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Phaedra at the Royal Opera House – 15th to 20th May 2019

© ROH, 2019. Image by AKA.

The Royal Opera House will present Henze’s final opera Phaedra in the Linbury Theatre in May 2019. The Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists will be taking the main parts and the opera will be directed by Noa Naamat and conducted by Edmund Whitehead.

Phaedra had its world premiere in 2007 re-imagines the Classical myth of Phaedra and her stepson Hippolytus (Hippolyt) placing them at the centre of the action. Phaedra’s desire for Hippolyt fills her with self-loathing and she attempts suicide. Aphrodite stops her. She is jealous of Hippolyt’s loyalty to the goddess Artemis and takes revenge by inciting Phaedra to action. What follows is a complex tale of love and betrayal tied up with myth and legend.

Chinese mezzo-soprano Hongni Wu sings the title role, alongside American soprano Jacquelyn Stucker as Aphrodite, American countertenor Patrick Terry as Artemis, Scottish-Iranian bass-baritone Michael Mofidian as the Minotaur and New Zealand tenor Filipe Manu as Hippolyt, in his Royal Opera debut.

The production features work by international performance designer takis and atmospheric lighting design by 2019 Olivier Award nominee Lee Curran.

Phaedra opens at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre on 15 May 2019, with subsequent performances on 16, 18 and 20 May 2019.

Sung in German with English surtitles

For more information and tickets , visit the Royal Opera House website here

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La traviata at the Royal Opera House – 14th to 31st January 2019

La traviata,© ROH, 2016. Photograph by Tristram Kenton.

The Royal Opera presents Richard Eyre’s stunning production of Verdi’s La traviata, returning to Covent Garden for its 16th revival. First seen on the Royal Opera House main stage in 1994, the acclaimed English director’s classic production lavishly re-creates the glamour of Paris in the mid-19th century and contrasts the superficial splendour of Parisian high society with an intimate examination of the opera’s central characters.

Verdi’s La traviata is currently the most performed opera in the world and its sublime score contains some of the Italian composer’s most inspired arias, choruses and duets. Based on Alexandre Dumas fils’s successful novel and play La Dame aux camélias, the opera’s heart-breaking story traces the complex and ultimately tragic love affair between the courtesan Violetta Valéry and Alfredo Germont.

Star sopranos Ermonela Jaho and Angel Blue (in her Royal Opera debut) sing the role of Violetta, with American tenor Charles Castronovo and French tenor Benjamin Bernheim as Alfredo.

World-renowned singer Plácido Domingo performs the role of Giorgio Germont for three performances, including on 30 January 2019, when La traviata will be broadcast live in cinemas as part of the ROH Live Cinema Season.

La traviata opens at the Royal Opera House on 14 January 2019, with subsequent performances on 17, 21, 23, 24, 26, 29, 30 and 31 January 2019. On 26 January 2019 The Royal Opera presents a matinee Welcome Performance of La traviata for families who have never been to a ballet or opera at the Royal Opera House before, and tickets in the Amphitheatre for the performance on 14 January 2019 are only available to Young ROH members.

Performances

14, 17, 21, 23, 24, 26, 29, 30, 31 January 2019 at 7pm
26 January 2019 at 12 noon (Welcome Performance)

Sung in Italian with English surtitles

The Royal Opera’s La traviata will be shown in UK cinemas on 30 January 2019 with an encore screening on 3 February 2019. La traviata will also be broadcast to cinemas around the world.

For more information and tickets , visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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The Royal Opera House Opening Up Events – September and October 2018

Ahead of the completion of the Royal Opera House’s three year ‘Open Up’ renovation project, the famous venue has announced a new events programme. The new additions Ballet Dots, Opera Dots, Books at Brunch and Crafternoons will lift the lid on the artistry of the Royal Opera House and enable everyone – young and old – to find something new.

These newly designed programmes will run alongside free Live at Lunch drop in performances, Recitals at Lunch, Dance with The Royal Ballet and Come and Sing at The Royal Opera House.

For the first time, Ballet Dots and Opera Dots (£10 for one child and £5 for a subsequent child) will help children under five discover ballet and opera through sensory dance, singing, music and stories.

Books at Brunch (£12 pp) will feature talks from authors, broadcasters, publishers and artists from across the worlds of opera and ballet to encourage literary discussions within the intimate confines of the Linbury Theatre Foyer. Crafternoons (£12 pp) will allow audiences to try their hand at some of the techniques used to bring the ballet and opera performances to life, working with talented craftspeople from the Royal Opera House.  Crafternoons will be ticketed drop-in sessions from 2 – 5pm and Books at Brunch will run for one hour, from 10.30 – 11.30am, both on selected dates. Fifty per cent of tickets for these programmes are available to students, with the rest on sale to general public.

