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Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House houses the UK’s leading Opera and Ballet companies, and plays host to a wide range of visiting companies and artists.  Through its programme on the main stage, in the Linbury Studio, the Clore Studio and in spaces throughout the building it presents many forms of classical and contemporary opera and dance. Our funding is a contribution towards its core costs.

Funding awards

  • 2012-2013: £25,208,100
  • 2013-2014: £25,787,886
  • 2014-2015: £26,430,076

Video feed

Joyce DiDonato on performing with a broken leg in Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Royal Opera)

When Joyce DiDonato broke her leg performing Rosina on the opening night of Il barbiere di Siviglia in 2009, it didn't look likely she would be able to continue. However, she managed to perform the role in every performance from a wheelchair. http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/il-barbiere-di-siviglia-by-moshe-leiser http://www.roh.org.uk/people/joyce-didonato *** The 23-year-old Gioachino Rossini completed his masterpiece Il barbiere di Siviglia incredibly quickly – legend has it in just 13 days – which Rossini attributed to ‘facility and lots of instinct’. He drew on Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais’ play Le Barbier de Seville – part of a dramatic trilogy that also inspired Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. The opera is characterized by youthful energy and bold wit: qualities brought to the fore in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s colourful production. Il barbiere di Siviglia has all the ingredients for comic chaos: an imprisoned young woman, her lecherous guardian and a young noble suitor. Skilfully plotting behind the scenes is Figaro – an irrepressible and inventive character in whom many have seen a resemblance to the young Rossini himself. The score fizzes with musical brilliance, from Figaro’s famous entrance aria ‘Largo al factotum’ to the frenzy of the Act I finale, when the five principal voices pile on top of each other. Within a few decades of its 1816 premiere, Il barbiere di Siviglia had been toured round the world, reaching opera houses in New York, Buenos Aires, Trinidad and Ecuador. It has remained one of the most prominent and popular operas in the repertory.

Plácido Domingo and Liudmyla Monastyrska perform 'Donna, chi sei?' from Nabucco (The Royal Opera)

Plácido Domingo and Liudmyla Monastyrska perform 'Donna, chi sei?' from Verdi's Nabucco. The Royal Opera 2013. http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/nabucco-by-daniele-abbado *** Following the spectacular failure of his second opera, Un giorno di regno, Giuseppe Verdi vowed never to compose another. But he was lured back to the theatre by Bartolomeo Merelli, the impresario of La Scala, Milan, with the commission for Nabucco. The resulting opera was a triumph – first performed in 1842, it was revived the same year with a run of 57 shows. As Verdi wrote: ‘with this opera, it can truly be said that my artistic career began.’ Daniele Abbado’s production is set in the second half of the 20th century and makes imaginative use of large-scale video projections to accompany and reflect the action on stage. An enormous chorus lends weight to epic numbers such as ‘Immenso Jehova’ – the Hebrew Slaves’ triumphant hymn of thanksgiving – and their song of exile, ‘Va, pensiero’, which is considered by many to be Italy’s unofficial national anthem. There are wonderful bass and baritone roles in the figures of Nabucco, the Babylonian King (based on the biblical King Nebuchadnezzar), and Zaccaria, the Hebrew prophet. And in Abigaille, Verdi created a memorable anti-heroine, at once terrifying and pitiable. Throughout, the score blends rhythmic vitality and powerful drama, and is on a scale that does justice to the opera’s epic themes.

Kristen McNally rehearses her new dance piece for BalletBoyz: theTALENT for Deloitte Ignite 2014

Royal Ballet Soloist Kristen McNally discusses choreographing for BalletBoyz: theTALENT, and develops her work in rehearsals for the Deloitte Ignite Festival 2014: http://www.roh.org.uk/about/deloitte-ignite Deloitte Ignite is an annual contemporary arts festival held at the Royal Opera House. In 2014, it is curated by The Royal Ballet and The National Gallery's Minna Moore Ede, and celebrates the origin of stories through the telling of myths. The festival will focus on two archetypal myths: Leda and the Swan, the seduction of Leda by Zeus while disguised as a swan; and Prometheus, the Titan who creates man from clay and steals fire from the Gods. BalletBoyz: theTALENT will perform work by Kristen in a mixed programme in the Linbury Studio Theatre in September. http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/balletboyz-thetalent Kristen is working with Royal Ballet First Artist Hayley Forskitt and Royal Ballet Artist Matthew Ball. http://www.roh.org.uk/people/kristen-mcnally http://www.roh.org.uk/people/hayley-forskitt http://www.roh.org.uk/people/matthew-ball

