FHB Highlight: «Ópera & Ballet in UK»
ELENA DÍAZ-GÁLVEZ PÉREZ DEL PUERTO
Mª TERESA VIDAL VIDAL
The Royal Opera House (ROH)
Until the middle of the 20th century, the current Royal Opera House was only used for opera during part of the year and the rest of the time it presented plays, pantomimes, revues and even ice shows. Three different theatres have succeeded each other on its site; the first, the Theatre Royal at Covent Garden, was built in 1732. The current building was built in 1858 after the previous building was destroyed in a fire, and in 1892 it became The Royal Opera House. After serving as a ballroom during the Second World War, the theatre reopened in 1946 to provide a permanent home for the opera and ballet companies now known as The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet, which perform with the Royal Opera House Orchestra and a permanent chorus, The Royal Opera Chorus, with over 45 singers.
The successful live broadcasts of the ROH
Since 2008, the Royal Opera House has been broadcasting its opera and ballet productions to cinemas around the world. In 2008 it began its screenings with the broadcast of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and, after a 16-month hiatus due to the pandemic, it has returned to offer a programme for the 2021/22 season that will be broadcast to audiences across the UK and to audiences in more than 35 countries around the world including Spain, which in the 2017/2018 season was the country outside the UK with the highest number of viewers.
Program and tickets:
web ➡️ Royal Opera House in cinemas
In the same spirit of bringing its productions to every corner of the globe, since closing its doors due to the global pandemic in March 2020, The Royal Opera House continued to bring together the world’s most extraordinary artists and delivered the #OurHouseToYourHouse programme, comprising nine live concerts (six opera, two ballet and two galas), 38 broadcast productions and a suite of online content that has been viewed more than 15 million times in 183 countries, along with a lineup of outstanding cultural productions in partnership with the BBC, Sky Arts and Netflix and a wealth of online learning opportunities from home.
THE ROYAL OPERA
The Royal Opera was founded in 1946 as the Covent Garden Opera Company and gave its first performance on 14 January 1947 with Bizet’s “Carmen”. The next ten years marked the consolidation of the company and the emergence of the first generation of British and Commonwealth opera singers: Charles Craig, Michael Langdon, Geraint Evans, Joan Sutherland and Jon Vickers. Alongside them came the great international singers such as Maria Callas, Tito Gobbi and Luciano Pavarotti.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Royal Opera was noted for its high standard of production. It was Zeffirelli’s 1959 production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, that made Joan Sutherland famous overnight.
Another Italian, Luchino Visconti was the author of several productions of Verdi operas, among them the centenary production of “Don Carlos” in 1958 and later productions of “Il trovatore” and “La Traviata”. It was also a Franco Zeffirelli production of “Tosca”, premiered in January 1964, which became one of Maria Callas’ finest performances and her last performance on stage on 5 July 1965.
The arrival of Georg Solti as musical director in 1961 marked the period of worldwide recognition of the company, which in 1968 was granted the right to be known as The Royal Opera by Queen Elizabeth II.
Today, The Royal Opera, under the artistic direction of Antonio Pappano, music director, and Oliver Mears, opera director, is one of the world’s leading opera companies and is known both for its outstanding performances of traditional opera and for commissioning new works from today’s leading opera composers such as George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Thomas Adès. It is now the only British company that regularly presents the world’s most famous opera singers, offers operas performed in their original language and reserves the principal roles in operas for guest artists.
An exciting new production of Handel’s Theodora has opened the 31 January at the Royal Opera House in a co-production with Madrid’s Teatro Real. Sung from the original English libretto by Thomas Morell and not having been performed at Covent Garden since its premiere in 1750, Theodora represents a test of effort and skill for soloists and chorus alike, with ensembles, duets and arias of great depth and beauty.
THE ROYAL BALLET
The Royal Ballet is an internationally renowned classical ballet company that is considered to be one of the most important of the 20th century. The Royal Ballet is an English-style classical ballet, rooted in tradition and passed on by its teaching staff and guest teachers drawn from its own pupils. Its training system is based on the legacy that Ninette de Valois, an Irish-British dancer and founder of the Royal Ballet school, inherited from her own teachers.
Today, under the direction of Kevin O’Hare, The Royal Ballet brings together tradition and innovation in world-class performance and is a driving force in the development of ballet as an art form. The company brings together today’s most dynamic and versatile dancers with an iconic orchestra and leading choreographers, composers, directors and creative teams to share breath taking theatrical experiences with diverse audiences around the world.