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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

Will Self - Contain Your Self

Can a production ever rupture opera's moneyed bourgeois complacency? Will Self argues that opera cannot subversive in the 21st century as it once was. This lecture was originally delivered as a live-stream on 4 March 2015, focused around Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. In it the author and Professor of Contemporary Thought at Brunel University, presents a lecture on whether Weil and Brecht's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny can ever rupture opera's moneyed bourgeois complacency. He argues that Mahagonny, as it stands, cannot hope to be as subversive now as its creators originally intended. The lecture sees Self in full flow, challenging the very purpose of opera and the organizations that create it. The clip also features internationally acclaimed soprano Angel Blue singing works from Weill and Brecht, including Mahagonny’s now iconic ‘Alabama Song’. In Self’s own words: ‘In the past operas provoked riots – I want my lecture about an opera to provoke one.’

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny trailer (The Royal Opera)

John Fulljames presents a new production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's furiously impassioned operatic satire on consumerism. Find out more: http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/rise-and-fall-of-the-city-of-mahagonny-by-john-fulljames Three criminals on the run find they can go no further and found a city – Mahagonny, city of gold. The destitute and the disenchanted flock to Mahagonny, among them the prostitute Jenny and the lumberjack Jim Mahoney with his three friends. The city swells with debauchery. Jim and Jenny try to escape, but find themselves still in Mahagonny. Jim is arrested and convicted of myriad crimes – chief among them a lack of money, punishable by death. He is executed and the city burns.

Les Vêpres siciliennes: 'Au sein des mers...' (The Royal Opera)

'Au sein des mers et battu par l’orage' from Verdi's Les Vêpres siciliennes sung by Lianna Haroutounian (Hélène). Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/les-vepres-siciliennes-by-stefan-herheim The French have occupied Sicily, and Hélène is held hostage by Montfort, the French governor, who has had her brother executed. She turns to the partisan Jean Procida and the rebellious patriot Henri in her bid for vengeance. Les Vêpres siciliennes is one of Verdi’s lesser-known mature operas, but was vital to his development as a composer. It was created for the Paris Opéra in 1855, providing Verdi with an opportunity to embrace the elaborate style and traditions of French grand opera. Stefan Herheim brings Verdi’s tale of revenge, family relations and patriotism to Covent Garden for the first time. His imaginative production draws parallels between the opera and the opera house for which it was written, including a spectacular re-creation of the Paris Opéra itself. Musically, the work contains impressive choruses, passionate duets and some wonderful showpiece arias for the principal singers. Particular highlights include Procida’s aria on returning to Sicily ‘Et toi, Palerme’, the Act IV duet ‘De courroux et d’effroi’ in which Hélène expresses her sympathy for Henri’s dilemma and Hélène’s brilliant Act V boléro, ‘Merci, jeunes amis’.

Andrea Chénier: 'Nemico della patria?' (The Royal Opera)

Željko Lučić plays Carlo Gérard in David McVicar's production of Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chénier, a drama of liberty and love in the French Revolution. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/andrea-chenier-by-david-mcvicar The poet Andrea Chénier and the servant Carlo Gérard both love the young aristocrat Maddalena. When Maddalena loses everything in the French Revolution, Chénier offers her protection, and so incites the envy of Gérard, now a powerful official. Chénier is arrested during the Terror. Gérard, spurred by his jealousy, condemns him. Maddalena makes a desperate appeal, and Gérard tries, too late, to defend Chénier. Gérard helps Maddalena to join Chénier in prison, and the lovers face the guillotine together. The premiere of Andrea Chénier at La Scala, Milan, on 28 March 1896 propelled the young Umberto Giordano to the front rank of the giovane scuola (an up-and-coming group of young Italian composers that included Puccini and Mascagni). The opera exemplifies the verismo style that dominated Italian opera of the period – nowhere more so than in Giordano's skilful interpolation of different musical styles to provide local colour, from the aristocratic Gavotte of Act I to the Marseillaise in Act IV. The libretto by Luigi Illica (Puccini’s collaborator for Manon Lescaut, La bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly) was inspired by the real-life Romantic poet André Chénier, who was guillotined just three days before Robespierre's execution. Andrea Chénier has become celebrated for the lyrical music it offers the tenor who takes the leading role, with the off-the-cuff Improvviso of Act I and his final aria 'Come un bel dì di maggio' particular highlights. But there are thrilling moments for the whole cast, including Maddalena's ardent aria 'La mamma morta', Gérard’s 'Nemico della patria!’ and a host of dramatic duets and characterful ensembles. David McVicar (whose productions for The Royal Opera include Le nozze di Figaro, Faust and Die Zauberflöte) directs The Royal Opera's new production, moving from the opulence of pre-Revolutionary France to the horrors of the Reign of Terror.

