Skip to main content Skip to site map (in footer)

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

Apollo in Rehearsal (The Royal Ballet)

Watch Jonathan Cope teach the role of Apollo to Royal Ballet dancer Nicol Edmunds. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust Music - Igor Stravinsky. By kind arrangement with Boosey & Hawkes. Piano - Tim Qualtrough George Balanchine was just 24 when he created his ballet about the youthful Greek god Apollo. It was a landmark in his career, in which he moved from the modernism of earlier works to re-embrace and reinterpret classical choreography. The ballet also marked the start of a long, collaborative relationship with Igor Stravinsky, who produced a score of neoclassical vitality. Apollo had its premiere in 1928 and its success launched Balanchine onto the international stage. The ballet opens with the birth of Apollo against a luminous blue background, evoking the Aegean Sea. Three muses, wearing brilliant white costumes, dance solo variations before Apollo dances a pas de deux with Terpsichore, the muse of dance. Balanchine's choreography is perfectly in tune with Stravinsky's music, which moves between dynamic playfulness and moments of solemnity.

Conductor Dominic Peckham introduces Big Sing Fridays

Explore the world of opera with The Royal Opera's music staff and guest artists at Big Sing Fridays, a group sing-along in the Paul Hamlyn Hall. The event, which takes place at lunchtimes on selected Fridays, is open to all, so bring along some friends and colleagues and a sense of fun! Find out more: http://www.roh.org.uk/functions/big-sing-fridays

Ermonela Jaho on why she loves La bohème (The Royal Opera)

In 2014, Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho sings the role of Mimì in The Royal Opera's La bohème. Find out more at 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.

The Jewel Song from Gounod's Faust (The Royal Opera)

Angela Gheorghiu as Marguerite sings the Jewel Song from Act III of Gounod's Faust. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/faust-by-david-mcvicar

Show 21 more videos

'Parigi, o cara' from La traviata (The Royal Opera)

Renée Fleming as Violetta Valéry and Joseph Calleja as Alfredo Germont sing the duet 'Parigi, o cara' from Act III of Verdi's opera La traviata. In it they sing of their dreams for the future -- in spite of Violetta's terrible illness. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/la-traviata-by-richard-eyre

Dialogues des Carmélites trailer (The Royal Opera)

Robert Carsen's award-winning production of Poulenc's sublime opera is set during the violent upheaval of the French Revolution. http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/dialogues-des-carmelites-by-robert-carsen The terror and turbulence of the French Revolution provides the backdrop for Francis Poulenc's powerful opera of faith, bravery and redemption. Poulenc created the libretto for Dialogues des Carmélites after a play of the same name by writer Georges Bernanos and the opera was given its premiere at La Scala, Milan, in 1957. It arrived at Covent Garden the following year, with a cast that featured Dame Joan Sutherland in the role of the courageous Mother Marie of the Incarnation. Director Robert Carsen -- who staged Falstaff at the Royal Opera House in 2012 -- brings his intense and daring production of Dialogues des Carmélites to The Royal Opera for the first time. The starkly beautiful staging combines modern designs and period costumes with stunning lighting effects. It throws into relief Poulenc's radiant and exhilarating score, which draws on the resources of a large orchestra (including two harps, a piano and even a guillotine). Dialogues des Carmélites culminates in one of opera's most devastating final scenes, as Blanche embraces death with her fellow nuns to a transcendent setting of the hymn Salve Regina hymn.

If Play Is Play: HeadSpaceDance in rehearsal

HeadSpaceDance -- with Christopher Akrill, Clemmie Sveaas, Jonathan Goddard and Gemma Nixon -- returns to the Linbury with a vibrant new programme of work by contemporary choreographers. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/headspacedance HeadSpaceDance -- directed and curated by Christopher Akrill and Charlotte Broom -- present their new programme If Play Is Play..., a dance-drama collaboration with actor, playwright and director Matthew Dunster and choreographers Luca Silvestrini and Johan Inger. Performers Christopher Akrill, Clemmie Sveaas, Gemma Nixon and Jonathan Goddard dance the exciting programme, giving audiences a chance to follow this talented new company's next steps. HeadSpaceDance made its company debut in autumn 2012 with Three & Four Quarters. The programme included specially commissioned work from celebrated choreographers Javier de Frutos, Luca Silvestrini and Didy Veldman, and was met with great acclaim: 'It's not often you're in at the birth of a company who may just change the landscape' (Evening Standard).