Budding singers of all ages and ability will be able to join in and sing with an opera chorus during the Come and Sing at The Royal Opera House (£10 pp) sessions. Keen dancers can learn dance steps inspired by the ballets performed at the Royal Opera House, led by a member of The Royal Ballet Company during the Dance with the Royal Ballet (£10 pp) workshops.

The Live at Lunch events are free, drop-in performances featuring artists from The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet as well as guest artists in the relaxed environment of the newly opened-up foyer. These will be inspired by the heritage and repertoire of The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet, featuring new and commissioned works.

Recitals at Lunch (£10 or £12 pp) will feature a ticketed programme of music in the Royal Opera House Crush Room, featuring artists from The Royal Opera, Orchestra of The Royal Opera House, Jette Parker Young Artists and a range of guest artists. 

 All programmes will take place at the Royal Opera House, which will be open to everyone, every day from 10am. The new bars, cafés, restaurants and displays will make the Royal Opera House an attractive daytime destination.

For more information , visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Book Review – London Theatres by Michael Coveney and Peter Dazeley (Frances Lincoln)

Few would argue that London is the undisputed theatre capital of the world. However most theatregoers focus on the action on the stage and often pay scant regard to their surroundings. This new book ‘London Theatres’ takes readers on a tour of forty-six London theatres with stories of the architecture, the people and the productions by leading theatre critic Michael Coveney and a series of stunning photographs of the public areas, auditorium and backstage by acclaimed photographer Peter Dazeley.

Award winning actor Mark Rylance writes the foreword for the book, describing the interaction between the actor and the theatre space. One of the first actions he takes when entering a theatre is to look up at the ceiling, if there is some kind of circular device, he is convinced that the theatre experience will be fine.

The book considers 46 London Theatres as they stand in the 21st Century, ranging from the grand Royal Opera House to the lesser known delights of Wilton’s Music Hall. The theatres are divided into chapters that illustrate some of the remarkable diversity of London Theatres, these include  Grandes Dames, Palaces of Pleasure, Popular Landmarks, Informal Delights, Legends Alive, Hidden Gems, Eastward Ho! and West End Jewels.

Michael Coveney in the book’s introduction considers that to understand many of London’s theatres development, it is important to study the architectural and cultural context. Although for centuries, theatre was a favourite British national pastime, by the 1980s thousands of theatres around the country have been lost. Remarkably, the West End of London has been resilient and constantly reinventing itself, even new theatres have sprung up to provide a platform for different types of drama. Although many of the large theatres are owned by large concerns, they have often spent millions of pounds to restore the decaying fabric of many old theatres.

The book begins with the opulence of the Royal Opera House, Theatre Royal Haymarket and Theatre Royal Drury Lane, these ‘Grand Dames’ provide evidence of intriguing history, decorative splendour and more rustic back stage. One of the themes of the book is the contrast between the front and back of house with grandiose design schemes and often Heath Robinson contraptions that create the atmospheric magic from back stage.  Peter Dazeley’s remarkable range of photographs take us on a journey in the theatres where often things are not what they seem to be and the glitz and glamour is often a mere façade.

One theatre that has redefined the theatre going experience is Shakespeare’s Globe, the wooden recreation of one of the famous theatres from the time of Shakespeare, Marlowe and Jonson illustrate that the connection between actors and audience was not always as clearly defined as modern theatres and the more basic seating or standing can provide a wonderfully different theatrical experience.

The connection between audience and actors has been one of the guiding lights of the more modern theatres which have often gone back to basics, Donmar Warehouse, the Young Vic and the Almeida Theatre suggest that it is important to concentrate on the quality of the drama rather than worrying too much about ornate splendour of the surroundings.

The book is full of wonderful stories and anecdotes from the theatrical world with the Theatre Royal Drury Lane holding the record for the number of ghosts stalking the building. Often it is the ghosts of the past that make a meaningful connection between theatre and theatregoer. Many of the great actors and actresses of the past have trod the London theatre boards and it often is considered their presence is still there in the memories of the audience and fellow actors.

This fascinating and important book puts the selected London Theatres centre stage with the illuminating photographs by Peter Dazeley  and intelligent commentary by Michael Cloveley. Generally, because so much time is focused on the action upon the stage, relatively little is written or shown about the part the actual theatre plays in creating the right environment for a successful performance.  The nature of theatre and drama is often about illusion and make-believe and this book illustrates the interesting part the theatre plays in this process. Walking into an opulent building indulges the fantasy that you are entering something extraordinary and amazing things will happen on stage. Even the theatres that have gone back to basics are creating a different kind of illusion that draws the audience into the make-believe world of theatre. This intriguing book provides plenty of evidence that the whole structure of a theatre is often as much part of the performance as the action on the stage.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like further information or buy a copy of the book, visit the Publishers website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Opera: Passion, Power and Politics at the Victoria and Albert Museum – 30th September 2017 to 25th February 2018

The Victoria and Albert Museum, in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, will create a wonderful journey through nearly 400 years of opera, exploring its passion, power and politics.