Hanna Hipp performs an extract from Poulenc's Eight Polish Songs (The Royal Opera)

Jette Parker Young Artist Hanna Hipp performs an extract from Poulenc's Eight Polish Songs at a lunchtime recital, accompanied by JPYAP Artistic Director David Gowland. http://www.roh.org.uk/people/hanna-hipp Hanna, a mezzo-soprano, was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in the 2011/12 and 2012/13 Seasons. The regular free lunchtime recitals feature the rising stars of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, members of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and The Royal Opera Chorus and Southbank Sinfonia. Tickets for the lunchtime concerts are FREE. A proportion of tickets can be reserved online 9 days before the concert date. http://www.roh.org.uk/recitals/lunchtime-recitals

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Hanna Hipp performs Reflets dans l'eau from Faure's Mirages at a lunchtime recital (The Royal Opera)

Jette Parker Young Artist Hanna Hipp performs Reflets dans l'eau from Faure's Mirages at a lunchtime recital, accompanied by JPYAP Artistic Director David Gowland. http://www.roh.org.uk/people/hanna-hipp Hanna, a mezzo-soprano, was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in the 2011/12 and 2012/13 Seasons. The regular free lunchtime recitals feature the rising stars of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, members of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and The Royal Opera Chorus and Southbank Sinfonia. Tickets for the lunchtime concerts are FREE. A proportion of tickets can be reserved online 9 days before the concert date. http://www.roh.org.uk/recitals/lunchtime-recitals

Anna Nicole trailer (The Royal Opera)

Sex, celebrity and scandal: Mark-Anthony Turnage's opera draws on the dramatic life and death of Anna Nicole Smith. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/anna-nicole-by-richard-jones A small-town waitress decides to become a stripper, weds an octogenarian billionaire and becomes a Playboy model and celebrity. But as her fame grows, so does the exploitative behaviour of those close to her, the intrusiveness of the media and her own dependence on drink and pills. The flamboyant life and tragic death of Anna Nicole Smith inspired Mark-Anthony Turnage's opera, commissioned by The Royal Opera and first performed in 2011. The razor-sharp libretto is by Richard Thomas, co-creator of Jerry Springer: the Opera. Richard Jones's Olivier-nominated production mixes comedy and tragedy, and boldly confronts the nature of modern celebrity culture. The music fuses jazz, blues and music theatre with more traditional operatic language. Highlights include Anna's wedding scene, in which she declares her intention to live the 'American Dream'; a rowdy party, complete with jazz trio; an Expressionist interlude showing the decline of Anna's fortunes; the long, hopeless list of pills sung by Anna's son Daniel; and Anna's poignant final lament sung over Daniel's dead body.

Wendy Whelan and choreographer Joshua Beamish in rehearsal for Restless Creature

Wendy Whelan and choreographer Joshua Beamish in rehearsal for the premiere of 'Waltz Epoca', part of Restless Creature, at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/wendy-whelan-restless-creature-by-wendy-whelan

Wendy Whelan and choreographer Brian Brooks in rehearsal for Restless Creature

Wendy Whelan and choreographer Brian Brooks in rehearsal for the premiere of 'First Fall', part of Restless Creature, at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/wendy-whelan-restless-creature-by-wendy-whelan

Wendy Whelan and choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo in rehearsal for Restless Creature

Wendy Whelan and choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo in rehearsal for the premiere of 'Ego et tu', part of Restless Creature, at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/wendy-whelan-restless-creature-by-wendy-whelan

Wendy Whelan and choreographer Kyle Abraham in rehearsal for Restless Creature

Wendy Whelan and choreographer Kyle Abraham in rehearsal for the premiere of 'The Serpent and the Smoke', part of Restless Creature, at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/wendy-whelan-restless-creature-by-wendy-whelan

Ekaterina Siurina sings 'Caro nome' from Verdi's Rigoletto

Ekaterina Siurina sings Gilda's aria 'Caro nome' from Act I of Verdi's Rigoletto. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/rigoletto-by-david-mcvicar

