The Royal Opera House is delighted to announce more details of its packed schedule of in-person and streamed Spring and Summer performances, with public booking opening on 7 May 2021 and the doors opening to socially-distanced, in-person audiences from 17 May 2021.
Both The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera look forward to a host of world premieres, repertory favourites, and the world’s first opera in hyper-reality, all scheduled to take place on our beautiful and historic Main Stage, in our state-of-the-art Linbury Theatre, and streamed online as part of our ongoing #OurHouseToYourHouse programme.
The Royal Ballet’s Main Stage Summer Season sees the full Company return to the stage across three mixed programmes from Petipa to Pite.
The first celebrates some of today’s finest international choreographers and includes Christopher Wheeldon’s shimmering ballet Within the Golden Hour, a world premiere from American choreographer Kyle Abraham, as well as two works new to The Royal Ballet from Olivier-Award winning choreographer Crytal Pite comprising The Statement, exploring the shadowy depths of human nature and boardroom politics, and Solo Echo, an atmospheric evocation of winter inspired by a poem by Mark Strand, accompanied by Brahms’s beautiful sonatas for cello and piano.
The work of 20th century American choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins will be celebrated in a mixed programme of work comprising Balanchine’s Apollo, with accompanying score by Igor Stravinsky; his effervescent and virtuoso Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux; and Jerome Robbins’ 1969 ballet Dances at a Gathering, an ode to pure dance set to music by Chopin.
The Royal Ballet will also present a mixed programme of work including the world premiere of Anemoi by Royal Ballet First Soloist Valentino Zucchetti who develops his ballet Scherzo which was streamed to critical success last autumn. This will be accompanied by divertissements from choreographers who have shaped The Royal Ballet’s history and pushed the boundaries of ballet today. The third act of Petipa’s classic The Sleeping Beauty completes the programme, celebrating both the Company’s 90th anniversary and the production’s 75th anniversary.
The Royal Ballet School will round off this Season’s Main Stage ballet roster in a dazzling showcase of the exceptional talents of its young dancers in a programme of highlights from the classical and contemporary repertory. They will also perform on the Linbury Stage as part of Next Generation along with Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, providing audiences an excellent opportunity to witness the work of some of the rising stars of ballet and dance.
The Royal Ballet presents two new series of Draft Works: one digital version in Spring filmed from the Main Stage; and one in Summer for in-person audiences. These works are a platform for promising choreographic talent from within and outside the Company, and a chance for audiences to see their creativity take shape in fresh explorations of dance today.
Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, said: “After this enforced period of absence, it’s wonderful to be able to present three programmes as a showcase of the best of The Royal Ballet in terms of both our repertory and our performers. As the Company celebrates its 90th anniversary, what better present than for our dancers to return to the stage? In honour of the 75th anniversary of making our home here at the Royal Opera House with The Sleeping Beauty, we’re delighted to end the Season with a highlight from the Company’s signature Petipa classic.”
This Spring, for an online audience only, The Royal Opera continues to embrace the digital stage in 8Bit, a series of eight experimental works which bring together some of the most innovative contemporary artists in five short films, two audio performances and a web browser experiment, all of which can be enjoyed from your own home.
The Royal Opera opens its Spring season in the Linbury Theatre with the re-opening of the world’s first opera in hyper reality: Current, Rising, a unique collaboration between the Royal Opera House’s innovation programme, Audience Labs, award-winning Figment Productions and Royal Holloway, University of London. Developed by a female-led creative team, the 15-minute hyper-reality opera experience combines virtual reality with a multisensory set, inviting audiences to step into a bespoke ‘Opera Tardis’ and experience a dream-like journey carried musically by a poem layered in song.
The Royal Opera will bring together an international group of distinguished singers to perform Mozart’s opera seria, La clemenza di Tito, in a new production directed by Richard Jones, beautifully designed by Olivier-award winning Ultz and performed under the baton of conductor Mark Wigglesworth. The work, performed from the Main Stage and available to watch in-person or live online, will include stunning arias performed by a fine young cast including Nicole Chevalier, Emily D’Angelo, Angela Brower, Christina Gansch, Joshua Bloom and former Young Artist Edgaras Montvidas.
Also performed on the Main Stage to an in-person and online audience this Summer will be Richard Jones’s production of Puccini’s opera of passion, friendship and heartbreak: La bohème. A favourite of the opera repertory, this production involves Covid-safe adaptations to certain parts of the production, and features beautiful, atmospheric designs by Stewart Laing and two world-class international casts which include Joshua Guerrero and Rame Lahaj as Rodolfo; Anna Princeva and Simona Mihai as Mimì, Danielle de Niese and Anush Hovhannisyan as Musetta and Boris Pinkhasovich and Yuriy Yurchuk as Marcello. The production will be conducted by Evelino Pidò.
The Royal Opera will present another favourite of the repertory on the Main Stage this summer with Kasper Holten’s stunning and inventive production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, with set designs from Es Devlin. Conducted by Constantin Trinks, the two glorious casts include Erwin Schrott and Christopher Maltman as Don Giovanni, Gerald Finley and Paolo Bordogna as Leporello, Adela Zaharia and Vanessa Goikoetxea as Donna Anna, Frédéric Antoun as Don Ottavio and Nicole Chevalier as Donna Elvira. This production promises to explore the creative and sensual appeal of one of opera’s most elusive protagonists.
The Jette Parker Young Artists will also take to the Main Stage in their annual summer performance, giving audiences in Covent Garden and at home a chance to spot the stars of the future as they sing arias and excerpts from some of the greatest operas in history including Verdi’s Don Carlos and Falstaff, Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia and Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.
Oliver Mears, Director of The Royal Opera, said: “As the country begins to open up again, it is with great pleasure that we present this outstanding roster of activity for the remainder of the 2020/21 Season. With innovation, creativity and artistic excellence at its heart, we are proud of a programme which allows the full creative force of the company to find expression on our stages, both to live audiences in our theatre, but also to an online audience which spans the globe.”
Booking for all performances, including for online streaming and socially-distanced live experiences, will open for public on 7 May. For more details of all ROH broadcasts, creative activities and unique content, follow #OurHouseToYourHouse, or visit our website. All in-person performances at the Royal Opera House will be for a socially-distanced until the start of the 2021/2022 Season in September.
ABOVE: The auditorium of the Royal Opera House. ROH 2016 (c) Sim Canetty-Clarke