Carlos Acosta on Don Quixote and advice for young dancers (The Royal Ballet)

Cuban ballet superstar Carlos Acosta on his production of Don Quixote and cautionary words for young dancers lured by fame. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk 'It's very hard to choreograph and dance at the same time - especially a three-act ballet! I learned from Don Quixote that we need time, but it's a work in progress,' Carlos told presenter Alan Titchmarsh of amending works right up to (and even after) the curtain rising. 'Even Kenneth MacMillan, when he created Manon, would see it from the front and say "that's not working" or "it's a little slow". It's then adjusted until finally you get the definitive version.' 'I studied every production of Don Quixote that had been made, with a critical eye. I tried to see what works, what was lacking and what I could bring. These classic ballets, they have been created so long ago and what was funny then may not be funny now. It needs to be made accessible so people have a strong connection.' Carlos also spoke of growing up in an impoverished district of Havana, the youngest of eleven children: 'My father fought for every penny so if you asked him for something you had to beg. I was always restless and liked football and baseball, I'd been expelled from school and I saw the National Ballet of Cuba perform. They had such powerful leaps and I thought 'Wow! This is wonderful - I want to lift women with one hand!'. Other topics covered at the Insight included his views on younger dancers, fame and discipline; his love for Kenneth MacMillan's ballets such as Manon and Romeo and Juliet; and how he believes ballet can stay relevant.

In Conversation with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (The Royal Opera)

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has delighted audiences around the world for decades. Watch one of the outstanding sopranos of her generation talk to Sir John Tusa about her extraordinary career. Find out more about Dame Kiri at http://www.roh.org.uk/people/kiri-te-kanawa Te Kanawa was born in Gisborne, New Zealand. She was educated at Saint Mary's College, Auckland, and began her singing training there as a mezzo-soprano. She won the Mobil Song Quest and the Melbourne Sun-Aria contest and enrolled at the National Opera Studio, where she received classical training as a soprano. Her sensational performance as Countess Almaviva at the Royal Opera House in 1971 launched an international career as one of the greatest lyric sopranos of her generation. In addition to performing lead roles in all of the major opera houses she has appeared in concert with the world's leading conductors and orchestras and has an extensive discography. Te Kanawa has received numerous awards and accolades, including honorary doctorates from more than ten universities, the Order of Australia, the Order of New Zealand and a DBE. She founded the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, which provides financial and career scholarships to young New Zealand singers and musicians. She became Patron of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World (2011), returning in 2013. In autumn 2013 she made a guest appearance on the television series 'Downton Abbey' as Dame Nellie Melba.

2014/15 Royal Opera Season celebrates Antonio Pappano

The 2014/15 Royal Opera Season will celebrate Antonio Pappano, the Company's Music Director. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk Antonio will conduct six opera productions during the Season - Anna Nicole, I due Foscari, Tristan und Isolde, Andrea Chénier, Król Roger, and Guillaume Tell.'We're celebrating Tony's versatility - how he can conduct operas from different periods, across a range of styles and make them all sound like they're his speciality,' says Director of Opera Kasper Holten As well as the performances, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House is giving a symphonic concert, something Kasper hopes will become an annual tradition.

The Royal Opera 2014/15 Season Trailer

The 2014/15 Royal Opera House Season has been announced. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk The Royal Opera's Season will feature seven new main stage productions, including Martin Kušej's Idomeneo and Katharina Thoma's Un ballo in maschera. Productions in revival include Der fliegende Holländer, Falstaff and the final run of John Copley's La bohème. Music Director Antonio Pappano will be celebrated, and will conduct six works, including four new productions. Mark Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole will open The Royal Opera's Season with a performance exclusively for members of the ROH Students scheme. The Linbury Studio Theatre will also see a range of new commissions, from composers including Philip Glass and Harrison Birtwistle as well as the next generation of opera-makers. The Season sees many works on offer for young audiences, including the first opera from Polka Theatre. Richard Jones directs his first Linbury productions: David Sawer's double bill, mad boy clever girl. See full details of the 2014/15 Royal Opera Season, including casting

The Royal Ballet 2014/15 Season Trailer

Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk The Royal Ballet presents seven full-length ballets including Manon, Swan Lake and La Fille mal gardèe. A number of newly commissioned works will also be presented on the main stage and in the Linbury from choreographers including Wayne McGregor, Akash Odedra, Liam Scarlett and Hofesh Shechter. The Company will curate the Season-opening Deloitte Ignite Festival on the theme of myth. Over Christmas the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland will be told in Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and a new piece by ZooNation called The Mad Hatter's T Party.

