Last Updated on June 1, 2021 by Fiona Maclean
A Night at the Opera
There is nowhere more exciting to go and see opera and ballet than The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. At London-Unattached we have loved going to review the shows over the last few seasons and so we were excited to hear about the reopening featuring in-person and streamed Spring and Summer performances. Public booking opened on 7 May 2021 with doors opening to ‘socially-distanced, in-person audiences’ from 17 May 2021.
The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera have programmed a season of world premieres, repertory favourites, and the world’s first opera in hyper-reality, all taking place on the Main Stage, the Linbury Theatre, or streamed online as part of the ongoing #OurHouseToYourHouse programme.
The Royal Ballet’s Summer Season at the Royal Opera House sees the full company return to the stage across three mixed programmes with choreography from Marius Petipa to Crystal Pite.
We’ve missed the live show of the first production – 21st Century Choreographers. The programme celebrates some of today’s finest international choreographers and includes Christopher Wheeldon’s shimmering ballet Within the Golden Hour, a world premiere from American choreographer Kyle Abraham, as well as two works new to The Royal Ballet from Olivier-Award winning choreographer Crytal Pite comprising The Statement, exploring the shadowy depths of human nature and boardroom politics, and Solo Echo, an atmospheric evocation of winter-inspired by a poem by Mark Strand, accompanied by Brahms’s beautiful sonatas for cello and piano. However, a silver lining from the pandemic is that almost every show at the Royal Opera House is currently being filmed, streamed live, and available to watch online for a few weeks. You still can catch 21st Century Choreographers online until 27 June.
Next, the work of 20th century American choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins will be celebrated in a mixed programme of work comprising Balanchine’s Apollo, with accompanying score by Igor Stravinsky; his effervescent and virtuoso Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux; and Jerome Robbins’ 1969 ballet Dances at a Gathering, an ode to pure dance set to music by Chopin. There are performances dates from 4–13 June 2021, and a live stream of the show on 11th June.
The Royal Ballet finishes their spring/summer season with a mixed programme of work including the world premiere of Anemoi by Royal Ballet First Soloist Valentino Zucchetti who develops his ballet Scherzo which was streamed to critical success last autumn. This will be accompanied by divertissements from choreographers who have shaped The Royal Ballet’s history and pushed the boundaries of ballet today. The third act of Petipa’s classic The Sleeping Beauty completes the programme, celebrating both the Company’s 90th anniversary and the production’s 75th anniversary. There are productions scheduled from 26th June to 11 July
The Royal Ballet School takes to the main stage on 10th July in a dazzling showcase of the exceptional talents of its young dancers in a programme of highlights from the classical and contemporary repertory.
This is the final in a series of three shows. They will also perform on the Linbury Stage as part of Next Generation along with Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, providing audiences an excellent opportunity to witness the work of some of the rising stars of ballet and dance.
The Royal Ballet presents two new series of Draft Works: The first, a digital-only version showing from 1st to 13th June, filmed from the Main Stage. The second, for in-person audiences, is showing at the Linbury from e1st to 3rd July. These works are a platform for promising choreographic talent from within and outside the Company, and a chance for audiences to see their creativity take shape in fresh explorations of dance today.
Opera at the Royal Opera House
The spring season opened in the Linbury Theatre with the re-opening of the world’s first opera in hyperreality: Current, Rising, a unique collaboration between the Royal Opera House’s innovation programme, Audience Labs, 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. The work is inspired by the liberation of Ariel at the end of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ Running until 10th June, the production takes four people at a time into the set for an immersive experience.
A little earlier this year, for a very short run, the Royal Opera House brought together an international group of distinguished singers to perform Mozart’s opera seria, La Clemenza di Tito, in a new production directed by Richard Jones, beautifully designed by Olivier-award winning Ultz and performed under the baton of conductor Mark Wigglesworth. The work, showing for the first time since 2002 includes stunning arias performed by a fine young cast including Nicole Chevalier, Emily D’Angelo, Angela Brower, Christina Gansch, Joshua Bloom and former Young Artist Edgaras Montvidas. It tells the tale of how the betrayed Emperor Titus is betrayed by his best friend and his future wife. Transported into Italy in the 1950s, it’s still relevant today. While the live production ran for just a week (we caught the final performance!) you can still watch it online until 10th June
La Bohème will be performed on the Main Stage live to both an in-person and online audience this Summer. We loved this production of Puccini’s tear-jerking blockbuster, by Richard Jones (you can see our review here). It features beautiful, atmospheric designs by Stewart Laing and two world-class international casts including Joshua Guerrero and Rame Lahaj as Rodolfo; Anna Princeva and Simona Mihai as Mimì, Danielle de Niese and Anush Hovhannisyan as Musetta and Boris Pinkhasovich and Yuriy Yurchuk as Marcello. The production will be conducted by Evelino Pidò.
The final opera of the Spring/Summer season is Kasper Holten’s stunning and inventive production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (our review is here) with set designs from Es Devlin. Conducted by Constantin Trinks, the two glorious casts include Erwin Schrott and Christopher Maltman as Don Giovanni, Gerald Finley and Paolo Bordogna as Leporello, Adela Zaharia and Vanessa Goikoetxea as Donna Anna, Frédéric Antoun as Don Ottavio and Nicole Chevalier as Donna Elvira. It’s a truly memorable production of this all-time favourite from Mozart based on the story of Don Juan. Don Giovanni is an incorrigible playboy who seduces every woman he meets and is finally undone when he accidentally shoots the Commendatore, father of one of his conquests, Donna Anna.
To round off the season The Jette Parker Young Artists will take to the Main Stage in their annual summer performance, giving audiences in Covent Garden and at home a chance to spot the stars of the future as they sing arias and excerpts from some of the greatest operas in history including Verdi’s Don Carlos and Falstaff, Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia and Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.
Booking for all performances, including online streaming and socially distanced live experiences, opened for the public on 7 May. For more details of all ROH broadcasts, creative activities and unique content, follow #OurHouseToYourHouse, and for bookings visit the website. All in-person performances at the Royal Opera House will be socially distanced until the start of the 2021/2022 Season in September.
Royal Opera House – https://www.roh.org.uk/
Experience dates: 21 May–10 June 2021
Performance dates: 19 June – 6 July 2021
Streamed online: 25 June 2021
Performance dates: 5- 18 July 2021
Streamed online: 16 July 2021
Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance
Performance dates: 17 July 2021
Streamed online: 23 July 2021
Spring Draft Works
Where: Online only
Available online: from 14 May 2021
Balanchine and Robbins
Apollo/Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux/Dances at a Gathering
Performance dates: 4–13 June 2021
Live stream: 11 June 2021
Beauty Mixed Programme
Anemoi / Divertissements / The Sleeping Beauty Act III
Performance dates: 26 June–11 July 2021
Live stream: 9 July 2021
Next Generation: Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance
Performance dates: 16-17 June 2021
Next Generation: The Royal Ballet School
Performance dates: 23-26 June
Summer Draft Works
Performance dates: 1-3 July 2021
The Royal Ballet School Summer Performance
Performance: 10 July 2021
For more dance, do check our preview of what’s on at Sadler’s Wells