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What was your Royal Opera highlight of 2016?

Share your favourite moments of the past year for a chance to win a pair of tickets.

By Mel Spencer (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

29 December 2016 at 4.13pm | 42 Comments

As the curtain comes down on an eventful year, we're taking a look back at your highlights from a year of performances on the Royal Opera House stage.

Perhaps you were tickled by Shostakovich's wonderfully wacky opera, The Nose, on stage in the autumn? Maybe you were bowled over by the much-discussed production of Lucia di Lammermoor back in April/May, or did you fall in love with Puccini's operatic tryptich, Il trittico? Did you discover a new composer, or an opera you'd never seen before?

Whether you were wowed by Werther or bowled over by Boris Godunov, we'd love to hear your favourite moments of 2016. Anyone who comments on this blog or shares their thoughts via Twitter using the hashtag #ROHreview2016 will be entered into a prize draw to win two tickets to George Benjamin's highly acclaimed opera Written on Skin.

If you're a ballet fan too, we're also looking for your favourite Royal Ballet moments.

Here are some of your favourites via Twitter:

What were your Royal Opera highlights of 2016?
Let us know via the comments below.

Competition terms and conditions: The 2016 Royal Opera review competition prize is two tickets to Written on Skin on 30 January 2017 . Closing date for entry is 4 January 2017. The winner will be notified by 6 January 2017. All aspects of the prize are non-refundable, non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for another date. Travel or accommodation costs are not included in the prize. This prize draw can only be entered by tweeting with #ROHreview2016 or by commenting on this blog post.

By Mel Spencer (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

29 December 2016 at 4.13pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged competition, highlights, review, Social Media, The Royal Opera

This article has 42 comments

  1. Nina Battleday responded on 29 December 2016 at 4:58pm Reply

    it couldn't be anything but the tap dancing noses in The Nose!

  2. Coppelia responded on 29 December 2016 at 6:14pm Reply

    Bryn Terfel and the ROH Chorus impressed in BoGo, as did Sonya Yoncheva, totally owning her debut in Norma.

    However 2016 was unquestionably the year of the Grigolo. The voice was big, the curtain calls even bigger. As Werther, his "O Nature, pleine de grâce" made me melt every time. It was an enormous pleasure to see Vittorio send off Schlesinger's Hoffmann production in such entertaining style, along with a fabulous cast and chorus. The production just makes you want to step into the scenes to mingle with the guests at Spalanzani's party, sit down with a tankard in the tavern, hop on a gondola and climb on that big bed. Unashamedly fun.

  3. Paul Murray responded on 29 December 2016 at 6:49pm Reply

    The jaw-dropping moment at the start of Oedipe when what I'd assumed were mannequins began to move.

  4. Giulia Breakwell responded on 29 December 2016 at 9:57pm Reply

    I saw Vitorio Grigolo in Massenets Werther at the Cinema relay from The Royal Opera House. and was completely blown away by his singing! Joyce Didonato was equally fantastic. I knew nothing of this Opera beforehand and absolutely loved it !

  5. Marina Gratsos responded on 29 December 2016 at 11:43pm Reply

    Werther for sure. Sublime vocally, dramatically and orchestrally. Perfection.

  6. Heather Prophet responded on 30 December 2016 at 8:08am Reply

    Oh my goodness, no contest, Sonya Yoncheva in Bellini's NORMA a couple of months back. It was probably the best performance of anything I have ever seen! Loved it so much, It literally broke the bank but I saw it THREE times. Story, set, costumes, music, atmosphere and the SINGING. Ahhhh. All wonderful. The Overture is so beautiful, it is almost worth going for that alone! All this, plus Pappano conducting. It just doesn't get any better. Thanks to all at ROH for bringing this to us all, and sending all good wishes for a happy, prosperous and successful 2017.

  7. noel patrick responded on 30 December 2016 at 10:42am Reply

    The Jette Parker 'Young Artists' again showed the brilliance of these not so well known up and coming opera singers.
    Having attended several of these performances over the past few years I am still blown-away every time. 2016 was no exception.
    Bravo ROH (and all involved) in producing this wonderful annual show. As good as anything else to grace the main stage.
    Best wishes for 2017.