Vittorio Grigolo and Angela Gheorghiu on why they love La bohème (The Royal Opera)

Vittorio Grigolo, Angela Gheorghiu, Massimo Cavalletti and Irina Lungu introduce the main characters of La bohème. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/boheme La bohème had a lukewarm reception at its premiere in 1896, but its fortunes almost immediately changed. Giacomo Puccini's romantic depiction of bohemian Paris, with memorable music and a love story drawn from everyday life, has captivated audiences round the world, making La bohème one of the best-loved of all operas. It was first performed in Covent Garden in 1897 and has had more than 500 performances here since. John Copley's production re-creates Paris in the 1830s, from the lively Latin Quarter, where hawkers and traders ply their wares, to a drafty attic where impoverished artists live hand-to-mouth. Rodolfo and Mimì's love story is given moving expression through Puccini's score, from their first meeting in Act I (a scene which contains some of the composer's most exquisite arias and duets) to their poignant reunion in Act IV. These moments of emotional intensity are contrasted with the colourful spectacle of the Café Momus and surrounding streets in Act II, where Puccini presents a cross-section of Parisian society in all its noise and vibrancy.

Monteverdi's Orfeo: The Roundhouse and The Royal Opera

Marcus Davey, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Roundhouse, and Kasper Holten, Director of The Royal Opera, introduce Michael Boyd's new production of Monteverdi's Orfeo: http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/orfeo-by-michael-boyd The project is a new collaboration between the Roundhouse and The Royal Opera. The history of great opera begins with the premiere of Claudio Monteverdi's Orfeo on 24 February 1607 in the ducal palace in Mantua. It was Monteverdi's first opera, produced as courtly entertainment for the carnival season. For this 'favola in musica' (story in music) he incorporated existing musical forms, such as madrigals and the newly developed recitative (singing with speech-like rhythms and minimal accompaniment). But the result was revolutionary, possessing a powerful emotional truth that had never been seen before in musical dramas. Orfeo is rightly acclaimed as the first operatic work of art. A new collaboration between the Roundhouse and The Royal Opera, Orfeo follows on from L'Ormindo at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare's Globe, in spring 2014. Former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company Michael Boyd directs in his operatic debut, with a production that is as much theatrical spectacle as tribute to Monteverdi's musical genius.

Liudmyla Monastyrska sings 'Anch'io dischiuso un giorno' from Nabucco

Liudmyla Monastyrska sings Abigaille's aria 'Anch'io dischiuso un giorno' from Part II scene 1 of Verdi's opera Nabucco. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/nabucco-by-daniele-abbado Following the spectacular failure of his second opera, Un giorno di regno, Giuseppe Verdi vowed never to compose another. But he was lured back to the theatre by Bartolomeo Merelli, the impresario of La Scala, Milan, with the commission for Nabucco. The resulting opera was a triumph -- first performed in 1842, it was revived the same year with a run of 57 shows. As Verdi wrote: 'with this opera, it can truly be said that my artistic career began.' Daniele Abbado's production is set in the second half of the 20th century and makes imaginative use of large-scale video projections to accompany and reflect the action on stage. An enormous chorus lends weight to epic numbers such as 'Immenso Jehova' -- the Hebrew Slaves' triumphant hymn of thanksgiving -- and their song of exile, 'Va, pensiero', which is considered by many to be Italy's unofficial national anthem. There are wonderful bass and baritone roles in the figures of Nabucco, the Babylonian King (based on the biblical King Nebuchadnezzar), and Zaccaria, the Hebrew prophet. And in Abigaille, Verdi created a memorable anti-heroine, at once terrifying and pitiable. Throughout, the score blends rhythmic vitality and powerful drama, and is on a scale that does justice to the opera's epic themes.

