The Royal Opera House (ROH) has revealed that it is set to host a series of Christmas concerts to be performed in front of live audiences in December.
The festive staging will include extracts from fairy-tale opera favourites such as Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella, 1817) and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (1893), as well as a selection of tunes from Royal Opera repertory classics including Puccini’s La bohème (The Bohemians, 1896 ), Mozart’s The Magic Flute (1791) and Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols (1912) to bring out the full seasonal spirit.
Soprano Jennifer Davis, mezzo-sopranos Hanna Hipp and Stephanie Wake-Edwards, bass Jeremy White, and baritones Roderick Williams and Dominic Sedgwick will perform on stage. They will be joined by the Royal Opera Chorus, Jette Parker Young Artists and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.
Oliver Mears, director of the Royal Opera, commented: “2020 has been a year of frustration and sadness for so many, but Christmas gives the Royal Opera the opportunity to offer our beloved audience and artists some real cheer. Our Christmas concerts, featuring the Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House conducted by Mark Wigglesworth, together with our Jette Parker Young Artists and many special guests, will showcase many much-loved opera and festive favourites that will enthuse and enchant us as we hope for better times ahead.”
The concerts take place on 18, 19 and 20 December at 7pm and 20 December at 3pm, with the Friday 18 December performance being livestreamed. Tickets for the live performances cost from £4-75; the livestream is £10. Tickets are available from the ROH’s website.
The opera house will also see the return of the Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky, 1892), in a Covid-safe restaging of Peter Wright’s two-act version. Opening on Friday 11 December and running until Sunday 3 January, there will be 17 performances.
A special filmed insight into the ballet, The Nutcracker in Rehearsal, will be available to watch from 7pm this evening via the Royal Opera House YouTube channel.
Alex Beard, chief executive of the Royal Opera House, said: “After such a challenging year, I am immensely proud to be unveiling this roster of uplifting Christmas highlights for the whole family. As we continue to navigate uncertain times, we look forward once again to welcoming audiences back to our auditorium and to showcasing some of the world’s greatest artists on our stages. Whatever the challenges before us, we are thrilled to offer some much-needed relief and delight to our audiences.”
All ROH performances and participating artists are subject to change due to Covid-19 restrictions. Strict mitigations have been put in place across the organisation to ensure the safety of audiences and ROH staff and artists.
Soprano Jennifer Davis and mezzo-soprano Hanna Hipp in rehearsal for the Royal Opera’s 2018 production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (Clive Barda).