London’s Royal Opera House (now the Royal Ballet & Opera) in 2024-25

The Royal Ballet and Opera in 2024/25

  • World Premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera Festen  
  • Eight new opera productions across two stages including: Eugene OneginThe Tales of HoffmannDie WalküreSemeleThe Sound Voice Project and a Bernstein double bill 
  • European Premiere of Wayne McGregor’s MaddAddam  
  • Eight works new to The Royal Ballet by choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Joseph Toonga and Pam Tanowitz 
  • 40 years of breaking down barriers with our pioneering learning programmes 
  • 11 productions shown in 1,500 cinemas across the globe 
  • Tickets available from £3 – on sale from Wednesday 10 July 

The Royal Ballet and Opera today announces its 2024/25 Season. Opening on Monday 2 September 2024 under a new and combined organisational name, the Season features a programme of bold new productions, alongside returning audience favourites, thrilling debuts and bright new voices.

Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Ballet and Opera, said: Today we announce a Season of extraordinary breadth and ambition – to audiences old and new, in schools and cinemas across the UK, and through streaming and digital media, right across the world. Bringing ballet into our name is long overdue – The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera have performed under the same roof since 1946 – and both companies now enjoy the prominence that they rightfully deserve. The whole of the Royal Ballet and Opera is far more than the sum of our parts. We may perform at the Royal Opera House, but three quarters of what we do is experienced by people outside this building and, as we mark 40 years of our Learning programme, the impact and influence of the Royal Ballet and Opera can be felt in every corner of the country.’

The evolution of its name, the Royal Ballet and Opera, celebrates the institution in its entirety, recognising the whole, not just one of its parts. Together, the Royal Ballet and Opera will continue to perform at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House, with performances shown in cinemas around the world, marking an exciting new era for the two companies as they enter a thrilling 2024/25 Season.

The Royal Opera 2024/25 Season: In an ambitious Season, eight new productions spanning three centuries are spread across the Main Stage and the Linbury Theatre, including the world premiere of Festen. Based on Academy Award-winning filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg’s 1998 cult film of the same name, Festen is composed by Mark-Anthony Turnage (GreekAnna NicoleCoraline) with a libretto by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) and will be directed by Richard Jones. Previously a hit West End play, this darkest of comedy-dramas delves into the disturbing subject of abuse and generational trauma, with a cast including Allan ClaytonStéphane DegoutGerald FinleyEva-Maria WestbroekNatalya Romaniw and more, with Edward Gardner conducting.

Director of The Royal Opera, Oliver Mears, said: 2024/25 is set to be a thrilling Season for opera here at the Royal Opera House. With the world premiere of Festen, a brand-new commission by Mark-Anthony Turnage, we reaffirm our commitment to new opera; some of the greatest singers of our time perform alongside the most exciting voices of the future; and phenomenal creative teams bring unforgettable stories to life with eight new productions across both our stages. And as ever, our world-class Orchestra and Chorus will offer exactly the kind of intense, rich experiences that audiences are craving.

In a year that has seen Leonard Bernstein celebrated in mainstream cinema with the success of film biopic Maestro, his two major opera works will be staged at Covent Garden for the first time. The Linbury Theatre opera season opens with two of his semi-autobiographical operatic masterpieces, Trouble in Tahiti and A Quiet Place, directed by Oliver Mears and conducted by Nicholas Chalmers.

In the autumn, Ted Huffman (4.48: Psychosis) will make his Main Stage debut directing a new staging of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Henrik Nánási conducts Gordon Bintner in the title role, with Kristina Mkhitaryan (Tatyana), Liparit Avetisyan (Lensky), and Avery Amereau (Olga). After the success of Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci and CarmenDamiano Michieletto returns to Covent Garden to direct Offenbach’s last and greatest work, The Tales of Hoffmann. Conducted by Antonello ManacordaJuan Diego Flórez and Leonardo Caimi share the title role and are joined by Alex EspositoJulie Boulianne and Olga PudovaMarina Costa-Jackson, and Ermonela Jaho in the three soprano roles.

Following the glittering triumph of Das RheingoldBarrie Kosky delves back into Wagner’s mythic universe with the second instalment of the Ring cycle, Die Walküre. With Antonio Pappano leading from the podium, Christopher Maltman reprises the role of Wotan, alongside Elisabet Strid (Brünnhilde), Lise Davidsen (Sieglinde), and Stanislas de Barbeyrac (Siegmund).

