The Royal Opera House (ROH) will open its doors to visitors again on 17 May, the London-based opera house has announced.
The venue will be hosting a packed programme of live performances from both the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet. There will also be new works available to stream online as part of ROH’s #OurHouseToYourHouse project, while the world’s first opera in hyper-reality is set to re-open.
“It is incredibly exciting that we will soon be opening our doors and welcoming audiences back to our beautiful Covent Garden home,” Alex Beard, ROH’s chief executive, commented. “We can’t wait to bring life back to our stages and the joy of live performance back to our audiences, and I am delighted that we can go back to doing what we do best: performing the world’s best ballet and opera to audiences at home and around the globe.”
A highlight of the programme is Mozart’s opera seria, La clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus, 1791). The Royal Opera will bring together an international group of distinguished singers to perform in a new production directed by Richard Jones.
This new version of a tale of political intrigue in the court of ancient Roman has been specially designed by Olivier Award-winning Ultz to meet the requirements of staging a show in the current public health environment; it will be performed under the baton of conductor Mark Wigglesworth. Audiences will be able to buy tickets for socially distanced live performances or to watch online wherever they are in the world.
The ROH has also announced the re-opening of what it describes as “the world’s first opera in hyper-reality”. Current, Rising is a unique collaboration between the Royal Opera House’s innovation programme, Audience Labs, the award-winning Figment Productions and Royal Holloway, University of London.
Developed by a female-led creative team, the 15-minute hyper-reality opera experience combines virtual reality with a multisensory set, inviting audiences to step into a bespoke ‘Opera Tardis’ and experience a dream-like journey carried musically by a poem layered in song.
Before all this, however, on Friday 9 April, the Royal Opera it will be live streaming its first fully staged production since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic with a brand-new double bill of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins (1933), a satirical sung ballet, and Mahagonny Songspiel (1927), a scenic cantata.
Directed by British director Isabelle Kettle, soloists from the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme will perform Brecht and Weill’s satirical double bill under the baton of British-Cypriot conductor Michael Papadopoulos and with choreography from Julia Cheng. This production will be available to online audiences only.
Further details, including dates and booking information, are yet to be announced.
Current, Rising, described as the world’s first opera in hyper-reality, will reopen at the Royal Opera House in May (Johan Persson).