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King Size (The Royal Opera | Theater Basel)

A somnolent couple in a huge hotel bedroom sing songs ranging from Purcell to pop, in Christoph Marthaler's acclaimed reimagining of the Liederabend (‘evening of song’). Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/king-size-by-christoph-marthaler A couple are trying to sleep in an unfamiliar room, but they feel lost in the huge bed. As their dreams take over they console themselves through songs from Purcell to The Jackson 5 via Schumann and Michel Polnareff. Swiss director and composer Christoph Marthaler has long been at the forefront of European theatre. In King Size, first performed in Basel in 2013, he presents a hugely original take on the Liederabend. In Mathaler's hands this traditional 'evening of song' becomes a witty, charming and profound meditation on love and the seduction of dreams. At the heart of Marthaler's vision is the musical phenomenon of enharmonics – two notes that have different names but sound the same. Mathaler uses this idea not only to unite songs from across lyrical history but to explore self and other, dream and reality. Bendix Dethleffsen creates the score.

The Grand Inquisitor from Verdi's Don Carlo (The Royal Opera 2008)

'Nell'ispano suol mai l'eresia dominò' from Act IV of Nicholas Hytner's production of Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlo with Ferruccio Furlanetto as King Philip and Eric Halfvarson as the Grand Inquisitor, The Royal Opera, 2008. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/doncarlo Politics and religion are dangerously entwined in Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo. Based on a 1787 play by Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlo was first performed at the Paris Opéra in 1867. Verdi made extensive revisions to the opera over the following 20 years. This production by Nicholas Hytner follows the five-act 1882 version – Verdi’s final thoughts on the work. Don Carlo contains a host of vividly drawn characters, depicted through some of Verdi’s most complex music. The chilling Grand Inquisitor imposes his will in thunderous, dark-toned music, while the revolutionary Marquis of Posa sings a stirring duet with Don Carlos in praise of freedom. And in Eboli and Elizabeth, Verdi created two of his most sympathetic heroines. The Royal Opera’s staging provides a powerful backdrop, and conjures up the Renaissance splendour of 16th-century France and Spain.

Il Turco in Italia trailer (The Royal Opera)

Rossini's irresistible comic opera glows with Fellini-esque glamour in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier's sun-drenched production. 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'.

Hofesh Shechter rehearses his debut Royal Ballet work

Hofesh Shechter is bringing visceral, urgent language to The Royal Ballet in his first work for the Company. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/new-hofesh-shechter-by-hofesh-shechter Hofesh Shechter, winner of the 2008 Critics' Circle for Best Choreography (Modern), brings his thrilling and politicized choreography to the Royal Opera House for the first time in a new work for The Royal Ballet. The Israeli-born choreographer and composer has been acclaimed for his immersive and exhilarating works, which include Uprising/In your Rooms, Political Mother and Sun. Shechter's works share an uncompromising political edge and subversive wildness. His choreographic language integrates muscular loping with folk dancing. His music, strongly influenced by his percussionist training, is as explosive as his dance, while he furthers the immersive quality of his works with an innovative use of lighting, incorporating the vocabulary of cinema in effects such as loops, rewinds, blackouts and jump cuts.

