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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

ZooNation's The Mad Hatter's Tea Party (Full)

For photographs, films, reviews and more information about The Mad Hatter's Tea Party, The Royal Ballet and ZooNation Dance Company, visit http://www.roh.org.uk/publications and claim your free The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Digital Programme with promo code ‘tea party’. Watch ZooNation’s sold-out Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland-inspired hip-hop theatre show, wherever you are in the world. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/zoonation ZooNation creates irresistible narrative hip hop dance theatre and has won nationwide acclaim with hugely popular shows, including Into the Hoods and Some Like it Hip Hop. Playfully drawing on everything from Shakespeare to Sondheim, Artistic Director Kate Prince and her company present brilliantly exuberant dance adventures overflowing with energy and wit. This new family Christmas show, The Mad Hatter's Tea Party, taps into the heady nonsense of Lewis Carroll's much-loved world, perfect for all the family. ZooNation brings together a talented team of regular collaborators: with innovative designs by Ben Stones and music by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde.

'Una furtiva lagrima' from L'elisir d'amore (Vittorio Grigolo, The Royal Opera)

Vittorio Grigolo as Nemorino sings 'Una furtiva lagrima' from Act II of Laurent Pelly's production of Gaetano Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, The Royal Opera, 2014. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/elisir L'elisir d'amore is one of the most frequently performed of all Donizetti's operas. It combines a touching love story and hilarious comedy with beautiful music, including the much-loved aria 'Una furtiva lagrima'. The opera’s premiere in Milan in 1832 was a triumph and secured Donizetti's place as one of the leading Italian opera composers of his day. The Royal Opera's charming production is set in the sun-drenched countryside of 1950s Italy, complete with haystacks, Vespas and even a stray dog. It is injected with lively, visual humour, from Nemorino's tipsy clowning to Dulcamara's lumbering truck from which he sells his quack remedies. Donizetti deftly brings his characters alive with a sparkling score: Nemorino's love for Adina is expressed through lyrical arias; Adina’s animated, flamboyant style softens as her feelings towards Nemorino begin to change – and all the while Dulcamara endlessly chatters away with irrepressible self-belief.

Aakash Odedra filmed in slow motion

Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk

Thank you for helping us reach 100,000 YouTube subscribers!

The Royal Opera House YouTube account has just surpassed 100,000 subscribers. Here is a thank you from Bryn Terfel, Marianela Nuñez, Jihoon Kim, Joseph Calleja and Yuhui Choe for watching! Subscribe here - https://www.youtube.com/royaloperahouse The ROH YouTube channel features behind the scenes films, clips and insights into Royal Opera and Royal Ballet productions, as well as occasional live streams.

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Mad Hatter Dance Off – The Royal Ballet vs ZooNation

Royal Ballet Principal Steven McRae and ZooNation's Turbo compete in a ballet/tap vs hip-hop dance Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/news/watch-the-mad-hatters-dance-off-between-the-royal-ballets-steven-mcrae-and-zoonations-turbo Two Mad Hatters take to the stages of the Royal Opera House this festive season, in works inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. We couldn’t resist bringing together the two different versions of the same character for a dance-off in full costume in front of an audience of 50 excited children from local school St Joseph’s Primary. Royal Ballet Principal Steven McRae plays the tap-dancing Mad Hatter in The Royal Ballet’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland this Christmas, while Turbo’s hip hop-styled Mad Hatter features in ZooNation’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. The former production will be live in cinemas around the world on 16 December, while the latter will be live-streamed for free via YouTube and this website on 18 December.

Kim Brandstrup's Leda and the Swan (The Royal Ballet)

Choreographer and director Kim Brandstrup's short dance film Leda and the Swan, commissioned by The Royal Ballet for Deloitte Ignite 2014. Performed by dancers Zenaida Yanowsky and Tommy Franzen, and Yeats’s poetry read by actor Fiona Shaw. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/about/deloitte-ignite The annual contemporary arts festival at the Royal Opera House. Deloitte Ignite 2014 was curated by The Royal Ballet and The National Gallery’s Minna Moore Ede, this year's festival is a feast of dance and visual art. The month-long festival celebrated and explored the origin of myth and creation through dance, visual art, film, music and movement. The festival focused on two archetypal myths: Prometheus, the Titan who creates man from clay and steals fire from the Gods, and Leda and the Swan, the mysterious conjunction of a mortal woman and the god Zeus, disguised as a swan.

