Royal Opera House Cinema Season – Opera


The Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season gets off to a dramatic start with the return of Puccini’s musically sublime final opera Turandot – a tale of disguised identities, riddles, ritual executions and powerful, triumphant love. Andrei Serban’s production of this dark Asian fairytale is spectacular, with Sally Jacobs’s magnificent sets and elaborate masks, and costumes inspired by traditional Chinese theatre. One of the greatest Turandot singers today, Lise Lindstrom, makes her Royal Opera debut, with Marco Berti, a wonderful Puccinian singer, in the role of Prince Calaf.

Turandot – Lise Lindstrom
Prince Calaf – Marco Berti
Altoum – Alasdair Elliott
Timur – Raymond Aceto
Liu – Eri Nakamura
Ping – Dionysios Sourbis
Pang – David Butt Philip
Pong – Douglas Jones

Music – Giacomo Puccini; Royal Opera Chorus; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Conductor – Henrik Nánási
Director – Andrei Serban
Designs – Sally Jacobs
Choreography – Kate Flatt

DATE: Thursday, November 7, 2013 (evening) and Sunday, November 10, 2013 (matinee) ***
DESCRIPTION: Powerful music, a gripping story and a tragic end: Puccini’s ever-popular Tosca performed at the Royal Opera House with a fabulous cast. Among the star singers in this revival are Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel. The Royal Opera Chorus and The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House are under the baton of Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera for a score that includes such great set pieces as the Act I ‘Te Deum’ and the arias ‘Vissi d’arte’ and ‘E lucevan le stelle’. Jonathan Kent’s detailed production draws to the full on the historical backdrop of Rome in 1800, a political world of control and suspicion, beautifully evoked in Paul Brown’s lavish designs. The pageantry of church ritual, the darkness of a brooding study with its hidden torture chamber and the false optimism of the light of a Roman dawn – all throw into relief the love of the beautiful diva Tosca, the idealism of her lover Cavaradossi and the deadly, destructive obsession of the malevolent Chief of Police, Scarpia. Drama, passion and fabulous music – Tosca is one of opera’s great nights out.
Floria Tosca
- Angela Gheorghiu
Mario Cavaradossi- Jonas Kaufmann
Baron Scarpia – Bryn Terfel
Cesare Angelotti – Lukas Jakobski
Spoletta – Hubert Francis
Sciarrone – ZhengZhong Zhou
Sacristan – Jeremy White
Music – Giacomo Puccini; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Royal Opera Chorus
Conductor – Antonio Pappano
Director – Jonathan Kent
Design – Paul Brown

PRODUCTION: Les Vêpres Siciliennes
DATE: Thursday, December 5, 2013 (evening) and Sunday, December 8, 2013 (matinee) ***
DESCRIPTION: The Royal Opera presents Verdi’s grand opera Les Vepres siciliennes for the very first time – and in a major new production. Antonio Pappano conducts a star cast that includes Bryan Hymel, Marina Poplavskaya, Erwin Schrott and Michael Volle. Paris in 1855, when the opera was first performed, provides the starting point for the interpretation by celebrated Norwegian born director Stefan Herheim, making his Covent Garden debut. The opera ballet plays a significant role too, with Johann Kobborg choreographing for dancers from The Royal Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet. The story is set to impassioned and dramatic music, rich in showpiece arias and ensembles and with striking choruses. Through this monumental operatic work, Herheim takes us over the threshold from the reality of the opera house into the dreamlike stories of the operas they present.

