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Watch: The Importance of Being Earnest from the Barbican

Ramin Gray's Royal Opera production of Oscar Wilde's iconic play was live-streamed via the Royal Opera House YouTube channel.

By Rose Slavin (Assistant Content Producer)

15 March 2016 at 3.00pm | 12 Comments

Ramin Gray's Royal Opera production of Gerald Barry's The Importance of Being Earnest was live-streamed from the Barbican on 2 April at 7.25pm BST and was available to watch for 30 days after that. The video is no longer available, but you can hear from the cast about the task of tackling Barry's wild and fantastic music here.

Based on the play by Oscar Wilde, Barry's opera has enchanted audiences since its 2011 concert premiere in Los Angeles, winning the Philharmonic Society’s award for Large-Scale Composition in 2013. Barry re-invents the Victorian farce with a hyperactive score that includes increasingly giddy variations on ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and a battle of spite through megaphones to the accompaniment of 40 solemnly smashed plates.

Adapting Wilde's much-loved play was no easy task. Read more about Barry's process here. And we select one of the opera's many madcap highlights in a piece that looks at the Bunburying duet between Algernon and Ernest.

Read our Opera Essentials to The Importance of Being Earnest.

The live stream of The Importance of Being Earnest is delivered in association with BBC Arts.

The Importance of Being Earnest runs 29 March–3 April 2016. Tickets are still available through the Royal Opera House and Barbican websites.

By Rose Slavin (Assistant Content Producer)

15 March 2016 at 3.00pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged Barbican, by Ramin Gray, live stream, Production, The Importance of Being Earnest, YouTube

This article has 12 comments

  1. Niall Hoskin responded on 31 March 2016 at 10:02am Reply

    Can anyone confirm that the performance will be available to watch on the youtube channel after Saturday?

    • Rose Slavin (Assistant Content Producer) responded on 1 April 2016 at 11:21am

      Hi Niall,

      The performance will be made available for catch up on BBC Arts Online and the ROH website shortly after the live stream for 30 days.

      All best wishes,

  2. Natalie responded on 2 April 2016 at 3:09am Reply

    Will it be available outside the UK?

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Online Content) responded on 2 April 2016 at 4:59pm

      Hi Natalie,

      Yes, it'll be available internationally with a few exceptions (Germany, for example - due to an ongoing dispute between YouTube and the German government)



  3. Colin Rose responded on 2 April 2016 at 12:44pm Reply

    Why does ROH/Barbican consider it not essential to publish the running time for this production- anywhere ?

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Online Content) responded on 2 April 2016 at 5:15pm

      Hi Colin,

      Acts 1 and 2 run for 30 minutes each. There is then a 20 minute interval before Act 3 (which lasts for 30 mins). The performance will conclude at approximately 9:20pm BST



  4. Justin responded on 2 April 2016 at 7:01pm Reply

    How do you find it on YouTube ? It is not advertised at all on the ROH channel on YouTube and I want to cast it to my TV which I can't do from this ROH page

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Online Content) responded on 2 April 2016 at 7:57pm

      Hi Justin,

      Click play on the video above, and the stream will play

      I hope you enjoy the performance.


  5. tara responded on 2 April 2016 at 9:33pm Reply

    Thank you so much for allowing us to watch this live. My elderly parents would not have made it to a show. They and everyone else I shared the link with loved it! Especially my father, this was his first time watching opera.

  6. Tina responded on 4 April 2016 at 9:29pm Reply

    Am trying to watch on utube but the sound and vision are not synchronised. I think they ate about 5 minutes out. Not worth watching. A pity.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Online Content) responded on 5 April 2016 at 10:45am

      Hi Tina,

      It sounds like it might be your connection - have you tried refreshing/reloading the video?


  7. Xenia responded on 19 August 2016 at 7:14pm Reply

    Just wanted to ask: Can we still watch this performance somehow?


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