Premiered in 1774, Semele is the latest in our Handel series of operas and oratorios that were first performed at Covent Garden. Darkly satirical, this new production from Oliver Mears considers class, privilege and degradation. Handel specialist Christian Curnyn conducts as Pretty Yende marks her return to Covent Garden in the title role, with Ben Bliss making his House debut as Jupiter.

Between Antonio Pappano’s departure as Music Director of The Royal Opera and Jakub Hruša’s arrival in September 2025, this Season hosts them both. Hruša conducts Corinne WintersKarita MattilaThomas Atkins and Nicky Spence in the revival of Claus Guth’s Olivier Award-winning production of Jenůfa. Other unmissable returning favourites include the first revivals of Tobias Kratzer’s Fidelio conducted by Alexander Soddy and Adele Thomas’s Il trovatore conducted by Giacomo Sagripanti and Carlo RizziAigul Akhmetshina reprises the role of Carmen alongside Freddie De Tommaso, conducted by Mark Elder. Ariane Matiakh conducts the second cast.

Commemorating the centenary of Puccini’s death, Speranza Scappucci, Principal Guest Conductor Designate, leads her first Covent Garden stage production, Richard Jones’ La bohème. Also returning is Jonathan Kent’s Tosca starring Sonya YonchevaSeokJong Baek and Bryn Terfel, conducted by Eun Sun Kim in her House debut. Andrei Șerban’s Turandot is conducted by Rafael Payare and Francesco Ivan Ciampa with Sondra Radvanovsky and Ewa Płonka in the title role.

The Season opens with revivals of Richard Eyre’s La traviata and David McVicar’s The Marriage of Figaro which sees Julia Jones conducting rising stars Ying Fang and Huw Montague Rendall alongside Jacquelyn Stucker and Luca Micheletti. Completing the Season are David McVicar’s Faust with Stefan PopErwin Schrott and Lisette Oropesa in the main roles and Robert Carsen’s Aida. For Christmas, Antony McDonald’s story-book production of Hansel and Gretel is conducted by Giedrė Šlekytė who makes her House debut.

In the autumn, the Linbury Theatre will present The Sound Voice Project. With music by Hannah Conway, this internationally award-winning opera-video installation features a libretto by Hazel Gould and performances by Roderick Williams and Lucy Crowe, raising questions about how we make ourselves heard, how we listen, and which voices are invited to the stage.

Continuing our Britten odyssey, impassioned opera meets dreamlike dance in a Royal Ballet and Opera double production of Phaedra + Minotaur, a collaboration with award-winning director Deborah Warner and choreographer Kim Brandstrup. Last performed as part of 4/4 (2020), the work sees Christine Rice reprise her Olivier award-nominated role – expertly harnessing Phaedra’s eroticism and despair. The Jette Parker Artists programme welcomes seven talented newcomers who will perform on stage throughout the year, as well as bringing their talents to a lively new production of Telemann’s Pimpinone in the Linbury Theatre.

In the summer, the award-winning, interactive, multi-sensory opera for toddlers and babies Catch a Sea Star, will be staged in the Clore Studio. With music from J.S. Bach, children can step into an enchanting underworld realm of mermaids and sea monsters.

The Royal Ballet 2024/25 Season: In 2024/25 The Royal Ballet presents a diverse programme of works that celebrate the Company’s rich heritage while featuring groundbreaking creations by some of the world’s leading choreographers and creative teams.

Following the landmark success of Woolf Works and The Dante Project, Wayne McGregor returns with the European premiere of MaddAddam. Combining forces of contemporary dance, music, fashion and literary worlds, Margaret Atwood’s monumental trilogy of novels (Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam) comes alive in this thrilling visceral three-act ballet. With a specially commissioned score by celebrated composer Max Richter and costume design by Gareth Pugh, it promises to be a spectacular experience.

