The Royal Opera House (ROH) has revealed details of its first cinema programme in 16 months, with six productions from the Royal Opera’s and Royal Ballet’s 2021-22 seasons to be broadcast to more than 2,000 screens around the world.
The season features a mix of new productions and revivals of timeless classics, showcasing an exciting roster of UK and international talent performing on the Royal Opera House’s Covent Garden main stage.
The 2021-22 programme premieres in December. The Royal Opera’s season begins with a revival of Jonathan Kent’s taut and intense production of Puccini’s powerful tragedy Tosca (1900). The romantic world of Cavaradossi, an idealistic painter, and his lover, the beautiful and sensuous Tosca, is turned upside down by the malevolence of Baron Scarpia, chief of police, with fatal results. Paul Brown’s historically charged designs evoke the dangerous atmosphere of Rome in 1800, where love and evil clash.
The production will be broadcast live on 15 December, with encore screenings from Wednesday 19 January 2022.
Heading into the new year, the next broadcast will be ROH’s new production of Rigoletto. Taking place on 10 March 2022, this anniversary screening celebrates 171 years since the premiere of Verdi’s devastating opera in 1851 at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice. Encore screenings start from 13 March 2022.
This production is directed by Oliver Mears – his first as director of the Royal Opera. It sees Verdi’s masterpiece as a modern morality play that pits power against innocence, beauty against ugliness, in a pitiless world of luxurious decadence, corruption and social decay.
The final production on the rosta from the Royal Opera is a revival of Richard Eyre’s celebrated La traviata (The Fallen Woman, 1853). This beautiful production provides the perfect setting for Verdi’s tragic story about a courtesan who sacrifices all for love. It will be screened live on 13 April 2022, with encores from 17 April 2022.
Oliver Mears commented: “This season – the first full ROH programme for two years – is quickly shaping up to be sensational, featuring some of the best-loved pieces in the repertory, performed by a dazzling cast of local and international stars. I’m delighted that audiences will once again be able to experience the magic of these productions wherever they are.”
The programme also features three productions from the Royal Ballet, opening with Peter Wright’s version of The Nutcracker on 9 December 2021. A festive favourite for the whole family, it was created for the Royal Ballet in 1984. Encore screenings will follow from 12 December 2021.
The Royal Ballet’s season continues with Kenneth MacMillan’s version of Romeo and Juliet, a classic adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, featuring evocative designs by Nicholas Georgiadis and set to Prokofiev’s iconic score. It will be relayed to cinemas for a special Valentine’s Day screening on 14 February 2022, with encore screenings from 20 February 2022.
Finally, the Royal Ballet’s production of Swan Lake will be screened on 19 May 2022, with encore screenings from 22 May 2022. Long regarded as a masterpiece of the classical ballet repertory, this critically acclaimed production features spectacular designs by John Macfarlane and returns to the stage after last year’s revival was cut short due to the pandemic.
Kevin O’Hare, director of the Royal Ballet, said: “The Royal Ballet is back after the most challenging 18 months in its history. We are thrilled to return to full production mode, bringing these beloved classics to both stage and screen again. It will be worth the wait.”
ROH’s cinema programme launched in 2008. This year’s screenings will be broadcast to more than 35 countries. For further details and to find a cinema near you, go to ROH’s website.
A revival of Jonathan Kent’s intense production of Puccini’s Tosca opens the Royal Opera’s cinema season in December (Catherine Ashmore).