6 of our favourite romantic ballets

Happy Valentine's Day from the Royal Opera House. To celebrate we've picked out six of our favourite romantic ballets. Find out what they are (and choose your own) at http://www.roh.org.uk/news/watch-6-of-the-most-romantic-ballets

Mayerling bedroom pas de deux (The Royal Ballet)

Edward Watson as the Crown Prince Rudolf and Mara Galeazzi as Mary Vetsera in Kenneth MacMillan's Royal Ballet production of Mayerling. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/mayerling-by-kenneth-macmillan Kenneth MacMillan turned to the double suicide of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and his teenage mistress for this 1978 work. The music of Franz Liszt, arranged by John Lanchbery, provides a sweeping soundscape to match the high emotion of the drama, while the designs of Nicholas Georgiadis bring to life the privileged and oppressive society of the Austro-Hungarian court. MacMillan’s choreography balances the large-scale – the pomp of a royal wedding and the splendour of a ballroom – with intimate scenes and a willingness to push the boundaries of classical ballet. The role of Rudolf, the violent and troubled Crown Prince of Vienna, is one of the most demanding ever created for a male dancer. His psychological and emotional decline is charted in a series of shockingly charged pas de deux with the women in his life: his mother, his unhappy bride and his young mistress, the neurotic Mary Vetsera.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Knave of Hearts Pas de deux (The Royal Ballet)

Sarah Lamb as Alice and Federico Bonelli as Jack/Knave of Hearts in The Royal Ballet's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 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.

Orfeo (In Full) (The Royal Opera/Roundhouse)

Michael Boyd directs a new production of Monteverdi's masterpiece, the first great opera, at the Roundhouse. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/orfeo-by-michael-boyd Claim your free Digital Programme (usual price £2.99) using the promo code 'orfeo' at http://www.roh.org.uk/publications/orfeo-digital-programme. The Digital programme contains films, articles, pictures and features to bring you closer to the production. 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 features the Orchestra of the Early Opera Company conducted by Christopher Moulds, post-graduate students of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and participants of East London Dance.

Falstaff trailer (The Royal Opera)

Robert Carsen’s production of Verdi’s masterful comic opera is filled with wit, humour and joie de vivre. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/falstaff Giuseppe Verdi's final opera tells the tale of a portly knight with an irrepressible appetite for life, love and laughter. Falstaff crowned a career that spanned more than fifty years. Arrigo Boito – with whom Verdi also collaborated on Otello and the revisions for Simon Boccanegra – created a sparkling libretto based on Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV Parts I and II. Verdi matched the libretto’s sprightliness with a score full of quicksilver switches in mood and tempo. Falstaff had its premiere in Milan in 1893 when Verdi was 79 and was instantly hailed as a masterpiece. Robert Carsen's production is set in 1950s England and draws out the warmth, love of food and comedy at the heart of the opera. Falstaff moves from comic intrigue, as the 'merry wives' outmanoeuvre the scheming men, to tender romance and infectious merriment. Musical highlights include Falstaff's monologue in Act I in which he mocks honour, Fenton's lovestruck sonnet in Act III, the wives’ jubilant plotting ensembles and the final – sublime – fugue in praise of laughter.

Romeo and Juliet - Balcony pas de deux (The Royal Ballet)

Federico Bonelli as Romeo and Lauren Cuthbertson as Juliet perform the Balcony pas de deux in Kenneth MacMillan's Royal Ballet production of Romeo and Juliet. http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/romeo-and-juliet-by-kenneth-macmillan Kenneth MacMillan brings a contemporary interpretation to Sergei Prokofiev's classic score. His version of the ballet draws out the emotional and psychological intensity at the heart of the tale. Romeo and Juliet contains three passionate pas de deux: from the lovers' first meeting and the famous balcony scene to the devastating final tragedy. The lovers' story is set against a wonderful evocation of 16th-century Verona: a bustling market place erupts into a violent sword fight and a lavish ball is held at an elegant mansion. MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet first arrived at Covent Garden in 1965. Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn took the title roles. The performance received a rapturous reception, with 43 curtain calls and almost fotry minutes of applause. It has been at the heart of the Company’s repertory ever since, amassing more than four hundred performances. This classic production has been toured around the world. It was recently adapted for arena-scale performances at the O2 Arena, keeping MacMillan’s vision powerfully alive in the 21st century.