Michael McCarthy and Christopher Hampton on The Trial (Music Theatre Wales)

Director Michael McCarthy and playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton introduce Philip Glass's new opera based on Kafka's The Trial. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/the-trial-by-michael-mccarthy The Trial is Philip Glass's second 'pocket' opera based on the writings of Franz Kafka, and his first work created specifically for Music Theatre Wales, in celebration of the company's 25th birthday. Glass has a long relationship with the company, describing them as 'wonderful to work with... they seem to like these "odd" pieces of mine, and they do them very well. I think of my pocket operas as neutron bombs -- small, but packing a terrific punch'. Glass has won worldwide acclaim for his operas, which include Satyagraha and Einstein on the Beach. Music Theatre Wales gave a sell-out tour in 2010 of Glass's previous Kafka opera, In the Penal Colony, a work of blistering intensity and dark claustrophobia. Playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton (whose opera credits include Glass's Appomattox) collaborates with Glass on this adaptation of one of the great classics of 20th-century literature.

Don Quixote trailer (The Royal Ballet)

Carlos Acosta's exuberant production of this classic tale of friendship, love and loyalty is bursting with joie de vivre. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/donquixote Carlos Acosta, Principal Guest Artist of The Royal Ballet, created his first work for the Company in 2013. He chose one of his favourite ballets -- Marius Petipa's Don Quixote, a joyful adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes's classic novel. Acosta's production has proved itself a firm audience favourite, acclaimed for its breathtakingly virtuoso dancing, eye-popping designs by Tim Hatley and the sheer energy and bravura of the whole production. The adventures of the bumbling knight Don Quixote and his ever-faithful squire Sancho Panza have been the inspiration for countless ballets, of which Petipa's is one of the best loved. Acosta has danced the virtuoso role of Basilio many times, and brings that experience to his unique and vibrant vision of the story. Ludwig Minkus's score, created for Petipa, is full of Spanish flair and atmosphere. Don Quixote, with its famously bravura Act III pas de deux and infectious ebullience, is wonderfully entertaining.

La bohème, Act IV Finale, starring Dmytro Popov and Maija Kovalevska (The Royal Opera)

Members of The Royal Opera perform the Act IV Finale of Puccini's La bohème. http://www.roh.org.uk/news/musical-highlight-the-act-iv-finale-of-la-boheme Starring Dmytro Popov as Rodolfo and Maija Kovalevska as Mimì; with Stefania Dovhan as Musetta, Audun Iversen as Marcello, Nahuel di Pierro as Colline and David Bižić as Schaunard. http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/la-boheme-by-john-copley La bohème had a lukewarm reception at its premiere in 1896, but its fortunes almost immediately changed. Giacomo Puccini's romantic depiction of bohemian Paris, with memorable music and a love story drawn from everyday life, has captivated audiences round the world, making La bohème one of the best-loved of all operas. It was first performed in Covent Garden in 1897 and has had more than 500 performances here since. John Copley's production re-creates Paris in the 1830s, from the lively Latin Quarter, where hawkers and traders ply their wares, to a drafty attic where impoverished artists live hand-to-mouth. Rodolfo and Mimì's love story is given moving expression through Puccini's score, from their first meeting in Act I (a scene which contains some of the composer's most exquisite arias and duets) to their poignant reunion in Act IV. These moments of emotional intensity are contrasted with the colourful spectacle of the Café Momus and surrounding streets in Act II, where Puccini presents a cross-section of Parisian society in all its noise and vibrancy.

Mr and Mrs: Ailyn Pérez and Stephen Costello (The Royal Opera)

Meet opera stars Ailyn Pérez and Stephen Costello. Ailyn and Stephen, who met while at the Academy of Vocal Arts, married in 2008. They regularly perform concerts and recitals together and recently performed as Violetta and Alfredo in Verdi's La traviata. Their performance was relayed live to BP Big Screens across the UK, and streamed live online around the world. This short film was shown before the live relay. The Royal Opera 2013/14. http://www.roh.org.uk/news/your-reaction-la-traviata-on-bp-big-screens http://www.roh.org.uk/products/perez-ailyn-costello-stephen-love-duets-cd Find out more about Ailyn: http://www.roh.org.uk/people/ailyn-perez Find out more about Stephen: http://www.roh.org.uk/people/stephen-costello

Gloria - A Pigtale (Mahogany Opera Group)

Mahogany Opera Group -- formerly The Opera Group -- present H.K. Gruber's Gloria -- A Pigtale in the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House. Frederic Wake-Walker directs a new production of Gruber's delightfully absurd and darkly comic cabaret opera. Find out more: http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/gloria-a-pigtale-by-frederic-wake-walker *** Amid yodelling frogs, blues-singing cows, Hollywood hotdogs and a fascist rally in a pigsty, Gruber constructs a delirious ludicrous world while taking a zany sideswipe at right-wing politics. With a cast of five human sausages and a big band, this 'cabaret opera' mixes a variety of musical styles -- jazz, blues, Bavarian oompah, Mahler and Wagner. Frederic Wake-Walker's production sets this darkly comic piece in a burlesque butcher's shop with echoes of George Orwell's Animal Farm and Kander and Ebb's Cabaret.

