In the first of our series bringing you opera productions from London’s Royal Opera House, a chance to enjoy the company’s new staging of Richard Wagner’s epic, his final masterpiece. A young man ignorant of everything, including his own name, arrives at the Kingdom of the Holy Grail. Is he the ‘pure fool, enlightened by compassion’, who, it has been prophesied, will purify the kingdom?
Running time includes two intermissions.
An unforgettable experience!
Richard Eyre’s produciton of Verdi’s masterpiece has been one of the most successful opera stagings in the long and celebrated history of the Royal Opera House. We present the original, definitive incarnation of that production, starring the incomparable Renee Fleming as the ill-fated courtesan Violetta, oppose Joseph Calleja as Alfredo and Thomas Hapson as his unyielding father.
Andrei Serban’s staging of Puccini’s final opera is a glorious pageant of rich colour, dance and drama. Turandot is a tale of disguised identities, riddles, ritual executions and powerful, triumphant love.
Paris in 1855, when the opera was first performed, provides the starting point for the interpretation by celebrated Norwegian born director Stefan Herheim. The opera ballet plays a significant role too, with Johann Kobborg choreographing for dancers from the Royal Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet. The story is set to impassioned and dramatic music, rich in showpiece arias and ensembles with striking choruses. Antonio Pappano conducts a world-class cast including Erwin Schrott, Bryan Hymel and Lianna Haroutounian in The Royal Opera’s first ever staging of Verdi’s grand opera.
Don José (Jonas Kaufmann) is a young soldier in the army in Seville. He intends to marry Micaëla, a girl from his home village, but when he meets the sensual and high-spirited Carmen (Anna Caterina Antonacci), his head is soon turned…Spanish heat and gypsy passion are brought to the stage in Francesca Zambello’s vivid production of Bizet’s famous opera.
Sung in French with English subtitles
Acts One and Two will last for about 1 hour 50 minutes, followed by a 15 minute interval. Act Three will last for about 1 hour 5 mins.
Powerful music, a gripping story and a tragic end: Puccini’s ever-popular Tosca performed with a fabulous cast. Among the star singers in this revival are Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel. Jonathan Kent’s detailed production draws to the full on the historical backdrop of Rome in 1800, an atmospheric backdrop to the love of the beautiful diva Tosca, the idealism of her lover Cavaradossi and the deadly, destructive obsession of the malevolent Chief of Police, Scarpia.
Daniele Abbado explores themes of identity, exile and religion in a powerful staging of Verdi’s epic opera. War has broken out between the Babylonians and Israelites. The Israelites have captured Fenena, younger daughter of the Babylonian King, Nabucco. In revenge, Nabucco vows to destroy Jerusalem, aided by the vengeful Abigaille.
“Domingo’s career, 42 years at Covent Garden and counting, continues to be a wonder of the age.” The Guardian
A lost key and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark – so begins one of the great romances of all opera. In his depiction of the tender and ultimately tragic love between Mimì and Rodolfo, Puccini achieved an immediacy, warmth and humanity that have rarely been equalled.
Kasper Holten, ROH Director of Opera, presents a mesmerizing new production of Mozart’s sublime tragicomedy. The impulsive and charismatic Don Giovanni travels through Europe seducing women, accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello. When he commits murder, he unleashes vengeance from beyond the grave.
Puccini’s first triumph returns to Covent Garden for the first time in 20 years in a new staging by Jonathan Kent. The exciting Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais sings the title role. A consummate Puccini soprano, Opolais caused a sensation as Madama Butterfly in 2011, and with Manon Lescaut, the bold but impressionable heroine, we will see a very different side of her. She is matched in star power by Jonas Kaufmann as her lover, Des Grieux, and Christopher Maltman as her cynical brother Lescaut. Kent’s vision of a young girl who faces temptation in the big city will surely resonate with today’s audience.
See five short films created by Alison Goldfrapp and writer-director Lisa Gunning (Nowhere Boy; Seven Psychopaths; Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) inspired by five songs in Goldfrapp’s latest best-selling album, Tales of Us. This 30 minute section is followed by a concert performance short earlier in the year. Goldfrapp have cited Patricia Highsmith, David Lynch, Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman as inspirations for the haunting soundscape of their sixth recording.
GB, USA, Canada
Shot in Alberta, this fantasy/horror epic concerns the monsters of Midian, and the hero (Craig Sheffer) and villain (David Cronenberg) who are searching for them before the creatures’ existence and abilities are exploited by humanity. Nightbreed now gets an extended cut that has creator Clive Barker’s enthusiastic support. It’s 20 minutes longer but features 40 mins of new or revised footage.
“A rip-roaring monster flick, all the stops out and pumping with imagination."
John Stanley, Creature Features
GB, USA, France
For fans of The Talented Mr Ripley: Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), and Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia) star in this stylish and classy psychological thriller adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel. Set in the early 60s in Athens and the Aegean Islands, The Two Faces of January is a gripping yarn about dubious characters, mixed motives and dark deceit under the midday sun.
“A gripping old school suspenser… Expertly blends touches of Hitchcock and Highsmith… Amini excels at conveying the subtle, unspoken tensions between characters, selecting a tightrope-risky example with which to make his directorial debut and orchestrating it with aplomb.” Peter Debruge, Variety
"An elegantly pleasurable period thriller, a film of tidy precision and class." Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"This is the kind of film Hollywood used to make – smart, beautiful, subtle and exciting." Karen Krizanovich, The Arts Desk
Former intelligence officer John Le Carre wrote his first espionage novel in 1962, just a year after the completion of the Berlin Wall, which loomed large in the book. That same wall - demolished 25 year ago, Nov 9, 1989 - also figures in the opening and closing scenes of Martin Ritt’s acclaimed film adaptation. It’s one of the key Cold War movies, the antithesis of James Bond escapism, and features arguably Richard Burton’s finest screen performance.
Considered one of the best films of the silent era, Sunrise was the first American film by German Expressionist director F.W. Murnau. The story, about three people only identified as Man, Wife and Woman from the City (who bobs her hair, wears a black décolleté slip and smokes!), is about the man losing his mind to the vamp and then regaining it. Sunrise features the most innovative camerawork of the decade.
Introduced by Jim Sinclair, artistic director of The Cinematheque.
Arguably the most popular building site in the world, the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona is still a work in progress, 125 years after the first stones were laid. Designed by the controversial Catalan genius Antonio Gaudi, the Sagrada is a testament to Faith… Faith in God, in the natural forms that so inspired the architect, and also in man, for Gaudi always knew this work would have to be completed long after his life-time.
"This film is more than a documentary, it tells the story using beautiful and quiet images of the transformation of ideas, talks of human endeavour for perfection and in so doing, illustrates that the essential meaning of this edifice lies in its creation process and not only in its completion.
This creative process is illustrated in varying perspectives from inside the incomplete church as well as the complex structure of the exterior parts of the church.
The film gives cause for self-reflection on how the past and present are related, portraying people and destinies involved in the construction of the church and ultimately proves that something incomplete also has its own significance." Jury citation, Erasmus Euro Media Awards
"Both exhaustive and astounding in its detective-like exploration of the history of the impossibly ornate Catalonian house of worship." Jackson Scarlett, 7x7SF