London’s Royal Opera House has announced a packed programme of events and productions taking place this December.
The world-famous venue’s signature production comes from the Royal Ballet. Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty was first performed at the opera house in 1946. This three-act ballet was fully restored to the company’s repertory in 2006.
However, there’s plenty for opera fans too. The Royal Opera’s first production of the festive season is the world premiere of The Lost Thing, a musical reimagining of Shaun Tan’s beautifully illustrated children’s book about a boy who finds a bizarre-looking creature and then sets out to discover what it is and where it belongs.
Composed by Northern Irish songwriter and composer Jules Maxwell, this family-friendly opera will be performed in the Linbury Theatre. This brand new production is a collaboration between Candoco Dance Company and the Royal Opera in which a cast of disabled and non-disabled singers, dancers and musicians come together to tell a story about how we are all connected. It is sung in English with performances lasting about an hour and a half, with an interval, making it an ideal introduction to opera for youngsters.
One of the world’s most famous operas, Verdi’s La traviata (The Fallen Woman, 1853), is also returning to the Royal Opera House this Christmas. Richard Eyre’s magnificent production is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. It perfectly encapsulates the colour, glamour and splendour of 19th century Paris as tragedy unfolds in this powerful drama.
Keith Warner’s production of Verdi’s Otello (1887) contrasts light and dark, good and evil, focusing on the violent conflicts at the core of the Shakespeare-inspired opera’s story. The winter season continues with La bohème (The Bohemians, 1896), Puccini’s tragic opera of young lovers on Christmas Eve. The composer’s beautiful and heart-wrenching score is vividly brought to life in Richard Jones’s production.
Families can make, sing, dance and take part in a variety of workshops at the Family Sunday event on 8 December (11am to 3.30pm). This festive day will feature exclusive pop-up performance, crafts and a chance to try out opera or ballet.
For the full listings, visit the Royal Opera House’s website.
Richard Ayre’s production of Verdi’s La traviata returns to the Royal Opera House for its 25th anniversary (ROH 2019; Catherine Ashmore).