  8. José responded on 30 December 2016 at 11:18am Reply

    Cav/Pag without a doubt. It was my first time at the ROH. I'm South American, but I had been to la Scala and Milan. Still, they were not as special. From the moment the orchestra started to play I had red eyes. I kept wondering: what's wrong with me? I've been to the opera so many times, but this was the first time I was crying. For moments, you forgot you were sitting in a theatre. I forgot about the singers, the orchestra, the stage production: this was verismo and we were watching a real life drama, veramente. When Westbroek was singing (beautifully) "No, no Turiddu", I caught myself thinking: "come on woman, don't be so pathetic! He doesn't love you anymore!". When you've got your audience to feel that, you've reached perfection.

  9. Caroline Jenkins responded on 30 December 2016 at 11:46am Reply

    Renee Fleming in Der Rosenkavalier. Not just my highlight of 2016 but one of the opera highlights of my life. My mum and I wept buckets. It was unforgettable!

  10. Elisabeth responded on 30 December 2016 at 12:06pm Reply

    I am French and I should say that the 2 French operas performed by Vittorio Grigolo were sublime! Werther along Joyce Didonato was excellent, orchestra was really good. About Les Contes d'Hoffmann, I really liked the production. Couple Yoncheva/Grigolo is functionning very well and I would like to hear them more! I still hope a DVD for both of those shows! Congrats for such a year, I wish the same for 2017

  11. Jennifer Coetzee responded on 30 December 2016 at 12:23pm Reply

    Sonya Yoncheva and Joseph Calleja in Norma. She sang impossibly beautiful, only wished I had bought tickets for more performance beforehand

  12. Annemieke Wielinga responded on 30 December 2016 at 12:59pm Reply

    Werther! Finally got one of my friends to come to the opera with me. We are both vets and came to a matinee performance after a night shift and in my case a plane ride..warm, dark and on a soft seat. We might have missed a few seconds... But Joyce DiDonato singing is wonderfull to wake up for..

  13. Chris responded on 30 December 2016 at 1:20pm Reply

    Angela Gheorghiu as Tosca.

  14. Gordon responded on 30 December 2016 at 1:35pm Reply

    A chorus line of dancing noses a few days after my mother died - just what I needed.

  15. Lucia responded on 30 December 2016 at 2:18pm Reply

    It was Œdipe for me. Simply majestic, with music by Enescu whose work we hear far too little in worldwide performances. I had goosebumps all the way through, will never forget that evening.

  16. Nigel Gallimore responded on 30 December 2016 at 2:19pm Reply

    Without a doubt my highlight is December's Der Rosenkavalier - absolute perfection and amongst the best thing I have ever seen anywhere.

  17. James Flattery responded on 30 December 2016 at 6:02pm Reply

    I very much enjoyed Cosi and enjoyed the singing and conducting.It was nice broad expansive Mozart at ROH again. I also thought Boris Godunov was good. I was also at a performance of La Traviata which I had not seen for years where we had two short notice stand in performers who were both magnificent.

  18. Carole Parsons responded on 30 December 2016 at 6:16pm Reply

    Norma with Joseph Calleja and Sonya Yoncheva - certainly a highlight for me

  19. John M. responded on 30 December 2016 at 6:27pm Reply

    For me it would be Tannhäuser - wonderful conductor, orchestra and chorus plus splendid singing from Emma Bell and Christian Gerhaher - and the staging has much going for it. Werther was also, for me, a top evening, particularly the almost unbearably moving scene of Werther's return at Christmas; Grigolo and DiDonato were almost too painful to watch. Good to say goodbye to Hoffman. Let's hope the next new production serves the RO as well. My worst evening? - without doubt the fatuous, self-regarding Lucia, redeemed only in part by some excellent singing.

  20. Runner up: Yoncheva in Norma (despite the weaknesses of the production). Winner: Jaho in Suor Angelica (despite a revival). Turkey of the year: L'Étoile (even worse than Lucia, which is saying something).

  21. So many memorable evenings this year including a sublime Rosenkavalier and an innovative and interesting Lucia. For me though the highlight was taking both the auditorium and backstage tours which gave me a great insight into how these productions reach the stage

  22. Philippa Goffe responded on 31 December 2016 at 1:08am Reply

    La Fille Mal Garden- a lovely return to the ROH and the Royal Ballet after a gap of a few years. Brought fond memories of watching a previous version with my mother - recently deceased - and my daughter as well as being an extremely enjoyable and funny production.

