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Royal Opera House broadcasts for the 2012 festive season

Christmas treats include Operalia gala, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Ring Cycle.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

18 December 2012 at 11.24am | 18 Comments

This Christmas both opera and ballet will be screened on television, offering fans a chance to sit back with a mince pie and enjoy performances from both The Royal Ballet and this year's Plácido Domingo's Operalia Winners.

Plácido Domingo's Gala Concert screens at 7.30pm on Friday 21 December (BBC Four) and 27 December at 4pm (BBC HD),giving opera fans another chance to see performances from the likes of Joyce DiDonato, Joseph Calleja and Rolando Villazón (currently performing on stage in The Royal Opera's La bohème, as well as being involved in Royal Opera Live). Rolando is also taking part in a special edition of Start the Week (BBC Radio 4) on Christmas Eve, which was recorded at the ROH.

The Royal Ballet's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland will be screened on BBC Four on December 29 at 7pm. The ballet returns to the stage from 15 March 2013 and will be relayed live to cinemas around the world on 28 March.

Those after traditionally festive ballet viewing can watch a webstream of The Nutcracker on the Guardian's website from 5pm on 19 December and for seven days afterwards.

BBC Radio 3 will offer another chance to hear Wagner's Ring Cycle over the festive period. Das Rheingold will be broadcast on 24 December from 4.30pm; Die Walküre on 25 December (Act 1), 26 December (Act 2) and 27 December (Act 3); Siegfried on 31 December (Act 2) and 1 January (Act 3); and Götterdämmerung on 2 January (Act 1), 3 January (Act 2) and 4 January (Act 3). All broadcasts begin at 4.30pm.

And if you'd like to extend your festive viewing past Twelfth Night, Royal Opera Live will be broadcast online on 7 January. The day will see ten hours of live broadcast from behind the scenes at Covent Garden.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

18 December 2012 at 11.24am

This article has been categorised Ballet, Opera and tagged TV, Xmas

This article has 18 comments

  1. David responded on 18 December 2012 at 12:07pm Reply

    This scant Xmas offering concludes what has been a dismal year of Royal Opera/Ballet TV broadcasts by the BBC. The only ballet this Xmas is a re-run of the Alice broadcast from several years ago, the only opera is the Domingo Gala. As the ROH has moved into the cinema the traditional link with the BBC going back over half a century has been shattered. Even the cinema performances, presumably available on film are not distributed. At the same time Opus Arte, supposedly the DVD outlet for the ROH, is to all intents and purposes defunct and their only Xmas offering is two old dvds re-packaged as a box set. Meanwhile the Bolshoi, Mariinsky et al are releasing blu-rays left right and centre. I applaud the move by the ROH into the cinema but I fear we are now seeing the price of this initiative! Sad because the live ROH relays to cinema, backed by the live commentaries have been outstanding. Surely one at least could have been broadcast this Xmas. We are witnessing a major breakdown in the ROH/BBC relationship. Shame on both your houses!

    • Alastair Roberts (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 19 December 2012 at 3:58pm

      We're sorry that you are disappointed by the Christmas schedule but we are extremely proud that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the Operalia gala will be broadcast on the BBC. We greatly value our partnership with the BBC and remain in active and regular dialogue with them about live and recorded broadcasts from the ROH this Season and beyond.

      More broadly, we feel that performances from the Royal Opera House have never been more accessible: this year we have run a major live cinema season, a whole day of live streaming from the Royal Ballet on YouTube, three free BP Big Screen events, Maestro at the Opera on BBC television and a series of live and recorded broadcasts on Radio 3. Next year we will continue in similar vein, starting on 7 January with Royal Opera Live, a day of live streaming going behind the scenes with the Royal Opera. On DVD, Opus Arte continues to support the ROH in full; in the coming months we will release a full slate of titles from the Royal Opera House, including Romeo & Juliet (recorded originally for live cinema in March 2012), Robert le diable, Les Troyens, Written on Skin, and Eugene Onegin.

      Alastair Roberts
      ROH Director of Enterprises

    • Gill responded on 21 December 2012 at 12:45pm

      Agree with David's comments and would like to add that the lack of TV opera and ballet discriminates against older people who are less able to view via the smaller screen of a computer, (and many would not have one), or get to the cinema or big screen relays.