In October, Encounters: Four Contemporary Ballets features the work of four distinctive choreographers championed by The Royal Ballet on the Main Stage. Experience a spectrum of human emotion beginning with Kyle Abraham’s gentle meditation on love, loss and memory in The Weathering. Four characters battle for control in Crystal Pite’s gripping boardroom drama The Statement. Expanding Dispatch Duet, which received critical acclaim on its premiere in 2022, Pam Tanowitz employs her trademark style to turn the conventions of dance inside out. Joseph Toonga presents his second Main Stage work for the Company where the idioms of classical ballet and hip-hop converge.

Masses of dancers move as a mesmerising whole in Crystal Pite’s Light of Passage which receives its first revival in February. Grappling with themes of safe passage, displacement, community and mortality, this award-winning work is set to Gorecki’s affecting Symphony of Sorrowful Songs – a reminder of the power of human connection in our turbulent times.

Wonderland becomes wondrously real as the ballet Season opens with two Technicolor adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s popular children’s story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – both of which will be part of our Schools’ Matinee roster. On the Main Stage, The Royal Ballet’s Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon’s interpretation partners with magical music by composer Joby Talbot and whimsical designs by Bob Crowley. Powerhouse storytellers ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company return to the Linbury Theatre with The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, transforming Carroll’s Wonderland into a dysfunctional institution in this energetic hip-hop show featuring original music and family-friendly storytelling.

Christopher Wheeldon’s versatility as a choreographer is showcased in a new mixed programme – Ballet to Broadway – where sensuous contemporary ballet meets the energy of musical theatre. Luminescent and shimmering, Fool’s Paradise marked the first of his many collaborations with composer Joby Talbot. Three works follow, new to The Royal Ballet. Recognising Wheeldon’s extraordinary success in musical theatre, the Company performs the ballet from his Tony Award-winning musical An American in Paris, set to Gershwin’s jazzy melodies. Its zesty spirit is contrasted with two duets of intimacy and yearning. The wistful songs of Joni Mitchell set the scene for The Two of Us, while the music of Keaton Henson is used in the tender duet from Us that Wheeldon created for BalletBoyz in 2017.

When George Balanchine arrived on the shores of America, he changed the landscape of 20th-century ballet. Pushing the boundaries of the art form with extreme speed, dynamism and athleticism, he defined the American neoclassical style. With Balanchine: Three Signature Works, The Royal Ballet present a triptych of distinctive pieces in one programme. Serenade was the first ballet he created in America, and its ethereal beauty is contrasted with the avant-garde Prodigal Son, a parable of sin and redemption. Symphony in C with its symmetrical formations and crystalline placements will bring this programme to a majestic and exhilarating close.

The Royal Ballet brings Shakespeare’s young lovers vividly to life with the return of Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, a modern classic that celebrates its 60th anniversary. Prokofiev’s glorious score feeds this epic tragedy, sweeping the ballet towards its inevitable and devastating conclusion.

Also marking 60 years since its creation, John Cranko’s 1965 take on Pushkin’s novel Onegin returns to the Main Stage. Set to an arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s heartbreaking score, Cranko’s expressive choreography results in a sumptuous period ballet.

For Christmas, Cinderella continues to cast its spell. This enchanting work by The Royal Ballet’s Founding Choreographer Frederick Ashton, with evocative music by Prokofiev and some spectacular stagecraft, is a rich theatrical experience not to be missed. In the Linbury Theatre, nothing says Christmas like a Greek tragedy: Ben Duke and Lost Dog’s electric and darkly hilarious work of dance theatre set to live music, Ruination, returns, turning the classic Greek myth of Medea on its head.

In the Linbury Theatre, the Company continues its commitment to honing new and diverse choreographic and performing talent. In October, First Soloist of The Royal Ballet Joseph Sissens is the driving force behind Legacy, a celebration of Black and Brown dancers from all over the world. In the spring, International Draft Works returns, gathering burgeoning choreographers from all over the world, revealing how the art form is ever changing and evolving. Closing the Season, celebrating both national and international talent, the Next Generation Festival is a showcase for the diversity and range of global performing talent presented by a selection of junior companies and dance schools.

Across the Season, the Linbury Theatre welcomes returning guest companies including Northern BalletAcosta Danza and Ballet Black. The Ballet Black: Heroes mixed programme will include a new work, If at First, by Choreographer-in-Residence at Scottish Ballet Sophie Laplane, that explores the complexity of humanity, heroism and self-acceptance.

