Royal Opera House to open first full Season since pandemic

Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House is one week away from the start of its first full Season since 2019, opening its doors to the public every day from 12pm and premiering with The Royal Opera’s spectacular new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto on September 13 and, for The Royal Ballet, a sumptuous performance of Kenneth MacMillan’s much-loved production of Romeo and Juliet on 5 October.

These productions open a truly celebratory Season packed with operatic and balletic highlights, showcasing the talents of both the Royal Opera House’s artistic Companies. For The Royal Opera, Rigoletto will mark the house directorial debut of Director of Opera, Oliver Mears, and will star Carlos Álvarez, Lisette Oropesa and Liparit Avetisyan conducted by Antonio Pappano. Later this Autumn, the Company will continue its Leos Janáček cycle with the long-awaited premiere of Claus Guth’s new production of Jenůfa, and this will be followed by much-loved repertory favourites on the Main Stage including David McVicar’s staging of The Magic Flute, Richard Eyre’s La traviata, and Phyllida Lloyd’s Macbeth.

The Royal Opera House’s state-of-the-art Linbury Theatre will also welcome audiences back at full capacity, presenting new work from some of the world’s most innovative artists. This includes a world premiere from theatre company Little Bulb: Wolf Witch Giant Fairy is a magical new Christmas show for family audiences. The Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this Season, will present the hugely popular Meet the Young Artists Week, with performances from the current Young Artists alongside returning alumni.

The Royal Ballet Season opens on Tuesday 5 October with Kenneth MacMillan’s much-loved production of Romeo and Juliet. This production features an array of Royal Ballet stars including Francesca Hayward and newly promoted Principal dancer Cesar Corrales who lead the cast on opening night. The Company will also present the world premiere of Wayne McGregor’s eagerly anticipated The Dante Project, a new ballet partly inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. For this new work McGregor has assembled an award-winning team of international talent, featuring a new score by Thomas Adès commissioned by The Royal Ballet and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Set and costumes are by visual artist Tacita Dean, celebrated for her pioneering and poetic work across film and multiple mediums. Lighting design is by Lucy Carter and Simon Bennison and dramaturgy by Uzma Hameed. Beloved classics of the repertory also return to the Main Stage with Peter Wright’s production of Giselle, and his iconic production of The Nutcracker for Christmas.

Alongside these Main Stage highlights will be a raft of exciting new dance programmes in the Linbury Theatre, including productions by Ballet Black, Yorke Dance Project and Alessandra Ferri, who celebrates the 40th anniversary of her association with The Royal Ballet. Draft Works will also showcase young and emerging choreographic talent from within the ranks of The Royal Ballet.

Our Covent Garden home will host a packed programme of events, festivals and activities. Experience a gorgeous programme of music at Recitals at Lunch; learn ballet steps inspired by choreography performed at the Royal Opera House in Dance with The Royal Ballet; sing with our chorus in Sing at the Royal Opera House; or take a look behind the curtain and learn about our rich history through our new programme of Tours

To ensure the safety of audiences, artists and staff at all times, full COVID safety measures are in place. These include enhanced cleaning and ventilation and regular anti-viral fogging. Mask-wearing remains strongly encouraged throughout the Royal Opera House.

Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said:

‘We are hugely looking to welcome audiences back at full capacity for a Season of world premieres, new productions and returning repertory favourites. The whole building is buzzing with energy, rehearsals are in full swing and the amazing artists of both The Royal and The Royal Opera can’t wait to get back on stage for you.’