In the first of our series bringing you opera productions from London’s Royal Opera House, a chance to enjoy the company’s new staging of Richard Wagner’s epic, his final masterpiece. A young man ignorant of everything, including his own name, arrives at the Kingdom of the Holy Grail. Is he the ‘pure fool, enlightened by compassion’, who, it has been prophesied, will purify the kingdom?
Running time includes two intermissions.
An unforgettable experience!
Richard Eyre’s produciton of Verdi’s masterpiece has been one of the most successful opera stagings in the long and celebrated history of the Royal Opera House. We present the original, definitive incarnation of that production, starring the incomparable Renee Fleming as the ill-fated courtesan Violetta, oppose Joseph Calleja as Alfredo and Thomas Hapson as his unyielding father.
Andrei Serban’s staging of Puccini’s final opera is a glorious pageant of rich colour, dance and drama. Turandot is a tale of disguised identities, riddles, ritual executions and powerful, triumphant love.
Paris in 1855, when the opera was first performed, provides the starting point for the interpretation by celebrated Norwegian born director Stefan Herheim. 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 with striking choruses. Antonio Pappano conducts a world-class cast including Erwin Schrott, Bryan Hymel and Lianna Haroutounian in The Royal Opera’s first ever staging of Verdi’s grand opera.
Don José (Jonas Kaufmann) is a young soldier in the army in Seville. He intends to marry Micaëla, a girl from his home village, but when he meets the sensual and high-spirited Carmen (Anna Caterina Antonacci), his head is soon turned…Spanish heat and gypsy passion are brought to the stage in Francesca Zambello’s vivid production of Bizet’s famous opera.
Sung in French with English subtitles
Acts One and Two will last for about 1 hour 50 minutes, followed by a 15 minute interval. Act Three will last for about 1 hour 5 mins.
Powerful music, a gripping story and a tragic end: Puccini’s ever-popular Tosca performed with a fabulous cast. Among the star singers in this revival are Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel. Jonathan Kent’s detailed production draws to the full on the historical backdrop of Rome in 1800, an atmospheric backdrop to 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.
Daniele Abbado explores themes of identity, exile and religion in a powerful staging of Verdi’s epic opera. War has broken out between the Babylonians and Israelites. The Israelites have captured Fenena, younger daughter of the Babylonian King, Nabucco. In revenge, Nabucco vows to destroy Jerusalem, aided by the vengeful Abigaille.
“Domingo’s career, 42 years at Covent Garden and counting, continues to be a wonder of the age.” The Guardian
A lost key and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark – so begins one of the great romances of all opera. In his depiction of the tender and ultimately tragic love between Mimì and Rodolfo, Puccini achieved an immediacy, warmth and humanity that have rarely been equalled.
Kasper Holten, ROH Director of Opera, presents a mesmerizing new production of Mozart’s sublime tragicomedy. The impulsive and charismatic Don Giovanni travels through Europe seducing women, accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello. When he commits murder, he unleashes vengeance from beyond the grave.
Puccini’s first triumph returns to Covent Garden for the first time in 20 years in a new staging by Jonathan Kent. 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. She is matched in star power by Jonas Kaufmann as her lover, Des Grieux, and Christopher Maltman as her cynical brother Lescaut. Kent’s vision of a young girl who faces temptation in the big city will surely resonate with today’s audience.
Boyhood director Richard Linklater’s congenial tribute to Welles’ influence recreates the 22-year-old wunderkind’s first Broadway production, a modern dress production of Julius Caesar styled to comment on European fascism (this was 1937). Schoolboy Robert (Zac Efron) falls under the great man’s spell, as do we, thanks to Christian McKay’s rich, flamboyant performance.
"Too good to be true." AO Scott, New York Times
"One of the sweetest and most heartfelt movies ever made about a life in the theater." Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"Deft, affectionate, and unexpectedly enjoyable." J Hoberman, Village Voice
GB, New Zealand
Not slow by any stretch, John Maclean’s ravishing frontier drama is the tale of a young gentleman, Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee), an immigrant from Ireland in search of his sweetheart, out of his element and altogether too trusting to survive for long in the wilderness territories of the 1870s. He’s rescued from bandits by Silas (Michael Fassbender), whose motives may not be entirely pure, but who volunteers to shepherd Jay on his quest - after all, they are heading in the same direction.
"It’s the rare western that invites you to imagine what life then and there might actually have felt like, sight gags and all. Maclean is a supremely promising talent." Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
"An absurdist, melancholy coming-of-age tale that jumps from odd comedy to striking violence to stirring reflection." Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine
"An angular Western that sublimates the fading promise of the New World into a fairy tale of unrequited love, Slow West starts with "once upon a time" and ends with a crackle of incredible savagery." David Ehrlich, Time Out
1945. Concentration camp survivor Nelly (Nina Hoss) makes her way back to Berlin to track down her husband Johnny. But her face has been reconstructed and he sees only a resemblance to the woman he believes is dead. Instead he proposes that she pose as his wife so that they can claim her inheritance. She decides to play along with the scam… Imagine Vertigo crosswired with one of Fassbinder’s post-war melodramas, Lola, say. This is part love story, part psychological thriller, and of course another artistic exorcism of Germany’s collective guilt over the Holocaust, It’s also one of the most compelling and complex movies you are likely to encounter this year.
"This is an amazing piece of work that transcends historical document to become art. Using the filmic language of noir, Petzold crafts a story of a culture caught in the aftermath of horror." Brian Tallerico, Rogerebert.com
Produced by David Oliver in 1916 (and presented here by David’s grandson, Vancouver actor/filmmaker Mark Oliver), Louis Neher’s surreal Christmas movie Im Reich der Zwerge is a hallucinatory experience. Its cutting-edge trick photography will takes audiences deep underground to a subterranean world where a young girl must plead her case before the king of the elves. Screening with live musical accompaniment.