ROH opens for live ballet and opera

Published: 23 October 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Sir Bryn Terfel as Sir John Falstaff Credit: Catherine Ashmore
Artists of The Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker Credit: Helen Maybanks
Sarah Lamb and Alexander Campbell in Within the Golden Hour Credit: Tristram Kenton

The Royal Opera House is to open for 'socially distanced' live performances with a repertory of favourites from The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera.

Following The Royal Ballet: Back on Stage, The Royal Ballet returns with The Royal Ballet: Live, two 75-minute programmes of a selection of excerpts from traditional and contemporary classics, and each evening will close with a celebrated one-act ballet. On 4–7 November, this will be Kenneth MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations, while on 10–14 November, it will be Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour.

The Nutcracker returns 7 December to 2 January in a COVID-safe restaging of Peter Wright’s two-act production featuring students of The Royal Ballet School alongside the full company. There will be a new battle scene between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King and their armies, choreographed by Will Tuckett.

#OurHouseToYourHouse broadcasts continue with Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern (2019) on 6 November via the Royal Opera House’s YouTube channel.

The Royal Opera House will also open its doors as part of its Twelve Days of Christmas promenades, including family activities, seated performances in the Crush Room and Paul Hamlyn Hall, as well as orchestral and choral festive highlights from the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera House Chorus.

From 26–31 October, the Royal Opera House presents Meet the Young Artists Week dedicated to the rising stars of the opera world as they join the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.

On Friday 20 and Sunday 22 November The Royal Opera presents two concert performances of Ariodante, the first opera written by Handel for the first theatre on the current Royal Opera House site in 1735 and 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. 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 Christmas Concert. Soloists Jennifer Davis, Hanna Hipp, Jeremy White and Roderick Williams will perform with the Royal Opera Chorus, Jette Parker Young Artists and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. There will be extracts from Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and from classics including Puccini’s La bohème and Mozart's The Magic Flute as well as Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Christmas.