The Sleeping Beauty - The First Awakening (The Royal Ballet)

Steven McRae as Prince Charming and Sarah Lamb as Princess Aurora perform The First Awakening in Marius Petipa's Royal Ballet production of The Sleeping Beauty. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/the-sleeping-beauty-by-marius-petipa The Sleeping Beauty holds a special place in The Royal Ballet’s repertory. It was the ballet with which the Company reopened the Royal Opera House in 1946 after World War II, announcing its move from Sadler’s Wells to Covent Garden. Margot Fonteyn danced the role of the beautiful princess Aurora in the first performance, with Robert Helpmann as Prince Florimund. Sixty years later, in 2006, the original 1946 staging was revived, returning Oliver Messel’s wonderful designs and glittering costumes to the stage once again. Marius Petipa’s classic 19th-century choreography is combined with newly created sections by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon. The ballet contains many memorable moments, from the iconic Rose Adagio, when Aurora meets her four royal suitors, to the vigorous hunting dances and the famous waltz for Aurora and her Prince. Throughout, Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky’s score conveys passion and intensity.

Don Quixote - Act II pas de deux (The Royal Ballet)

Carlos Acosta as Basilio and Marianela Nuñez as Kitri perform the Act II pas de deux in Carlos Acosta's Royal Ballet production of Don Quixote. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/don-quixote-by-carlos-acosta 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.

Tosca - Te Deum (Bryn Terfel, The Royal Opera)

Bryn Terfel as Scarpia performing 'Te Deum' from Act I of Jonathan Kent's production of Tosca (2011). The Royal Opera. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/tosca-by-jonathan-kent Find out more: http://www.roh.org.uk/about/bp-big-screens From its famous, dissonant opening chords, Tosca conjures up a world of political instability and menace. The Chief of Police, Scarpia – one of the most malevolent villains in opera – ruthlessly pursues and tortures enemies of the state. His dark, demonic music contrasts with the expansive melodies of the idealistic lovers, Tosca and Cavaradossi, who express their passion in sublime arias. Giacomo Puccini’s dramatic work was an instant hit with audiences on its 1900 premiere and it remains one of the most performed of all operas. A candle-lit church, the darkness of a brooding study with its hidden torture chamber and the false optimism of a Roman dawn: Jonathan Kent’s naturalistic production throws into relief the ruthlessly taut drama, as the tension is wound up towards its fateful conclusion. Puccini’s score is infused with the same authentic detail, from distant canon fire during the Act I ‘Te Deum’ to tolling church bells and the sounds of a firing squad.

The Nutcracker – The Waltz of the Snowflakes (The Royal Ballet)

The Royal Ballet perform the Waltz of the Snowflakes in The Nutcracker, with Meaghan Grace Hinkis as Clara, Ricardo Cervera as the Nutcracker and Gary Avis as Drosselmeyer. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without this seasonal favorite, in which a young girl's enchanted present leads her on a wonderful adventure. Find out more at: http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/the-nutcracker-by-peter-wright Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker score was commissioned by the director of the Russian Imperial Theatres, following the resounding success of Sleeping Beauty in 1890. Marius Petipa created the scenario – based on a fairytale by E. T. A. Hoffman – and Lev Ivanov provided the choreography. The Nutcracker was first performed in 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. It initially had a poor reception, but its combination of enchanting choreography and an unforgettable score have since made it one of the best-loved of all ballets. In Peter Wright's classic production, the stage sparkles with theatrical magic – a Christmas tree grows before our eyes, toy soldiers come to life to fight the villainous Mouse King and Clara is whisked to the Land of Sweets on a golden sleigh. Tchaikovsky's score contains some of the best-known melodies in ballet, from the flurrying sounds of the Waltz of the Snowflakes to the dream-like Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the vigorous Russian Dance. Julia Trevelyan Oman's designs draw upon 19th-century images of Christmas, making this a classic production for the festive season.

