Royal Opera House

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The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, is one of the world’s great centres for opera, music and dance.

First built in 1732, the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet companies, along with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House present a diverse and entertaining programme of classic and new work.


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Venue Information

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD
Nearest Tube or Train: Covent Garden (Piccadilly line), Leicester Square (Piccadilly line, Northern line)
Nearest Buses: 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 26, 68, 76, 77a, 91, 168, 171, 176, 188, 501(southbound only), 505, 521, X68 all go to the Aldwych.

News about Royal Opera House
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British comedian and actor Chris Addison makes his Royal Opera debut
British comedian and actor Chris Addison makes his Royal Opera debut in comic French opera L’Étoile Chris Addison is to star in The Royal Opera’s new production of the fabulously frothy French opera L’Étoile. Addison’s role, an acting part newly created by Director Mariame Clément provides a stereotypically-English commentary on the opera’s absurdist events. French actor Jean-Luc Vincent will join Addison in a second acting role created by Clément to comment on the action from a French perspective. Chris commented: "I am stupidly excited to be appearing at Covent Garden in L'Étoile, a production which combines two of my great loves: insanely beautiful opera and deep, joyful silliness. I had assumed that Mariame Clément and Sir Mark Elder had cast me on the basis of my "certainly unique and borderline terrifying" (The Wiltshire Times) interpretation of The Queen of The Night at the 2003 Chippenham's Got Talent quarter-final, but both claim not to be aware of it. Whatever, it's a pleasure and a privilege to be getting to share a stage with such a talented cast. Not least as I now don't have to buy a ticket." Addison is a double Perrier Award-nominated stand-up however he audiences may know him best as Ollie Reeder in the BBC's dark political satire The Thick of It, and as Toby Wright in the subsequent film In the Loop. Addison also regularly appears on panel shows such as Mock the Week, Have I Got News for You, 8 Out of 10 Cats and QI.  His other acting credits include performances in Doctor Who, the comedy series Trying Again and as headmaster David Blood in Skins. L’Etoile is an anarchically comic fairytale with a ridiculous plot and darkly humorous twists and turns. L’Etoile runs 1–24 February 2016 at the Royal Opera House BOOKING Book tickets to L'Etoile
New Opera At The Royal Opera House from 2013 to 2020
The Royal Opera’s artistic directors, Antonio Pappano, Music Director, and Kasper Holten, Director of Opera, today outlined their artistic plans for new operas to be presented at the Royal Opera House from 2013 to 2020. More than 15 new operas will be presented, both on the main stage and in the Linbury Studio Theatre. Four composers will also be given an unprecedented challenge to work on an epic operatic event for 2020. Pappano and Holten talked of The Royal Opera’s plans to extend the established tradition of commissioning British composers, and also include work by leading international artists such as Luca Francesconi, Kaija Saariaho, Georg Friedrich Haas and Unsuk Chin. The aim is to continue relationships with a number of the companies who have already worked at the Royal Opera House, as well as to introduce a whole new roster of national and international co-commissions and collaborations. More projects will be added to the plans over the next few years, especially for the Linbury Studio Theatre from 2015. Kasper Holten commented ‘New work is not and should not be at the periphery of our programme, but right at the core of what and who we are. And this is something we do, not because we must, but because it is something that we are passionate about. We hope that opera audiences will share our curiosity and come with us with open minds along this journey. There is not and should not be a guarantee of success for every single piece, only for innovation and risk-taking. But we can guarantee that we will put all the forces of The Royal Opera behind them all, whatever the scale, and whether the new work is aimed at adults or young people. To have a smaller theatre inside a major opera house is a rarity, and the combination of the Linbury Studio Theatre and our large stage gives us a unique platform for developing new work, which will only be strengthened through national and international partnerships.’ Antonio Pappano added: ‘Our efforts are being focused on working with the composers who really excite us, both for the Linbury Studio Theatre and for the main stage. We have worked hard to find the composers we feel have a real flair and passion for opera, and we are very excited about being able to roll out our vision for new work on all scales.’ 2012/13 Alongside the current revival of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur and the highly anticipated UK premiere of George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, which The Royal Opera has co-commissioned for the main stage, The Royal Opera will produce the UK stage premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest in a production directed by Ramin Gray. Tim Murray conducts the Britten Sinfonia and the cast which includes Ida Falk Winland, Stephanie Marshall, Hilary Summers, Paul Curievici, Benedict Nelson, Simon Wilding and Alan Ewing, who reprises his role as Lady Bracknell from the concert performances at the Barbican last year. The production will be staged in the Linbury Studio Theatre. 2013/14 There will be a number of new productions created specially for the Linbury Studio Theatre in the 2013/14 Season. Acclaimed Australian composer Ben Frost adapts Iain Banks’s cult novel The Wasp Factory in a production that he himself directs. This opera has been commissioned by Bregenz Festival’s Art of our Times programme, and is a co-production with the Royal Opera House, Hebbel-am-Ufer, Berlin, Holland Festival and Cork Midsummer Festival. For Christmas 2013, Julian Philips is composing a new opera for family audiences to a libretto by Edward Kemp, which will be directed by Natalie Abrahami, with designs by Tom Scutt. We are working with the British electronic pioneer, composer and sound artist Matthew Herbert to make a new piece in 2014 inspired by the Faust story. Running alongside The Royal Opera’s revival of Gounod’s Faust, Matthew’s production integrates cutting-edge technology into the fabric of the musical score. Composer Luke Bedford and Scottish playwright David Harrower will create a companion piece taking a very different route through the Faust legend. Both works are for the Linbury Studio