  2. Alice again as the only ballet offering? Why not show some of the more "grown-up" offerings from this year, or at least a new show! I would love to see Requiem again

    • I agree - so disappointing that the Beeb are just showing a re-run of 'Alice'! It just reflects their lack of interest in the Arts - particularly ballet and opera. There's been so much going on in the Royal ballet this year - and loads of new talent - it's such a shame!
      I think the ROH Live was brilliant and I hope there are more of these days planned in 2013 - at least that will be something! There always used to be a full length classical ballet on BBC2 at Christmas - watching it was what inspired me to dance!
      (from ex-pro dancer and ballet teacher)

  3. graeme bowers responded on 19 December 2012 at 12:20am Reply

    In all fairness the days of the BBC being the main/only conduit of the 'straight' arts is long over. I generally boycott anything related to Sky, but with their arts channel they are at least broadcasting continuously - albeit often old repeats - a diet of 'serious' art programmes.
    The BBC over the last ten years seems to have given up any pretence to being interested in ballet, opera, jazz or anything too demanding. It's all middle-brow plays and low-brow comedy.

  4. Patrick John Gordon Shaw responded on 19 December 2012 at 1:58pm Reply

    One sadly has to concur with Carmen and David's comments....AND what on EARTH has happened to the ROH Online Shop??The loss of potential WORLDWIDE revenue must be considerable! ALL very well to say that it and the accompanying Opus Arte sites are being redeveloped. THAT was some CONSIDERABLE time ago! SOMEWHAT disappointing!

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 19 December 2012 at 4:03pm

      Hi Patrick,

      Sorry you're disappointed - please see Alastair's comment re broadcasts. In terms of the online shop, this will return soon.


      Online Content Producer

  5. For goodness sake dont put that dreadful Robert le diable out on dvd it was atrocious and though its a rare opera it deserves a better production than it got .The Choreography of the Nuns ballet was a disgrace

  6. Bob Rimmington responded on 20 December 2012 at 8:57pm Reply

    I enjoyed Robert le diable last Tuesday and so it seemed did most of the audience. Also Sofia Fomina as Isabelle, very impressive. I look forward to buying the DVD. Not the best opera around but superior to quite a few I have seen. As for the nuns, I saw no ballet, just endless writhing. Hopefully I can skip that on the DVD!

  7. Richard Wiggen responded on 20 December 2012 at 9:11pm Reply

    I want to support David's comment and, frankly, Alastair Roberts' reply was the most depressing thing on any subject I have read for a long time. So 'Maestro at the Opera' is a worthy substitute for live opera! Sorry, Mr Roberts, on what planet do you live and why are you at ROH!?????
    Yes there are big screen showings but....
    I come to ROH for, on average, 12 productions a year. I live in Leeds. That means train fares and getting home at 3.00 am in the morning. I think that is commitment. I am not prepared to pay to go a big screen to see something I have already seen live - but I would be prepared to buy a DVD which I can watch many times.
    There is a very solid back catalogue of past productions on TV and big screen which have not appeared on DVD. If we are not going to get current performances on TV at least let us have DVDs of past productions.
    I realise that you need to work with the TV channels but I think you could make a bit of effort. But then, I suppose if you think watching Craig Revel Horwood conducting act 2 of La Boheme is the stuff of opera there is no point in me labouring the point.

  8. It's brilliant to see Alice and the Operalia Gala, as well as the Guardian Streaming of Nutcracker, but it seems very little. That's actually only two ballets, and one of them not by the BBC. Very disappointing from terrestrial tv stations, in terms of quantity. I do not want to see yet another reality show - they had better be filling up their schedules with good shows.

  9. Jonathan Gibson responded on 22 December 2012 at 1:15pm Reply

    Let's hope Tony Hall does something about this in future!

  10. Julia Gasper responded on 24 December 2012 at 6:10pm Reply

    It is a pity there is not going to be one decent full-length opera on a main TV channel at any time over Christmas and New Year. That is a poor show considering the number of channels we have and the huge amount of their time is given to repeats or to sheer rubbish. We pay such a lot for the TV licence and we get no say in what is broadcast. It is almost impossible to switch on the box with out being subjected to rudeness and foul language.

  11. kate responded on 26 December 2012 at 5:32pm Reply

    It is sad that there is so little ballet on the BBC especially considering the amount of re-runs that they have put on. Perhaps one less disney film and one more play/opera/ballet would have been nice. Cinderella performed by the BRB was amazing on the BBC and I really enjoyed it. I am overjoyed that Romeo and Juliet is coming out on DVD and am anxiously awaiting the re-opening of both Opus Arte and the ROH shop.

  12. londonkings responded on 29 December 2012 at 2:49pm Reply

    Would agree that it's a shame there isn't a new tv broadcast of a ROH production but seems to be mostly down to the BBC's decision to show a questionable film version of La Cenerentola. Would have been much better had it been the Cendrillon from summer 2011!

  13. Brigitte Hyde responded on 9 April 2013 at 8:51am Reply

    I typed in Alice in Wonderland on the basis that I wanted to see it sometime in the future but your websitre only brngs up what I have missed! Surely it is time to wipe off notificaton of last year's performances?

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