Royal Opera House Winter 2014/15 - Life Reimagined promo

Find out what's on at http://www.roh.org.uk Highlights of the Winter Season include a new production of Andrea Chénier starring Jonas Kaufmann, a new production of Verdi’s tragic Un ballo in maschera, and The Royal Ballet in John Cranko’s emotionally charged Onegin. 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. The Royal Ballet, led by Director Kevin O'Hare, is Britain’s largest ballet company. The Company has a wide-ranging repertory showcasing the great classical ballets, heritage works from Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton and Principal Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, as well as new works by the foremost choreographers of today.

Don Giovanni - Act I Finale: 'Ecco il birbo che t'ha offesa' (The Royal Opera)

The finale of Act I of Kasper Holten's Royal Opera production of Don Giovanni Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/dongiovanni Starring Mariusz Kwiecień, Alex Esposito, Véronique Gens, Malin Byström, Elizabeth Watts, Antonio Poli, Alexander Tsymbalyuk and Dawid Kimberg. Mozart’s Don Giovanni – first staged in 1787 – offers boundless scope for directors. Kasper Holten's interpretation focuses on the power of the creative imagination. Don Giovanni is cast as an artist who seduces an endless stream of women through his ability to create wonderful illusions. His catalogue of sexual conquests is a vain attempt to escape his own mortality, and ultimately comes at a high price. Holten’s production is rich in both colourful comedy and exhilarating drama. Set designs by Es Devlin (Les Troyens) and costume designs by Anja Vang Kragh (Stella McCartney, John Galliano for Christian Dior), with video projections by Luke Halls and choreography by Signe Fabricius, portray the visually entrancing world of Don Giovanni. At the heart of the production are the beauty and invention of Mozart’s dazzling score, which ranges from gorgeous arias and dramatic duets to the brilliant layering of dance melodies that bring Act I to a virtuoso close.

Rehearsing Un ballo in maschera with the Ladies Chorus (The Royal Opera)

Director Katharina Thoma rehearses Act I Scene 2 of Un ballo in maschera with The Royal Opera Ladies Chorus. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/ballo Giuseppe Verdi set aside his project of adapting King Lear – never to be completed – to create the opera that would eventually become Un ballo in maschera. He selected a pre-existing libretto by Eugène Scribe (originally created for French composer Daniel Auber) on the story of the reformist Swedish king Gustav III, who was assassinated at a masked ball in 1792. The subject was not at all to the taste of the notoriously prickly censors in Naples, who in addition to wanting the setting and period changed demanded that the murder take place offstage. Verdi angrily refused, and sought another theatre to stage the work. The considerably more liberal Teatro Apollo in Rome still insisted a fictional setting be used; Verdi had little choice but to relent, and transformed King Gustav into Riccardo, governor of Boston. The opera was first performed on 17 February 1859 and was an immediate success. Verdi's music for Un ballo in maschera is some of his most sophisticated and subtle, marrying the opulence of French grand opera (a style he had refined in Les Vêpres siciliennes and Don Carlos) with innovative developments in Italian opera. German director Katharina Thoma (Ariadne auf Naxos, Glyndebourne) makes her Royal Opera debut with this new production.

Designing and creating Donna Anna's dress for Don Giovanni (Costume Production Department)

Catriona Paterson, Head of Ladies Costume Production, talks through the process of designing and creating Donna Anna's dress for Don Giovanni. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/dongiovanni

Design Challenge 2014 - creating a marketing strategy

Megan Hall, Marketing Manager for Society of London Theatres, and Simon Magill, Communications Manager at the ROH, talk through how to create an effective marketing strategy. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/designchallenge Now in its fifth year, the 2014 challenge gives students from Creative and Cultural Skills Academy Colleges the opportunity to test and develop their marketing, production and design skills.

Design Challenge 2014 - designing and making a costume

Head of Costume Workshops, Mal Barton, talks through the process of designing and creating a costume for the Royal Opera House main stage. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/designchallenge Now in its fifth year, the 2014 challenge gives students from Creative and Cultural Skills Academy Colleges the opportunity to test and develop their marketing, production and design skills.

Creating Donna Anna's Dress for Don Giovanni (The Royal Opera)

Dye Technician, Marian Padina, and Assistant Head of Dye Shop, Parveen Banga, talk through the process of dying Donna Anna's dress for Don Giovanni. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/dongiovanni

Lucy Crowe on why L'elisir d'amore's Adina is a very modern operatic heroine (The Royal Opera)

Soprano Lucy Crowe on why the character of Adina is different to many operatic heroines, and why she's a decidedly modern character. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/elisir L'elisir d'amore is one of the most frequently performed of all Donizetti's operas. It combines a touching love story and hilarious comedy with beautiful music, including the much-loved aria 'Una furtiva lagrima'. The opera’s premiere in Milan in 1832 was a triumph and secured Donizetti's place as one of the leading Italian opera composers of his day. The Royal Opera's charming production is set in the sun-drenched countryside of 1950s Italy, complete with haystacks, Vespas and even a stray dog. It is injected with lively, visual humour, from Nemorino's tipsy clowning to Dulcamara's lumbering truck from which he sells his quack remedies. Donizetti deftly brings his characters alive with a sparkling score: Nemorino's love for Adina is expressed through lyrical arias; Adina’s animated, flamboyant style softens as her feelings towards Nemorino begin to change – and all the while Dulcamara endlessly chatters away with irrepressible self-belief.