Conductor Antonio Pappano on the emotion in Puccini's Manon Lescaut (The Royal Opera)

Conductor Antonio Pappano takes us through the loneliness of Des Grieux in the Intermezzo, playing excerpts to show us how Puccini builds up the emotion. www.roh.org.uk/manonlescaut Find out more about Des Grieux's aria 'Donna non vidi mai' http://www.roh.org.uk/news/musical-highlight-donna-non-vidi-mai-from-manon-lescaut Jonathan Kent's new production of Manon Lescaut was relayed live in cinemas across the world on 24 June 2014. * * * * Puccini's publisher tried to prevent him from adapting Abbé Prévost's L'Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut -- Massenet had already created a highly successful opera based on the novel. But Puccini was not to be dissuaded, claiming 'a woman like Manon can have more than one lover'. Despite a troubled gestation (five librettists were engaged in the project), the premiere of Manon Lescaut in 1893 was Puccini's first major triumph -- a hit with critics and the public alike. Jonathan Kent -- director of The Royal Opera's much-loved staging of Tosca -- brings a new production of Manon Lescaut to Covent Garden. Puccini's sumptuous, richly-coloured score is characterized by youthful vitality and filled with glorious melodies. Des Grieux expresses his passion for Manon in the Act I aria 'Vedete? io son fedele', lively dances evoke Manon's luxurious life in Paris in Act II, while in the impassioned finale to Act III, 'Pazza son!', Des Grieux begs to be allowed to join the imprisoned Manon on her voyage to America. The opera culminates in Manon's heartbreaking Act IV aria 'Sola, perduta, abbandonata', as she contemplates her impending death.

Antonio Pappano on Des Grieux and Manon's first encounter in Manon Lescaut (The Royal Opera)

Conductor Antonio Pappano describes the music when Des Grieux and Manon meet for the first time in Puccini's Manon Lescaut, playing excepts of the score to show how Puccini builds up the emotion. www.roh.org.uk/manonlescaut Jonathan Kent's new production of Manon Lescaut was relayed live in cinemas across the world on 24 June 2014. * * * * Puccini's publisher tried to prevent him from adapting Abbé Prévost's L'Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut -- Massenet had already created a highly successful opera based on the novel. But Puccini was not to be dissuaded, claiming 'a woman like Manon can have more than one lover'. Despite a troubled gestation (five librettists were engaged in the project), the premiere of Manon Lescaut in 1893 was Puccini's first major triumph -- a hit with critics and the public alike. Jonathan Kent -- director of The Royal Opera's much-loved staging of Tosca -- brings a new production of Manon Lescaut to Covent Garden. Puccini's sumptuous, richly-coloured score is characterized by youthful vitality and filled with glorious melodies. Des Grieux expresses his passion for Manon in the Act I aria 'Vedete? io son fedele', lively dances evoke Manon's luxurious life in Paris in Act II, while in the impassioned finale to Act III, 'Pazza son!', Des Grieux begs to be allowed to join the imprisoned Manon on her voyage to America. The opera culminates in Manon's heartbreaking Act IV aria 'Sola, perduta, abbandonata', as she contemplates her impending death.