Director of The Royal Ballet, Kevin O’Hare, said: An electrifying Season lies ahead as we stage thrilling works new to the Company, crafted by creatives at the forefront of choreographic innovation. The breadth of the Company’s artistry is highlighted in revivals of rich repertory favourites alongside a Linbury Season that welcomes guest collaborators and bright burgeoning talents. As ever, audiences will have the chance to witness world-class performances by our remarkable dancers. There really is something for everyone.’

Inspiring creativity across the UK:

  • 40 years at the forefront of arts education  
  • Reaching more than 45,000 students across the UK  
  • Seven Schools’ Matinees  

In 2025, the Royal Ballet and Opera celebrates 40 years of pioneering learning programming as it unveils its biggest year of learning initiatives to date. Over the past year the schools programme has grown from 1,575 schools to 2,710, working with more than 46,000 students, 1500 teachers and 700 schools to inspire creativity and open access to the arts across the UK.

These programmes sit alongside on-going projects in communities up and down the country including regional partnerships with Bradford 2025, UK City of Culture, Rotherham, Children’s Capital of Culture 2025 and a new focused initiatives in the east of England.

Jillian Barker, Director of Learning and Participation, Royal Ballet and Opera explains: ‘Our vision is to work towards creativity for every child. At a time when arts education in schools is squeezed and specialist teachers are in decline, it is more important than ever to strive to reach more children and young people. We are redoubling efforts to offer high quality opportunities to any primary school in the country, inspiring children and building the creative confidence of teachers and opening the opportunity to discover ballet and opera. We are working to diversify young dancers and singers. And we want ROH to be a place of creative adventure, welcoming to all, particularly families.’

This Season, the Royal Ballet and Opera will continue to offer a range of programmes to enhance arts education, spark creativity, and improve access to the arts for all. These learning and community-based initiatives include:

  • Extending its flagship programme to reach more schools nationwide, offering free resources to help teachers and students be creatively confident in the classroom. This Season will also introduce new live streamed lessons into schools from the Companies and artists of the Royal Ballet and Opera.
  • The return of Create Day, a large single national school event, held in partnership with UNICEF RRSA UK (Rights Respecting Schools Alliance), bringing together 30,000 children in person and virtually in a celebration of everything they have learned.
  • Hosting seven Schools’ Matinees across the Season, giving children from across the UK the chance to experience a live production at the Royal Opera House with heavily discounted tickets and travel grants.
  • The Creative Exchange programme – partnerships with commonly underrepresented groups in the arts to create a collaborative performance piece representing different life experiences.
  • Growing the reach of its Chance to Dance programme, where the Royal Ballet and Opera partner with local dance and primary schools in areas with limited artistic provision to introduce young people to ballet.
  • The Youth Opera Company, where over 100 state school children have the chance to work with Royal Ballet and Opera artists, performing on the Main Stage in productions including Carmen and Hansel and Gretel.

The Royal Ballet and Opera also continues to invest in future talent and professional development through initiatives such as the specialist apprenticeship programme, which will see the number of participants double this Season. Remaining one of the largest employers of artistic professionals in the UK, the apprentices join 1,044 full or part time staff, 2,060 contractors who are consistently employed, and freelancers or commissioned staff.

The fostering of talent and diversity is also seen in our second Overture cohort in partnership with Black Lives in Music, beginning in Autumn 2024. The year-long mentorship by players in the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House is available to young musicians aged 18-25 from the global majority or other underrepresented backgrounds. The scheme provides support tailored to the participants’ individual needs, enhancing skill sets, insight and training in the classical music field.

The Royal Ballet and Opera also present 11 productions in 1500 cinemas across the globe next Season, including such beloved classics as Cinderella, The Nutcracker and The Marriage of Figaro and exciting new productions of The Tales of Hoffmann and Die Walküre. 

The 2024/2025 Season’s ambitious work contributes to the enduring influence of the Royal Ballet and Opera, with a recent study finding it has one of the largest economic impacts on the ACE’s National Portfolio. Whether it is welcoming audiences from across the globe to experience magic on its stages or inspiring creativity in classrooms across the UK, the Royal Ballet and Opera celebrates everything that the arts bring to UK society, looking boldly ahead to a new and exciting Season of world-class productions.

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