An introduction to Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore (The Royal Opera)

Bryn Terfel, Vittorio Grigolo, Lucy Crowe and the cast on why they love L'elisir d'amore and what makes it so enjoyable to perform. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/elisir L'elisir d'amore is one of the most frequently performed of all Donizetti's operas. It combines a touching love story and hilarious comedy with beautiful music, including the much-loved aria 'Una furtiva lagrima'. The opera’s premiere in Milan in 1832 was a triumph and secured Donizetti's place as one of the leading Italian opera composers of his day. The Royal Opera's charming production is set in the sun-drenched countryside of 1950s Italy, complete with haystacks, Vespas and even a stray dog. It is injected with lively, visual humour, from Nemorino's tipsy clowning to Dulcamara's lumbering truck from which he sells his quack remedies. Donizetti deftly brings his characters alive with a sparkling score: Nemorino's love for Adina is expressed through lyrical arias; Adina’s animated, flamboyant style softens as her feelings towards Nemorino begin to change – and all the while Dulcamara endlessly chatters away with irrepressible self-belief.

Directors Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier on Il turco in Italia (The Royal Opera)

Directors Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier on the story and setting of Rossini's comic opera Il Turco in Italia. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/il-turco-in-italia-by-moshe-leiser Rossini was just 22 when he wrote Il turco in Italia, his 13th opera and his third for La Scala, Milan. The young composer clearly relished librettist Felice Romani's outrageous farce, which serves up brazen ridiculousness with cynical delight. But the heroine's wildly immoral antics caused some consternation at the opera's premiere on 14 August 1814, and would play a part in Il turco's virtual disappearance from Europe's stages later in the century. The opera wasn't seen again until 1950, in Luchino Visconti's La Scala production, which starred Maria Callas as the incorrigible Fiorilla. The production's triumph secured the opera's position as one of Rossini's most complex and uproarious comedies. Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier's 2005 production – the Royal Opera House's first – evokes the postwar era in which Il turco was rediscovered. Rossini's acerbic absurdities become the ingredients of a glamorous Fellini-esque comedy, set under the baking Neapolitan sun. Bright colours, breathtaking slapstick and irrepressible energy are the perfect accompaniment to Rossini's exhilarating bel canto music, which includes an array of show-stopping arias, duets and the famous quintet 'Oh! guardate che accidente'.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland trailer (The Royal Ballet)

Follow Alice down the rabbit hole in Christopher Wheeldon’s thrillingly entertaining ballet. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/alice Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland arrived on the stage in 2011 with a burst of colour, theatrical magic and inventive choreography. It was The Royal Ballet’s first new full-length work since 1995 and was greeted with delight by audiences. Joby Talbot’s score combines contemporary soundworlds with sweeping melodies that gesture to ballet scores of the 19th century. Bob Crowley’s wildly imaginative sets and costumes draw on puppetry, projections and masks to make Wonderland wonderfully real. Alice encounters a cast of extraordinary characters, from the highly-strung Queen of Hearts, who performs a hilarious send-up of The Sleeping Beauty's famous Rose Adage, to dancing playing cards, a sinuous caterpillar and a tap-dancing Mad Hatter. Alice and the Knave of Hearts dance a tender, loving pas de deux of delicate beauty. But the ballet does not avoid the darker undercurrents of Lewis Carroll’s story – a nightmarish kitchen, an eerily disembodied Cheshire Cat and the unhinged tea party are all created in vivid detail.

Don Quixote - Act I finale (Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta, The Royal Ballet)

Carlos Acosta as Don Quixote, Marianela Nuñez as Kitri, Yuhui Choe and Beatriz Stix-Brunell as Kitri's friends, Luca Acri, Paul Kay, Kenta Kura and Michael Stojko as the Rascals, Philip Mosley as Sancho Panza, Gary Avis as Lorenzo and Bennet Gartside as Gamache in Carlos Acosta's production of Marius Petipa's Don Quixote, with music by Ludwig Minkus. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/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 exuberance of the production as a whole. 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.

