British hip-hop influenced dance company ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company made its Royal Opera House debut in 2014
in the Linbury Theatre with The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, produced by The
Royal Ballet. Restaged in 2016 for the unique space of the Roundhouse, this
high-energy, fast-paced production features a host of body-popping and
break-dancing characters, with live music composed by Josh Cohen and DJ
Walde. ZooNation used its energetic and accessible style to reinvent Lewis
Carroll’s original story in an imaginative, 21st-century way, exploring
perceptions of mental illness and what counts as ‘normal’.
Drawing inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in
Wonderland, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party follows young psychotherapist
Ernest who has a PhD in normalization but has his work cut out for him.
At his new job in the Institute for Extremely Normal Behaviour, his
patients all seem to be a long way from being ‘normal’. There’s Alice,
who doesn’t know what size her body should be. The White Rabbit’s OCD
means he’s always late. And the Queen of Hearts seems to have a serious
problem controlling her anger. But as Ernest gets to know his
Wonderland ward, he begins to ask himself: what’s so great about being
‘normal’? Slowly and surely Ernest embraces his own differences and
learns with his new friends to celebrate the things that make us who we
We look forward to the next in our series of free online broadcasts via
YouTube and Facebook, starting this evening (Friday 17 July at 7pm BST)
with The Royal Opera’s Faust. David McVicar’s production tells the
story of the aged philosopher Faust who makes a bargain with the devil
MÈphistophÈlËs: in return for youth and the love of Marguerite, Faust
will surrender his soul to the devil. The 2019 recording stars Michael
Fabiano as Faust, Erwin Schrott as MÈphistophÈlËs and
as Marguerite. The Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera
House are conducted by Dan Ettinger.
Next week, on Friday 24 July at 7pm BST, we will broadcast The Royal
Ballet’s landmark production of the classic fairy tale The Sleeping
Beauty. With choreography by Marius Petipa, additional choreography by
Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon and a
masterful score by Tchaikovsky, the 2020 recording stars Fumi Kaneko as
Princess Aurora, Federico Bonelli as Prince Florimund, Kristen McNally
as Carabosse and Gina Storm-Jensen as the Lilac Fairy. Simon Hewett
conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.
Royal Opera House content continues to be available as part of our
ongoing partnership with the BBC. Currently available on demand on BBC
Sounds are The Royal Opera’s perfo1rmances of Szymanowski’s King Roger
(2015), Dvo?·k’s Rusalka (2012), Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (2013), Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (2014), Strauss’s Elektra (2013) and Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia (2016).
, BBC Four is currently screening Royal Opera House: The Reopening in
which Anita Rani, Katie Derham and Antonio Pappano introduce highlights
from the three Live from Covent Garden concerts. The 90-minute
programme includes the world premiere of Wayne McGregor’s Morgen
performed by Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales, Vadim Muntagirov’s p
erformance of Frederick Ashton’s ‘Dance of the Blessed Spirits’, the central pas de deux from Kenneth
MacMillan’s Concerto performed by Fumi Kaneko and Reece Clarke and a
pas de deux from Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour
performed by Mayara Magri and Matthew Ball. Also featured are
performances of classic opera arias and songs by Gerald Finley, Louise
Alder, Toby Spence, David Butt Philip, Sarah Connolly and the Royal
Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists, alongside musicians from the
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.
From 26 July the ROH and The Luna Drive In Cinema will be broadcasting
four ROH favourites at iconic drive-in cinema locations around the country. Broadcasts of La bohËme and La Traviata, as well as The Royal Ballet’s Swan Lake and Alice’s
Adventures in Wonderland will be screened in stunning outdoor locations
including Blenheim Palace, Warwick Castle, Allianz Park, Knebworth
House, Tatton Park and Harewood House.
For details of all ROH broadcasts, creative activities and unique
content, follow #OurHouseToYourHouse.
We are honoured to dedicate the online premiere of The Mad
Hatter’s Tea Party to the to the memory of Teneisha Bonner,
a true force of the dance world.
product_id=Above:The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Dancers of ZooNation
©2016 ROH. Photo by Alice Pennefather.