Royal Opera House Cinema Season 2014/15

Director of The Royal Ballet Kevin O'Hare and Director of The Royal Opera Kasper Holten introduce the Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season 2014/15. The 2014/15 Season will see a total of four ballets and seven operas relayed live to cinemas across the world. The Royal Ballet will perform Manon, Swan Lake, La Fille mal gardée and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; while The Royal Opera will perform I due foscari, Andrea Chénier, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Guillaume Tell, L'elisir d'amore, The Flying Dutchman and La bohème. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/cinema

Competition: How many pointe shoes do The Royal Ballet use in a week? (#PointesWinPrizes)

We're offering a chance to win a tickets to a Royal Ballet in Rehearsal event. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/pointe To highlight our Pointe Shoes Appeal, we've collected the pointe shoes that the Company get through in a week. These are on display in a box in the foyer by the ROH Box Office and are taller than dancers each of the dancers who are fronting this year's appeal - Francesca Hayward and Marcelino Sambé! As well as winning tickets to the rehearsal event, the competition winner and their guest will receive a backstage tour and tea and cake. How to enter To enter the competition, tell us how many shoes you think are in the box and share a picture of it on Twitter or Instagram, using the tag #PointesWinPrizes. If you're not on social media, you can have a guess in person and post it into the pointe shoe tower. The deadline for entries will be 21 April 2014. The winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received. Those who additionally make a donation to the Pointe Shoe Appeal online will also be entered into a draw to win a pair of pointe shoes signed by Francesca Hayward.

The Devil on stage | Faustian Pack | The Royal Opera

To complement the revival of Gounod's Faust on the main stage, the Linbury Studio Theatre hosts two contemporary retellings of Goethe's classic legend, Luke Bedford's Through His Teeth, and Matthew Herbert's The Crackle. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/faustianpack

The Sleeping Beauty: Re-awakening a classic ballet (The Royal Ballet)

An iconic work, The Sleeping Beauty was the first ballet to be performed at Covent Garden following World War II. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk Hear from Monica Mason, Steven McRae, Sarah Lamb and other members of the cast and creative team about the task of restaging a classic. 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.

The Sleeping Beauty: The challenges of technically demanding roles (The Royal Ballet)

Sarah Lamb, Steven McRae and Alexander Agadzhanov on how technically demanding the two lead roles are in The Sleeping Beauty. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/sleepingbeauty 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.

An introduction to The Winter's Tale | The Royal Ballet

The world premiere of a new full-length ballet by Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, based on Shakespeare's enduring tale of love, loss and reconciliation. 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.

Die Frau ohne Schatten trailer | The Royal Opera

Director Claus Guth reveals the darker elements of Strauss's exotic fairytale in a striking new production. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/schatten Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow) was conceived by Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal with the model of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte in mind: a fairytale with a strong moral dimension. Although the narrative was largely Hofmannsthal's invention, he drew on a diverse range of sources, from The Arabian Nights to Grimm's fairytales. The opera was completed during World War I and received its premiere in 1919. Die Frau ohne Schatten is one of Strauss's mightiest and most demanding scores. It draws on the resources of a huge orchestra that includes extensive percussion, an organ, thunder and wind machines, as well as a glass harmonica. Musical highlights include a tender, yearning duet for the dyer Barak and his wife, an impassioned solo scene for the Empress as she struggles to maintain her integrity rather than steal a mortal woman's shadow, and the opera's ecstatic finale. Claus Guth's striking production emphasizes the dark undercurrents of Strauss's opera and powerfully evokes the Empress's plight as a woman trapped between two repressive worlds. Music Courtesy of Warner Music. Buy CD here: http://www.roh.org.uk/products/strauss-die-frau-ohne-schatten-dvd-wolfgang-sawallisch

Semyon Bychkov on Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Royal Opera)