Members of the cast and creative team discuss the character of Manon Lescaut (The Royal Opera)

Conductor Antonio Pappano, Kristīne Opolais (Manon Lescaut), Jonas Kaufmann (Des Grieux), Christopher Maltmann (Lescaut), Maurizio Muraro (Gerontes) Benjamin Hulett (Edmondo) and Jonathan Kent (director) discuss the complex character of Manon Lescaut. www.roh.org.uk/manonlescaut Jonathan Kent's new production of Manon Lescaut was relayed live in cinemas across the world on 24 June 2014. * * * * Puccini's publisher tried to prevent him from adapting Abbé Prévost's L'Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut -- Massenet had already created a highly successful opera based on the novel. But Puccini was not to be dissuaded, claiming 'a woman like Manon can have more than one lover'. Despite a troubled gestation (five librettists were engaged in the project), the premiere of Manon Lescaut in 1893 was Puccini's first major triumph -- a hit with critics and the public alike. Jonathan Kent -- director of The Royal Opera's much-loved staging of Tosca -- brings a new production of Manon Lescaut to Covent Garden. Puccini's sumptuous, richly-coloured score is characterized by youthful vitality and filled with glorious melodies. Des Grieux expresses his passion for Manon in the Act I aria 'Vedete? io son fedele', lively dances evoke Manon's luxurious life in Paris in Act II, while in the impassioned finale to Act III, 'Pazza son!', Des Grieux begs to be allowed to join the imprisoned Manon on her voyage to America. The opera culminates in Manon's heartbreaking Act IV aria 'Sola, perduta, abbandonata', as she contemplates her impending death.

Jonas Kaufmann and Kristīne Opolais rehearse Manon Lescaut (The Royal Opera)

Conductor Antonio Pappano rehearses with Kristīne Opolais (Manon) and Jonas Kaufmann (Des Grieux), who are both making role debuts in Jonathan Kent's new production of Manon Lescaut. Watch them in rehearsals, and discussing the nuances of Puccini's score. Jonathan Kent's new production of Manon Lescaut was relayed live in cinemas across the world on 24 June 2014. * * * * Puccini's publisher tried to prevent him from adapting Abbé Prévost's L'Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut -- Massenet had already created a highly successful opera based on the novel. But Puccini was not to be dissuaded, claiming 'a woman like Manon can have more than one lover'. Despite a troubled gestation (five librettists were engaged in the project), the premiere of Manon Lescaut in 1893 was Puccini's first major triumph -- a hit with critics and the public alike. Jonathan Kent -- director of The Royal Opera's much-loved staging of Tosca -- brings a new production of Manon Lescaut to Covent Garden. Puccini's sumptuous, richly-coloured score is characterized by youthful vitality and filled with glorious melodies. Des Grieux expresses his passion for Manon in the Act I aria 'Vedete? io son fedele', lively dances evoke Manon's luxurious life in Paris in Act II, while in the impassioned finale to Act III, 'Pazza son!', Des Grieux begs to be allowed to join the imprisoned Manon on her voyage to America. The opera culminates in Manon's heartbreaking Act IV aria 'Sola, perduta, abbandonata', as she contemplates her impending death.

Kristīne Opolais and Christopher Maltman on Manon Lescaut (The Royal Opera)

Join soprano Kristīne Opolais and baritone Christopher Maltman as they talk about becoming the roles of Manon and Lescaut in Puccini's first success, Manon Lescaut directed by Jonathan Kent. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/manonlescaut Puccini's publisher tried to prevent him from adapting Abbé Prévost's L'Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut -- Massenet had already created a highly successful opera based on the novel. But Puccini was not to be dissuaded, claiming 'a woman like Manon can have more than one lover'. Despite a troubled gestation (five librettists were engaged in the project), the premiere of Manon Lescaut in 1893 was Puccini's first major triumph -- a hit with critics and the public alike. Jonathan Kent -- director of The Royal Opera's much-loved staging of Tosca -- brings a new production of Manon Lescaut to Covent Garden. Puccini's sumptuous, richly-coloured score is characterized by youthful vitality and filled with glorious melodies. Des Grieux expresses his passion for Manon in the Act I aria 'Vedete? io son fedele', lively dances evoke Manon's luxurious life in Paris in Act II, while in the impassioned finale to Act III, 'Pazza son!', Des Grieux begs to be allowed to join the imprisoned Manon on her voyage to America. The opera culminates in Manon's heartbreaking Act IV aria 'Sola, perduta, abbandonata', as she contemplates her impending death.

Manon Lescaut: Interview with Jonathan Kent (The Royal Opera)

Join director Jonathan Kent as he describes the process of bringing Puccini's first success, Manon Lescaut, back to the Covent Garden stage. Interviewed by John Fulljames. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/manonlescaut

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