Andrea Chénier trailer | The Royal Opera

David McVicar directs a new production of Umberto Giordano's passionate drama of liberty and love in the French Revolution. Starring Eva-Maria Westbroek and Jonas Kaufmann. Conducted by Antonio Pappano. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/chenier Music courtesy of Warner Music. Buy track here - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/giordano-andrea-chenier/id693510501

The Winter's Tale - Act I Trial scene (The Royal Ballet)

Lauren Cuthbertson as Hermione and Edward Watson as Leontes in the Act I Trial Scene of Christopher's Wheeldon's The Winter's Tale, with music by Joby Talbot. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/tale Following his charming Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and a series of short ballets including Aeternum and Polyphonia, Christopher Wheeldon presents a new full-length work at Covent Garden. He draws on another much-loved work of English literature: The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s late, great romance. The story follows the destruction of a marriage through consuming jealousy, the abandonment of a child and a seemingly hopeless love. Yet, through remorse and regret – and after a statue comes miraculously to life – the ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation. Wheeldon continues his highly successful collaboration with designer Bob Crowley and composer Joby Talbot, the team behind Alice, in one of the highlights of The Royal Ballet Season.

The Flying Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer) trailer | The Royal Opera

Tim Albery's acclaimed production is a darkly insightful account of Wagner's early masterpiece, The Flying Dutchman. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/hollander Shortly before the premiere of Der fliegende Holländer in Dresden, Wagner had returned from a deeply unsuccessful two-year stint in Paris. He had gone there to make his fortune, but found his way barred by a strict class-based system. One of the bitterest blows came when Léon Pillet, director of the Paris Opéra, accepted his libretto for Der fliegende Holländer – but then commissioned a score not from Wagner but from French composer Pierre-Louis Dietsch. But the Dresden premieres of first Rienzi in October 1842 and Der fliegende Holländer in January 1843 were immense successes, and marked the beginning of Wagner's career as one of the greatest operatic composers. Tim Albery's Olivier-nominated production for The Royal Opera delves deep into the psychology of Wagner's cursed wanderer and his beloved Senta, detailing the monomania and uncompromising idealism that finally drives them apart. Michael Levine's elemental single set is dominated by a rolling metal hull that represents the Dutchman's phantom ship, the poverty of Senta's home and the treacherous sea. Music Courtesy of Warner Music. Buy track here - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/wagner-der-fliegende-hollander/id726227700

How to sing Rossini with Mark Elder (The Royal Opera)

Conductor Mark Elder and mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly explore the music of Rossini through Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville). Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/barbiere 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. 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.

Alan Titchmarsh on his role in The Wind in the Willows at the Vaudeville Theatre

An introduction to Will Tuckett's The Wind in the Willows by Alan Titchmarsh who plays narrator Kenneth Grahame in the production at the Vaudeville Theatre. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/willows Will Tuckett brings The Wind in the Willows to life through action, dance, song, music and puppetry. This colourful and witty re-creation of the story was originally commissioned by the Royal Opera House and enjoyed four highly successful runs in the Linbury Studio Theatre. The escapades of the reckless Toad and his long-suffering friends Ratty, Mole and wise Badger, are brought to life in a magical, riverside setting. Set to a wonderful score by Martin Ward that draws its inspiration from the music of Edwardian composer George Butterworth, this adaptation will introduce the much-loved tale to awhole new generation of fans.

Manon in rehearsal (The Royal Ballet)

Watch Melissa Hamilton and Matthew Golding rehearse the bedroom pas de deux from Kenneth MacMillan's Manon with Anthony Dowell and Antoinette Sibley. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/manon

Idomeneo trailer (The Royal Opera)

Love and sacrifice vie in Mozart's sublime early masterpiece, directed by Martin Kušej in his UK debut. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/Idomeneo The premiere of Idomeneo on 29 January 1781 came just two days after Mozart's 25th birthday. It was his 13th work for the stage and marks his full maturity as a dramatic composer. The plot moves with breathless immediacy, plunging the characters into extreme emotional states, taking the audience with them. Idomeneo also features some of Mozart's most varied and inventive music, including the heroic regality of Idomeneo's 'Fuor del mar', the tenderness of Ilia and Idamante’s duet ‘S’io non moro a questi accenti’ and the furious vocal acrobatics of Elettra's 'D'Oreste, d'Ajace'. Austrian Martin Kušej is considered one of the most important directors working today, acclaimed for his dark and incisive productions such as Der fliegende Holländer for Netherlands Opera and La forza del destino for Bavarian State Opera. His creative team includes frequent collaborators set designer Annette Murschetz, costume designer Heide Kastler and lighting designer Reinhard Traub.

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Covent Garden
London
WC2E 9DD

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