Renowned Straussian Semyon Bychkov on conducting one of Richard Strauss's most mighty operas, Die Frau ohne Schatten. Find out more at https://www.roh.org.uk/schatten Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow) was conceived by Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal with the model of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte in mind: a fairytale with a strong moral dimension. Although the narrative was largely Hofmannsthal's invention, he drew on a diverse range of sources, from The Arabian Nights to Grimm's fairytales. The opera was completed during World War I and received its premiere in 1919. Music courtesy of Warner Music. Buy album here - http://www.roh.org.uk/products/strauss-die-frau-ohne-schatten-dvd-wolfgang-sawallisch

Mariusz Kwiecień performs Don Giovanni's Champagne Aria (The Royal Opera)

Mariusz Kwiecień performs the famous Champagne Aria in Kasper Holten's new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Find out more: http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/don-giovanni-by-kasper-holten Mozart's Don Giovanni -- first staged in 1787 -- offers boundless scope for directors. Kasper Holten offers a new interpretation that foregrounds the theme of 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 comes at a high price. Holten presents an exciting visual universe that ranges from colourful comedy to exhilarating drama. Set designs by Es Devlin -- who was most recently at Covent Garden with Les Troyens -- and costume designs by Anja Vang Kragh (Stella McCartney, John Galliano, Christian Dior) complete an impressive creative team. The production highlights 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.

John Fulljames and Luca Francesconi on Quartett (The Royal Opera)

Associate Director of Opera for The Royal Opera, John Fulljames and composer Luca Francesconi on reimagining Quartett for the Linbury Studio Theatre: http://www.roh.org.uk/quartett Heiner Müller turned to Laclos' Les Liaisons dangereuses for his 1980 play Quartett, an excoriating and bitterly impassioned exploration of love, deception and humanity's appalling capacity for hatred. Leading Italian composer Luca Francesconi set the play almost word for word in his chamber opera, using his own English translation. Quartett was acclaimed at its premiere at La Scala, Milan, on 26 April 2011, highly praised for its unique and profoundly affecting musical vocabulary. John Fulljames, Associate Director of Opera for The Royal Opera, creates a new production for the Linbury Studio Theatre. He is joined by designer Soutra Gilmour (a regular designer for the National Theatre, Old Vic and Donmar Warehouse, among others), making her Royal Opera debut. Francesconi's two melismatic and fiendishly difficult vocal roles are supported by a gorgeously rich orchestral language that incorporates Berg-influenced lyricism and electronic environmental sound design. Reference imagery with kind permission from Stephanie Charrin, INSERM, Paris and Stephane Gross, Aston University.

Ballet Evolved - Auguste Vestris 1760-1842

Join Ursula Hageli as she introduces "le dieu de la danse" - Auguste Vestris. With performance from Royal Ballet dancer Valentino Zucchetti. Piano - Tim Qualtrough.

The Winter's Tale: A background to Shakespeare's play (The Royal Ballet)

Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and theatre director Lucy Bailey give an overview of William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, soon to be adapted into a ballet for the first time. The music featured in this film was composed by Joby Talbot for The Winter's Tale Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/tale The Winter's Tale often has a reputation as a 'problem piece' but this, believes Lucy Bailey, stems from the difficulty in ascribing it to one particular genre. 'It's about sex, friendship, and a fall from grace - the darkness within that destroys the potential for a good life,' says Lucy, 'It's about class and the haves and the have-nots. I'm always been moved by that. It defies being put into one genre - it's a romance, a tragedy, a comedy, it's intensely poetic and spiritually enlightening. For me, that's why it's called a problem play but for me, it's not - it's one of Shakespeare's best.' The story of The Winter's Tale 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.

The Sleeping Beauty Puss-in-Boots and White Cat pas de deux (The Royal Ballet)

Elizabeth Harrod as the White Cat and Paul Kay as Puss-in-Boots dance in Act III of The Sleeping Beauty, The Royal Ballet 2011/12 Season. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/sleepingbeauty 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.

Arts Council England is not responsible for the social media content on this organisation's page

Contact details

www.roh.org.uk


Covent Garden
London
WC2E 9DD

51.512772, -0.12183

  • 51.512772 -0.12183

View all National portfolio organisation and Major partner museums on our interactive map

Seen something out of date?
Tell us enquiries@artscouncil.org.uk