Following its sell-out premiere season at the Royal Opera House in February, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the new ballet choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon with music specially composed by Joby Talbot and designs by award-winning Bob Crowley, heralds the new strategic partnership between the Royal Opera House and the BBC.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will be broadcast on BBC TWO on Saturday 23 April at 2.30pm immediately preceded by a documentary exploring the making of the ballet at 2pm.

The new strategic partnership involves greater creative collaboration between the two organisations and builds on the long-standing relationship across both television and radio. The Royal Opera House and the BBC will come together to co-produce new commissions for 2012 created especially for television prior to live performance on the stage as well as continuing to showcase some of the world’s finest opera and ballet.

This long-term partnership will also see a greater mix of programmes on television including documentaries on opera and ballet as well as productions giving audiences an insight into what goes into getting a new work to the stage. The new deal includes a series on classical masterworks presented by Antonio Pappano, beginning with Pappano’s Essential Tosca for BBC TWO and also the development of a new five-part series about singing to be written and presented by Antonio Pappano. This new direction demonstrates a commitment to reaching and inspiring a broader audience across the UK.

BBC Radio 3’s relationship with the Royal Opera House will continue to be a significant partnership with up to 15 works broadcast each year in Opera on 3. Music Matters and In Tune reflecting the work of both The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera.

Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor BBC Music & Events said “This is a hugely exciting development for both organisations. We have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years now and this new creative relationship means we will not only continue to bring great performance to the viewers but co-commission new work with the Royal Opera House especially for TV. “

Tony Hall, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House said “I’m delighted that we’re entering a new stage in our relationship with the BBC to make innovative programmes on both opera and ballet as well as to show some of our productions on television. This builds on the hugely successful Opera Italia series presented by Royal Opera Music Director Antonio Pappano in 2010 and will bring these two wonderful art forms to millions of viewers in new ways.”

Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is The Royal Ballet’s first full-length work in 18 years. Packed to the brim with strange and wonderful characters from Lewis Carroll’s novel, this new work is an assault on the senses with intricate designs depicting the weird world in which Alice finds herself, after falling down a rabbit-hole.

Other presentations include The Royal Opera’s production of Tosca with Angela Gheorghiu in the title role and Bryn Terfel as Baron Scarpia, accompanied by Pappano’s Essential Tosca, a documentary presented by Antonio Pappano in which he examines the dramatic importance of each location in the opera and illustrates what Puccini does musically to create a great theatrical experience.

Roger Wright, Controller of BBC Radio 3 said: “Saturday night remains the home of opera on BBC Radio 3. Our partnership with the Royal Opera House allows millions of people nationwide the pleasure of having the best seat in the house on a regular basis for high quality operatic performance.”

Highlights of Radio 3’s season include Tosca with Angela Gheorghiu as the heroine, Jonas Kaufmann as her lover Cavaradossi and Bryn Terfel as the Chief of Police Scarpia; Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón starring in Massenet’s Werther, Nina Stemme as the heroine Leonora in Beethoven’s Fidelio, and Simon Keenlyside singing the title role of Verdi’s Macbeth for the first time in the UK. BBC Radio 3 will also broadcast two operas live, Puccini’s Madam Butterfly and a new production of Massenet’s Cendrillon (Cinderella) with Joyce DiDonato in the title role.

Release issued by: Royal Opera House

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