest artists. From Handel’s historic Covent Garden debut, Ariodante, to a Falstaff with three real-life knights of the realm, and finally to Christmas Concerts that feature a wealth of much-loved repertoire from Mozart to Puccini, these concerts will offer food for the soul in a winter like no other.”