Thurs 28th November
Matthew Warchus directs Andrew Scott (BBC’s Sherlock, Fleabag) in Noël Coward’s provocative comedy Present Laughter. Captured live from The Old Vic in London, Present Laughter is a giddy and surprisingly modern reflection on fame, desire and loneliness. Note this production is filmed in front of a live audience, rather than broadcast live.
Thurs 28th November
Due to phenomenal demand, The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption, returns to cinemas this festive season. This beautifully reimagined production, co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, features a remarkable cast including Dame Judi Dench as Paulina, alongside Tom Bateman, Jessie Buckley, Hadley Fraser, Miranda Raison and Sir Kenneth Branagh as Leontes.
Tues 17 December
The Royal Ballet’s glorious production of The Nutcracker, created by Peter Wright in 1984, is the production par excellence of an all-time ballet favourite. It is Christmas Eve and Herr Drosselmeyer the magician sweeps young Clara away on a fantasy adventure in which time is suspended, the family living-room becomes a great battlefield, and a magical journey takes them through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets. Tchaikovsky’s glittering score, the gorgeous festive stage designs, and The Royal Ballet’s captivating dancing including an exquisite pas de deux between the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince, make this Nutcracker the quintessential Christmas experience.
See the hilarious, award-winning, one-woman show that inspired the BBC’s hit TV series Fleabag, broadcast live to cinemas from London’s West End. Saturday 28th is an encore screening: the show was recorded live on 12th September.
Celebrate the conclusion to 2019 with the Berliner Philharmoniker’s glittering New Year’s Eve Concert. This fantastic event will be conducted by Chief Conductor Kirill Petrenko and features a lively American programme including the star soprano Diana Damrau as guest soloist. Broadcast live from Berlin there are sure to be fireworks as the orchestra takes the audience on a journey through George Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story as well as works from Harold Arlen, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim and Kurt Weill.
Thurs 16th January
This production of The Sleeping Beauty has been delighting audiences in Covent Garden since 1946. A classic of Russian ballet, it established The Royal Ballet both in its new home after World War II and as a world-class company. Sixty years later, in 2006, the original staging was revived, returning Oliver Messel’s wonderful designs and glittering costumes to the stage. Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score and Marius Petipa’s original choreography beautifully combine with sections created for The Royal Ballet by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon. This ballet is sure to cast its spell over anyone who sees it.
Wed 29th January
Puccini’s opera of young love in 19th-century Paris is packed with beautiful music, including lyrical arias, celebratory choruses for Act II’s evocation of Christmas Eve in the Latin Quarter and a poignant final scene over which the composer himself wept.
Broadcast live from London’s West End, Cyrano de Bergerac, starring James McAvoy (X-Men, Atonement) in the title role. This inventive new adaptation by Martin Crimp tells the story our hero, Cyrano, who is fierce with a pen and notorious in combat, he almost has it all – if only he could win the heart of his true love Roxane.
17th March 2020
Beethoven’s only opera is a masterpiece, an uplifting story of risk and triumph. In this new production, conducted by Antonio Pappano, Jonas Kaufmann plays the political prisoner Florestan, and Lise Davidsen his wife Leonore (disguised as ‘Fidelio’) who daringly sets out to rescue him. Set in strong counterpoint are the ingredients of domestic intrigue, determined love and the cruelty of an oppressive regime. The music is transcendent throughout and includes the famous Act I Quartet, the Prisoners’ Chorus and Florestan’s impassioned Act II cry in the darkness and vision of hope. Tobias Kratzer’s new staging brings together the dark reality of the French Revolutionary ‘Terror’ and our own time to illuminate Fidelio’s inspiring message of shared humanity.
Weds 1st April
Liam Scarlett’s glorious production of Swan Lake, new in 2018, returns for its first revival. While remaining faithful to the Marius Petipa/Lev Ivanov text, Scarlett’s additional choreography and John Macfarlane’s magnificent designs breathe new life into what is arguably the best-known and most-loved classical ballet.
Tue 21st April
Two opera classics are drawn together in this wonderfully observed re-creation of life in a south Italian village as a travelling theatre visits and emotions erupt. The award-winning production by Damiano Michieletto presents vividly the fast-moving, shocking events brought about by secret love and uncontrollable jealousy.
James Macdonald (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) directs Maxine Peake (The Theory of Everything, Funny Cow) and Ria Zmitrowicz (Three Girls, Mr. Selfridge) in this bold and gripping thriller from Tony Award-nominated writer Lucy Kirkwood (Chimerica, Skins). Broadcast live from the National Theatre in London.