This spring, audiences around the world can access two productions from the Royal Opera House (ROH) via the Covent Garden-based opera house’s streaming platform ROH Stream. Recordings of Jan Philipp Gloger’s 2016 production of Mozart’s comic masterpiece Così fan tutte (Women are Like That, 1790) and Deborah Warner’s new production of Peter Grimes (1945), Benjamin Britten’s dark tale of a repressive fishing community, will be available to view online.
Going live first is Così fan tutte. The opera, drawing from Greek myths and Renaissance tales, was Mozart’s final collaboration with the Italian librettist Lorenzo da Ponte. It is one of the most frequently performed operas in the world.
Following a bet with the cynical older man Don Alfonso, who believes there’s no such thing as a faithful woman, two idealistic young men, Ferrando and Guglielmo, disguise themselves and attempt to seduce each other’s girlfriends, sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi, with unexpected and comical results. The two women are determined to remain true to their partners, so Don Alphonso bribes the maid Despina to help him win the bet. The lovers learn, in director Jan Philipp Gloger’s words, that “love is not a God-given thing, but something that we have to fight for, find, define, create and dream newly, almost every day”.
Così fan tutte will be available on ROH Stream from 25 March at 7.30pm until Sunday 24 April. Access costs £10.
The production received its premiere at the Royal Opera house in 2016 and Gloger will be returning to Covent Garden later this year to revive his production on the venue’s main stage this summer.
Early next month, Deborah Warner’s new version of Peter Grimes will also become available on ROH Stream. The production, which had its world premiere in Madrid in April 2021, receives its UK premiere at the ROH on 17 March as part of the opera house’s 2021-22 season. The opera is the second in the ROH’s Benjamin Britten series, following Warner’s production of Billy Budd in 2019.
This sombre parable tells the story of eponymous fisherman Grimes, who becomes the victim of both cruel fate and a society that refuses to accept him. The community believes that Grimes is responsible for the death of his apprentice, with only the widow and schoolmistress Ellen Orford willing to give him a second chance. When Grimes is seen mistreating a second apprentice, the mob turns ugly. Warner’s approach foregrounds the complex character of Grimes himself, as well as the tragic conflict between the group and the individual.
Mark Elder conducts a cast that includes English tenor Allan Clayton as Grimes, Welsh superstar bass-baritone Bryn Terfel as Captain Balstrode, a retired merchant skipper, and British bass John Tomlinson as Swallow, a lawyer. Swedish soprano Maria Bengtsson sings the role of Ellen Orford, while South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo, a former Jette Parker Young Artist, is Ned Keene, an apothecary.
The opera will be available on ROH Stream from 7.30pm on 8 April. It will remain accessible until 8 May. Tickets cost £16.
To access either film, viewers will need a ROH Stream account. This is free to create, with productions paid for individually. Productions and live events can be viewed on a computer, tablet, smartphone or TV. Visit the ROH Stream website for further details.
Jan Philipp Gloger’s 2016 production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte will be available to stream via the Royal Opera House’s online streaming platform ROH Stream later this month (Stephen Cummiskey).