Royal Opera House to open its doors on 17 May
Booking is now open for the Royal Opera House’s first live broadcast of 2021 – Bertolt Brecht’s and Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins and Mahagonny Songspiel. Produced by the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, the double bill will be streamed live from the Main Stage in Covent Garden on 9 April at 7.30pm GMT.
FOR OUR RECENT REVIEW OF THIS BRECHT/WEILL DOUBLE BILL CLICK HERE
British Director and Jette Parker Young Artist Isabelle Kettle reimagines Weill and Brecht’s darkly satirical operas, following her directorial debut at ROH with Susanna which premiered in The Linbury Theatre in March 2020 (review click here).
Michael Papadopoulos will conduct the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, and the creative team includes choreographer and movement director and founder of House of Absolute Julia Cheng, designer Lizzie Clachan, lighting designer James Farncombe and Dramaturg Uzma Hameed.
The Seven Deadly Sins – Weill’s ballet chanté – is a work in seven scenes, following two aspects of one central character, Anna, as she embarks on a journey to fame, encountering a succession of obstacles which force her to confront the double standards of modern society. The split role of Anna is performed by mezzo-soprano Stephanie Wake-Edwards and dance artist Jonadette Carpio.
Tenors Filipe Manu, Egor Zhuravskii, baritone Dominic Sedgwick, and bass Blaise Malaba take on the roles of the exploitative family and are joined by dancer Thomasin Gülgeç.
Mezzo-soprano Kseniia Nikolaieva joins the cast in the role of Bessie in Mahagonny Songspiel. An exciting take on Brecht and Weill’s first collaboration, the audience will be treated to sensuous and astringent music that meets a wry and hard-edged comment on the pursuit of pleasure.
This production has been created with streaming in mind, building the filmed element of the piece into the viewing experience, whilst drawing on choreographer and movement director Julia Cheng’s background in hip-hop, contemporary dance and physical theatre.
Isabelle Kettle notes: ‘Brecht and Weill’s radical collaborations are such rich material through which to explore the crises of contemporary culture that have been exposed in recent years, and in bringing together this team of extraordinary artists, I hope to honour their spirit of innovation and critique.’
Julia Cheng adds: ‘We have worked collaboratively to find the authentic qualities of each artist to physicalise the storytelling of the libretto and operatic score. The movement is really integral to this work as it externalises the visceral complexities of each character and the warped worlds in which they exist.’
The Royal Opera House is excited to announce that it will once again open its doors to audiences on 17 May 2021, with a packed schedule of in-person performances from both The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera, brand new work available to stream online, and the world’s first opera in hyper-reality.
This suite of activity will take place on our beautiful and historic Main Stage, in our state-of-the art Linbury Theatre, or streamed online as part of our hugely popular #OurHouseToYourHouse programme. More details, including casting and booking dates, will be announced on 13 April 2021.
The Royal Ballet is thrilled to return to live performances with three programmes of works ranging from Crystal Pite to Marius Petipa. Opening in May with a programme of 21st Century works, including Christopher Wheeldon’s shimmering ballet Within the Golden Hour and two works new to The Royal Ballet by Crystal Pite. Pite’s extraordinary ability to speak meaningfully about the human condition through dance was captured in The Royal Ballet’s 2017 Olivier-award-winning commission Flight Pattern, and the opportunity for audiences and performers to engage with her work again comes at no better time after this enforced period of absence from the stage. The Company also presents a series of digital content, including Meet the Young Dancers on 19 March, a streamed Insight event introducing this Season’s Aud Jebsen Young Dancers and the 2020/21 Prix de Lausanne Dancer. Rising choreographic talent will also be featured with an online premiere in early May of Draft Works, The Royal Ballet’s showcase of new ideas and creativity in dance from within the Company.
The Royal Opera will bring 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 to meet the requirements of staging a show in the current public health environment, and performed under the baton of conductor Mark Wigglesworth.
Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said: ‘It is incredibly exciting that we will soon be opening our doors and welcoming audiences back to our beautiful Covent Garden home. 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.’
The ROH also announces the re-opening of the world’s first opera in hyper reality: 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.
We look forward to announcing more details, including casting and booking dates, for La clemenza de Tito, Current, Rising and The Royal Ballet’s Spring and Summer mixed programmes on 13 April. For both La clemenza de Tito and The Royal Ballet’s mixed programmes, audiences will be able to buy tickets for a socially-distanced live experience, or buy an online ticket to watch online wherever they are in the world.