Hélène – Marina Poplavskaya
Henri – Bryan Hymel
Jean – Procida Erwin Schrott
Guy de Montfort – Michael Volle
Le Sire de Béthune – Jean Teitgen

Music – Giuseppe Verdi; The Royal Ballet; Royal Opera Chorus; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Royal Danish Ballet
Conductor – Antonio Pappano
Director – Stefan Herheim
Designs – Philipp Fürhofer
Choreographer – André de Jong

DATE: Thursday, January 9, 2013 (evening) and Sunday, January 12 (matinee) ***
DESCRIPTION: A new production of Parsifal, Wagner’s huge, profound meditation on guilt, death and
possible redemption, is always a remarkable event. This one, directed by Stephen Langridge, designed by Alison Chitty and conducted by Antonio Pappano, the creative team who brought Birtwistle’s brutal, beautiful Minotaur to the stage, is especially exciting. An extraordinary cast of Wagnerian singers come together: Heldentenor Simon O’Neill, recently acclaimed for his Siegmund, sings Parsifal; the magnificent bass René Pape is Gurnemanz; Gerald Finley makes his role debut as Amfortas after a wonderful Hans Sachs at Glyndebourne, Willard White sings the sorcerer Klingsor, and versatile singer-actress Angela Denoke is an intriguing choice for Kundry.

Parsifal – Simon O’Neill
Kundry – Angela Denoke
Gurnemanz – René Pape
Amfortas – Gerald Finley
Klingsor – Willard White

Music – Richard Wagner; Royal Opera Chorus; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Conductor – Antonio Pappano
Director – Stephen Langridge
Designs – Alison Chitty

DATE: Thursday, February 6, 2014 (evening) and Sunday, February 9, 2014 (matinee) ***
DESCRIPTION: Teeming with period detail, John Copley’s definitive production of this much-loved opera is traditional opera at its best. From a shabby garret to the bustling Café Momus to a snowy courtyard at dawn, this minutely observed panorama of 1830s Parisian life, beautifully designed by Julia Trevelyan Oman, conjures emotions and atmosphere ranging from joy to tragedy, in large-scale crowd scenes and intimate tableaux.
Puccini no doubt drew on his own student escapades – which anticipated his later reputation as a legendary bon viveur – for the robust humour of the comic scenes. And in his depiction of the tender and ultimately tragic love between Mimì (Maija Kovalevska, Carmen in 3D, 2010) and Rodolfo (Rolando Villazón, Rodolfo in Robert Dornhelm’s film version of the opera, the title role in The Royal Opera’s Don Carlo), Puccini achieved an immediacy, warmth and humanity that have rarely been equalled.
Rodolfo – Rolando Villazón
Mimì – Maija Kovalevska
Musetta – Stefania Dovhan
Marcello – Audun Iversen
Music – Giacomo Puccini, The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, The Royal Opera Chorus
Director – John Copley
Conductor – Mark Elder
Designs – Julia Trevelyan Oman
Lighting – John Charlton
PRODUCTION: Don Giovanni
DATE: Thursday, March 13, 2014 (evening) and Sunday, March 16, 2014 (matinee) ***
DESCRIPTION: Mozart’s sublime tragic comedy offers boundless scope for directors, and Kasper Holten has chosen it to follow his directorial debut of Eugene Onegin. He wants to shift the emphasis from Don Giovanni’s sex life into a darker place, showing Giovanni’s womanizing as an attempt to stave off his own mortality. Each woman he seduces represents a life he could have had. Though it is a dark piece, Holten intends to handle it with a light touch and he is working with a superb cast – Mariusz Kwiecien, one of the world’s leading Don Giovannis, Alex Esposito, a fresh, vigorous Leporello and acclaimed French soprano Véronique Gens.