Bryn Terfel on The Flying Dutchman (The Royal Opera)

Bass-baritone Bryn Terfel discusses the complexities of The Dutchman and working with conductor Andris Nelsons in Tim Albery's production of 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.

Christopher Carr on Frederick Ashton (The Royal Ballet)

Guest Principal Ballet Master Christopher Carr talks about his working relationship with the Founding Choreographer of The Royal Ballet Sir Frederick Ashton. http://www.roh.org.uk/people/frederick-ashton Interview footage captured in association with BBC Arts http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/gh4T9R7Qx9M8rksjkPlrJM/frederick-ashton-a-genius-of-the-dance Founding Choreographer of The Royal Ballet Frederick Ashton (1904–88) was one of the most influential dance figures of the 20th century. In his work with the Company he developed the distinctive 'English style', and left a vast corpus of works that are regularly performed by The Royal Ballet and companies around the world, among them La Fille mal gardée, Marguerite and Armand and Symphonic Variations.

Matthew Ball and Vadim Muntagirov on playing Lensky in Onegin (The Royal Ballet)

Dancers of The Royal Ballet, Matthew Ball and Vadim Muntagirov on what the role of Lensky means to them. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/onegin John Cranko became acquainted with Alexander Pushkin’s verse-novel Eugene Onegin when he choreographed the dances for Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky’s opera of the same name in 1952. He created his own distinctive version of Pushkin’s work in 1965 for the Stuttgart Ballet. Onegin displays all of Cranko’s genius as a narrative choreographer, featuring finely drawn characters who are transformed by the conflicts they face. Onegin and Tatiana’s relationship is depicted in intense duets, such as the letter-writing scene, when the youthful Tatiana dances a dream pas de deux with her longed-for lover. The role of Tatiana offers a ballerina many challenges – the development of a bookish country girl into a sophisticated woman at the pinnacle of St Petersburg society requires dramatic sensibility and technical finesse. Cranko’s choreography incorporates an eclectic range of dance forms, including folk, modern, ballroom and acrobatic, and is accompanied by Kurt-Heinz Stolze’s soaring arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s music, drawing principally on his works for piano.

Thiago Soares and Valeri Hristov on why Onegin is a masterpiece (The Royal Ballet)

Principal dancers for The Royal Ballet Thiago Soares and Valeri Hristov on playing Onegin in John Cranko's ballet Onegin. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/onegin John Cranko became acquainted with Alexander Pushkin’s verse-novel Eugene Onegin when he choreographed the dances for Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky’s opera of the same name in 1952. He created his own distinctive version of Pushkin’s work in 1965 for the Stuttgart Ballet. Onegin displays all of Cranko’s genius as a narrative choreographer, featuring finely drawn characters who are transformed by the conflicts they face. Onegin and Tatiana’s relationship is depicted in intense duets, such as the letter-writing scene, when the youthful Tatiana dances a dream pas de deux with her longed-for lover. The role of Tatiana offers a ballerina many challenges – the development of a bookish country girl into a sophisticated woman at the pinnacle of St Petersburg society requires dramatic sensibility and technical finesse. Cranko’s choreography incorporates an eclectic range of dance forms, including folk, modern, ballroom and acrobatic, and is accompanied by Kurt-Heinz Stolze’s soaring arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s music, drawing principally on his works for piano.