Theatre. The Royal Opera will present the first UK performances of renowned Italian composer Luca Francesconi’s Quartett, based on the play by Heiner Müller, which is itself inspired by characters from Les Liaisons dangereuses. Quartett had its world premiere at La Scala, Milan, in 2010 and will be shown in a new version in London by The Royal Opera. The Royal Opera’s new production is co-produced with London Sinfonietta and Opéra de Rouen, and directed by John Fulljames. During the 2013/14 Season The Royal Opera will launch an annual collaboration with Aldeburgh Music and Opera North to commission first operas from composers who have a flair for operatic creativity that, with careful nurturing, could develop into the composition of major operatic works. The project is supported by Arts Council England as part of a wider programme of work, led by Aldeburgh Music, to celebrate the legacy of Benjamin Britten. In the first year of the project, we will commission two operas that will be produced in Aldeburgh, Leeds and the Linbury Studio Theatre in March 2014. Further commissions will follow in 2015 and 2016. 2014/15 The Royal Opera’s 2014/15 Season will open with a revival of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole in the main auditorium, followed by a new opera in the Linbury Studio Theatre by Philip Glass, based on Kafka’s The Trial, co-commissioned with Music Theatre Wales and Houston Grand Opera. A new chamber opera by German/Danish composer Søren Nils Eichberg, working with librettist Hannah Dübgen, is commissioned for 2015 in the Linbury Studio Theatre. The opera is a taut thriller, which asks us to question what we can really trust – which emotions are real and which are virtual. 2015 – 2020 A new opera for children by Mark-Anthony Turnage, to be directed by Katie Mitchell, is scheduled for December 2015, also in the Linbury Studio Theatre. The new operas already planned for this period include an adaptation of Max Frisch’s play Count Oederland by Judith Weir, working with librettist Ben Power. This is a collaboration with Scottish Opera and Oper Frankfurt, scheduled for performance in the Linbury Studio Theatre. More new work in the Linbury Studio Theatre during this period is being developed and will be added to our plans and announced later. For the main stage there is a commission from German composer Georg Friedrich Haas, based on Jon Fosse’s novel Morgon og Kveld (Morning and Evening) with libretto by the author. The Royal Opera will be collaborating with Deutsche Oper Berlin on this piece, which will open in London in November 2015 and in Berlin in April 2016. Thomas Adès’s next large-scale opera, based on Buñuel’s film The Exterminating Angel, is a commission from The Royal Opera and a number of international partners including the Salzburg Festival. The librettist is Tom Cairns, who also directs. The Exterminating Angel will be performed at the Royal Opera House in spring 2017. Another important main stage commission is currently being negotiated for late spring 2018. There will be a new main stage opera from Unsuk Chin, who adapts Alice Through the Looking Glass with librettist David Henry Hwang for 2018/19. This follows the extraordinary success of Unsuk’s first opera Alice in Wonderland, which has now been produced around the world. 2020 For the year 2020 The Royal Opera has challenged four leading composers from different countries in Europe to each create a large-scale new opera for 2020. The vision is for four distinct operas, each one in part inspired by the composer’s response to a set of questions developed in collaboration with the philosopher Slavoj Žižek: ‘What preoccupies us today? How can we today stage ourselves? What are the collective myths of our present and future?’ Each composer will work independently of the other teams but in collaboration with The Royal Opera’s artistic leadership. The four composers invited at this stage are Kaija Saariaho (Finland), Mark-Anthony Turnage (UK), Luca Francesconi (Italy) and Jörg Widmann (Germany). All four commissions will have their premieres on the main stage during 2020. New Relationships From 2013, The Royal Opera is developing some new relationships to enable an increased engagement with emerging composers and librettists. The Royal Opera will work with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in offering a range of training opportunities for emerging opera-makers including composers, writers and directors. This new relationship will begin with a conference about libretto writing to take place at the Guildhall School in April 2013. Subject to validation, the conference will mark the launch of a new Masters Programme in Opera Making in association with the Royal Opera House and a new doctoral studentship in opera composition, the culmination of which will be a new opera for performance in 2016. Also in 2013 we will be working with Sound and Music for the first time to deliver a seminar day on Saturday 16 March enabling emerging composers to think about writing for opera. Opera development The Royal Opera will continue to make a significant investment in artists and ideas as we develop works towards production. There will be an ongoing programme of opera development, including workshops and readings, some visible for the public, others not, depending on the needs for each project. Projects currently being developed include some of the commissions mentioned above, and work by Chris Mayo, Sasha Siem and Soumik Datta, as well as by digital artists Kleis&Rønsholdt and Tal Rosner. The Royal Opera House has invited composers David Bruce and Elspeth Brooke to be composers in residence during the 2012/13 Season, with a view to the future development of participatory work and/or opera for young people. Partnerships with UK opera companies We are keen to work with as many partners as possible on new work, enabling it to be seen by as wide an audience as possible across the UK. As well as collaborating in the future with all the large-scale regional companies, The Royal Opera will continue to play a significant role in working with mid-scale touring companies. Plans are in place for Music Theatre Wales to bring their TMA award-winning production of Mark- Anthony Turnage’s Greek and Salvatore Sciarrino’s Luci mie traditrici to the Royal Opera House in autumn 2013 and to return with the Philip Glass co-commission described above. The Opera Group will bring HK Gruber’s Gloria: A Pigtale to the Royal Opera House in 2014. Further projects in collaboration with other UK companies will be added for later seasons. Press release issued by: Royal Opera House LINKS Book Royal Opera and Royal Ballet tickets  
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland Kickstarts New Strategic Partnership Between Royal Opera House And Bbc
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 LINKS Royal Opera House - Tickets and booking

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