Don Giovanni – Mariusz Kwiecien
Leporello – Alex Esposito
Donna Anna – Mailn Bystrom
Masetto – Dawid Kimberg
Donna Elvira – Véronique Gens
Don Ottavio – Antonio Poli
Zerlina – Elizabeth Watts
Commendatore – Alexander Tsymbalyuk

Music – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Royal Opera Chorus; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
- Nicola Luisotti
Designs – Es Devlin
Costume – Anja Vang Kragh
Director – Kasper Holten
Lighting – Bruno Poet
Choreography – Signe Fabricius
DATE: Thursday, April 3, 2014 (evening) and Sunday, April 6, 2014 (matinee) ***
DESCRIPTION: Plácido Domingo, one of the most celebrated talents of our time, is making a major role debut. This is a rare chance to see a genre-defining masterwork, containing some of the greatest choral music ever written, along with some wonderful arias and ensembles. This new production of Nabucco is unmissable.
Domingo takes another thrilling step into the baritone repertory following his triumphs as Simon Boccanegra, as he sings the title role of Nabucco for the first time. He is joined by an exciting young cast including Ukranian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska (Lady Macbeth in Macbeth for The Royal Opera, 2011) as the power-hungry priestess Abigaille. Acclaimed theatre and opera director Daniele Abbado makes his Royal Opera debut directing this co-production with La Scala, Milan.
The plot is based on the biblical story of King Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucco), and focuses on his imprisonment of the Hebrews, his struggle against his unscrupulous daughter, Abigaille, his divine punishment and final salvation. Verdi’s rich score offers melody, power and raw drama on a scale that does full justice to the opera’s epic themes of nationhood, faith, love and redemption and calls upon the full might of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Royal Opera Chorus.
Conductor – Nicola Luisotti
Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar) – Plácido Domingo
Ismaele – Andrea Caré
Zaccaria – Vitalij Kowaljow
Abigaille – Liudmyla Monastyrska
Fenena – Marianna Pizzolato
High Priest – Robert Lloyd
Anna – Dušica Bijelic
Abdallo – David Butt Philip

Music – Giuseppe Verdi; Royal Opera Chorus ; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Director – Daniele Abbado
Designs – Alison Chitty
Lighting – Alessandro Carletti
Movement – Simona Bucci
Video – Luca Scarzella

DATE: Thursday, May 8, 2014 (evening) and Sunday, May 11, 2014 (matinee) ***
DESCRIPTION: Verdi’s best-loved work, is performed here by a star cast in a revival of Richard Eyre’s highly acclaimed 1994 production. Music Director Antonio Pappano conducts La Traviata for the first time at Covent Garden. American soprano Renée Fleming returns to Covent Garden to sing Violetta for the first time with The Royal Opera. La Traviata was first performed at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice in March 1853.

Violetta: Renée Fleming
Alfredo Germont: Joseph Calleja
Giorgio Germont: Thomas Hampson
Baron Douphol: Eddie Wade
Doctor Grenvil: Richard Wiegold

Music – Giuseppe Verdi; The Royal Ballet; Royal Opera Chorus; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Conductor – Antonio Pappano
Director – Richard Eyre

PRODUCTION: Manon Lescaut
DATE: Thursday, July 16, 2014 (evening) and Sunday, July 20, 2014 (matinee) ***
DESCRIPTION: This early Puccini masterpiece makes a welcome return to Covent Garden after an absence of over 20 years, in a new production by Jonathan Kent under the baton of Music Director Antonio Pappano. The exciting Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais sings the title role. A consummate Puccini soprano, Opolais caused a sensation as Madama Butterfly in 2011, and with Manon Lescaut, the bold but impressionable heroine, we will see a very different side of her character. She is matched in star power by Jonas Kaufmann as her lover, Des Grieux, and Christopher Maltman as her cynical brother Lescaut. This is a much anticipated new production, and Kent’s vision of a young girl who faces temptation in the big city will surely resonate with today’s audience.

Manon – Kristine Opolais
Lescaut – Christopher Maltman
Chevalier des Grieux – Jonas Kaufmann
Geronte de Ravoir – Maurizio Muraro
Edmondo – Benjamin Hulett

Music – Giacomo Puccini; Royal Opera Chorus; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Conductor – Antonio Pappano
Director – Jonathan Kent
Designs – Paul Brown
Choreography – Denni Sayers

•    Tickets are available at participating theatre box offices and online at


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