Natalia Osipova on Onegin (The Royal Ballet)

Principal of The Royal Ballet Natalia Osipova on preparing for her debut performance as Tatiana in John Cranko's Onegin. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/onegin John Cranko became acquainted with Alexander Pushkin’s verse-novel Eugene Onegin when he choreographed the dances for Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky’s opera of the same name in 1952. He created his own distinctive version of Pushkin’s work in 1965 for the Stuttgart Ballet. Onegin displays all of Cranko’s genius as a narrative choreographer, featuring finely drawn characters who are transformed by the conflicts they face. Onegin and Tatiana’s relationship is depicted in intense duets, such as the letter-writing scene, when the youthful Tatiana dances a dream pas de deux with her longed-for lover. The role of Tatiana offers a ballerina many challenges – the development of a bookish country girl into a sophisticated woman at the pinnacle of St Petersburg society requires dramatic sensibility and technical finesse. Cranko’s choreography incorporates an eclectic range of dance forms, including folk, modern, ballroom and acrobatic, and is accompanied by Kurt-Heinz Stolze’s soaring arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s music, drawing principally on his works for piano.

Andrea Chénier Vocal Masterclass with Antonio Pappano (The Royal Opera)

Antonio Pappano explores Giordano's Andrea Chénier score, identifies where the challenges are and offers vocals tips. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/andrea-chenier-by-david-mcvicar The Music Director of The Royal Opera works with Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek in this clip, broadcast as part of the live cinema relay of David McVicar's production on 29 January 2015. The premiere of Andrea Chénier at La Scala, Milan, on 28 March 1896 propelled the young Umberto Giordano to the front rank of the giovane scuola (an up-and-coming group of young Italian composers that included Puccini and Mascagni). The opera exemplifies the verismo style that dominated Italian opera of the period – nowhere more so than in Giordano's skilful interpolation of different musical styles to provide local colour, from the aristocratic Gavotte of Act I to the Marseillaise in Act IV. The libretto by Luigi Illica (Puccini’s collaborator for Manon Lescaut, La bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly) was inspired by the real-life Romantic poet André Chénier, who was guillotined just three days before Robespierre's execution. Andrea Chénier has become celebrated for the lyrical music it offers the tenor who takes the leading role, with the off-the-cuff Improvviso of Act I and his final aria 'Come un bel dì di maggio' particular highlights. But there are thrilling moments for the whole cast, including Maddalena's ardent aria 'La mamma morta', Gérard’s 'Nemico della patria!’ and a host of dramatic duets and characterful ensembles. David McVicar (whose productions for The Royal Opera include Le nozze di Figaro, Faust and Die Zauberflöte) directs The Royal Opera's new production, moving from the opulence of pre-Revolutionary France to the horrors of the Reign of Terror.

An introduction to Andrea Chénier (The Royal Opera)

The cast and creative team of Andrea Chénier including Jonas Kaufmann, Eva-Maria Westbroek and Antonio Pappano introduce Giordano's passionate opera about the French revolution. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/andrea-chenier-by-david-mcvicar The premiere of Andrea Chénier at La Scala, Milan, on 28 March 1896 propelled the young Umberto Giordano to the front rank of the giovane scuola (an up-and-coming group of young Italian composers that included Puccini and Mascagni). The opera exemplifies the verismo style that dominated Italian opera of the period – nowhere more so than in Giordano's skilful interpolation of different musical styles to provide local colour, from the aristocratic Gavotte of Act I to the Marseillaise in Act IV. The libretto by Luigi Illica (Puccini’s collaborator for Manon Lescaut, La bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly) was inspired by the real-life Romantic poet André Chénier, who was guillotined just three days before Robespierre's execution. Andrea Chénier has become celebrated for the lyrical music it offers the tenor who takes the leading role, with the off-the-cuff Improvviso of Act I and his final aria 'Come un bel dì di maggio' particular highlights. But there are thrilling moments for the whole cast, including Maddalena's ardent aria 'La mamma morta', Gérard’s 'Nemico della patria!’ and a host of dramatic duets and characterful ensembles. David McVicar (whose productions for The Royal Opera include Le nozze di Figaro, Faust and Die Zauberflöte) directs The Royal Opera's new production, moving from the opulence of pre-Revolutionary France to the horrors of the Reign of Terror.

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