The exhibition will be one of the first to explore opera on a grand scale, it will immerse visitors in some key moments of the history of European opera from its roots in Renaissance Italy to its present-day form, by focusing on seven operatic premieres in seven cities. It will reveal how opera brings together multiple art forms to create a multi-sensory work of art, and show how social, political, artistic and economic factors interact with great moments in the history of opera to tell a story of Europe over hundreds of years.

More than 300 extraordinary objects, including important international loans, will be shown alongside digital footage of compelling opera performances. Objects on display include Salvador Dali’s costume design for Peter Brook’s 1949 production of Salome; Music in the Tuileries Gardens by Edouard Manet, the original score of Verdi’s Nabucco from the Archivio Storico Ricordi in Milan; and one of two surviving scores from the first public opera (L’incoronazione di Poppea) will be on display. Original material from the 1934 St Petersburg premiere of Shostakovich’s avant-garde Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk will be reunited and displayed outside Russia for the first time: these include the composer’s original autograph score, along with stage directions, libretto, set models and costume designs.

World-leading opera performances will be played via headphones, dynamically changing as you explore the cities and objects, to create an evocative and fully immersive sound experience. The exhibition will include a powerful new recording of the Royal Opera Chorus singing ‘Va pensiero’ (the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco, experienced in a 360-degree sound installation.

Opera: Passion, Power and Politics will be the first exhibition staged in the V&A’s purpose-built Sainsbury Gallery, one of the largest exhibition spaces in Europe.

If you would like further information or book  tickets, visit the V and A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Royal Opera House – 11th to 31st March 2017

diemeitwo

Kasper Holten makes his farewell as The Royal Opera’s Director of Opera with Wagner’s comic opera, conducted by Antonio Pappano and starring Bryn Terfel.

Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg investigates the nature of art in  Wagner’s only mature comedy, and for it he created a cast of strong characters led by the cobbler Hans Sachs, inspired by the real-life 16th-century Meistersinger. Musical highlights abound: the triumphant overture, the astonishing Midsummer riot and Walther’s winning Prize Song ‘Morgenlich leuchtend in rosigem Schein’, in a celebration of the value of national culture.

The story centres around Walther who falls in love with Eva. When he discovers that she shall marry the man who wins the Mastersingers’ song competition, he determines to be that man. However, his Trial Song to enter the guild is rejected, and Walther leaves full of contempt for the Mastersingers’ backwards ways.

Walther attempts to elope with Eva, but their efforts are confounded by a midsummer riot. Instead, the Mastersinger Hans Sachs helps Walther write a new song for the competition..

Running time

The performance lasts about 5 hours 45 minutes, including two intervals.

Language

Sung in German with English surtitles.

For more information , visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House – 20th March to 25th April 2017

madama-butterly

Antonio Pappano and Renato Balsadonna conduct two great casts led by Ermonela Jaho and Ana María Martínez in Puccini’s deeply poignant opera.

Giacomo Puccini was a great admirer of David Belasco’s play Madame Butterfly when he saw it in London in 1900. He used the talents of librettists Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa  to adapt Cio-Cio-San’s tragic tale for the operatic stage. Although the premiere at La Scala, Milan, in 1904 was poorly received, that same year Puccini revised and restaged the opera for performances in Brescia, to great acclaim. Madama Butterfly quickly became a hugely popular opera with performers and audiences alike, and remains one of Puccini’s most performed works.

The story centres around Cio-Cio-San, the young Japanese bride of dashing American officer Lieutenant Pinkerton, finds her romantic idyll shattered when he deserts her shortly after their marriage. She lives in hope that one day he will return.

Three years later, Cio-Cio-San and her little son see Pinkerton’s ship in the harbour. She excitedly expects his visit but Pinkerton and his American wife Kate have come only to take the boy away, to raise him in America.

East meet West when Puccini used Japanese folk melodies for the score.. In Act I, Cio-Cio-San expresses her radiant happiness in ‘Ancora un passo’, and the two lovers rapturously declare their love for each other in the passionate duet ‘Viene la sera’. In Act II the mood becomes increasingly strained, as in ‘Un bel dì vedremo’ when Cio-Cio-San longs for the ‘fine day’ when her husband will return to her. The romantic exoticism of 19th-century European images of Japan inspire Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s production for The Royal Opera.

Running time

The performance lasts about 2 hours 45 minutes, including one interval

Language

Sung in Italian with English surtitles

For more information , visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here