  23. J J-B responded on 31 December 2016 at 3:28pm Reply

    Everything about Norma, but particularly the thurible swinging in perfect time to Casta Diva. Oh, and in Tales of Hoffman when Dr Miracle appeared unexpectedly after he'd seemed to leave the room, the lady behind me actually gasped. Perfect.

  24. Ekaterina N responded on 31 December 2016 at 4:11pm Reply

    Werther with wonderful Vittorio Grigolo and Joyce DiDonato. Such beautiful singing, heart breaking.
    Tales of Hoffmann with Vittorio Grigolo. Such a shame we are not going to see this production again.

  25. Ann O'Shaughnessy responded on 31 December 2016 at 4:43pm Reply

    For me there were 2 outstanding productions - Oedipe and Boris Godunov. Werther and Les Contes d'Hoffman were also contenders as was Norma but for sheer professionalism in production and direction Oedipe and Boris were outstanding.

  26. Bert Rosen responded on 31 December 2016 at 6:17pm Reply

    How brilliant it is to see one of the Royal Opera's former Young Artists, Matthew Rose, rise to the rank of Baron Ochs. What a wonderful thing the Royal Opera does to promote great young talent, and Rose's career has been a joy to watch unfold on that stage and others. His Ochs was brilliant, in what must be one off the hardest parts ever written. Rosenkavalier was wonderful all round, and I can't wait to see it again in January.

  27. It has to be 'Werther' for me. It was luxury casting - DiDonato and Grigolo - as they certainly delivered but then the rest of the cast was filled with treats like a Christmas stocking. Heather Engebretson was a particular joy for me, but then there was David Bizic who made Albert seems human. And, of course, Yuri Yurchuk and François Piolino as the comic relief showed there are no such things as small parts. This was a production with no weak links in the cast, and not just a showcase for the stars (although the stars are much appreciated).

  28. Dorothy Ford responded on 31 December 2016 at 7:59pm Reply

    "Werther" was the greatest discovery of 2016 for me - and it had some tough competition! So unusual to see an opera without a chorus, and with astounding soloists. Both the dramatic music and the story have captivated me. I look forward to seeing this opera again, as well as Grigolo and DiDonato.

  29. Eric Firkins responded on 1 January 2017 at 10:08am Reply

    Without a doubt, Sonya Yoncheva as Norma. Her performance fully brought out the conflicts of her situation that she faces in the opera.

  30. Michael de Navarro responded on 2 January 2017 at 6:42pm Reply

    Werther and the Nose and Yoncheva's Norma. Griglio and DiDonato were exceptional in Werther and the tap dancing noses were the highlight of a riotous evening. Yoncheva could become the next great Norma and we have waited far too long for that

  31. John Freer responded on 3 January 2017 at 12:26am Reply

    Difficult to decide between Cav & Pag (loved the way the two operas were almost joined into one) and Norma (sublime).

  32. Gwyneth Macaulay responded on 3 January 2017 at 4:38pm Reply

    For me:
    Best Opera Production: Michieletto's Cav & Pag
    Best Voice: Sonya Yoncheva
    Best Ballet : Scarlett's Frankenstein

  33. Nick Tearle responded on 3 January 2017 at 5:08pm Reply

    Loved Il Trovatore.

  34. Gavin Ramsay responded on 3 January 2017 at 5:54pm Reply

    Top three ROH Operas this year for me -
    Il Trittico (ok thats three already!) -- Manon Lescaut and Der Rosenkavalier. The final trio was perhaps the individual highlight of the year. And another sneak in to make it four ... Tannhauser ...

  35. Nick Scott responded on 3 January 2017 at 6:00pm Reply

    The standout performance for me was Sondra Radvanovsky's Manon Lescaut. The one lyric dramatic soprano who can stand shoulder to shoulder with the greats of the past. And this in spite of a ridiculous production. From the breathtaking control and pianissimi of "In quelle trine morbide" to the heart wrenching final act all with that sound of tragic foreboding inherent in her timbre. She simply has no equal today.

  36. John Humm responded on 3 January 2017 at 8:20pm Reply

    In a tremendous Puccini evening Ermonela Jaho stood out as Sour Angelica. Such emotional impact. Her standing ovation was we'll deserved

  37. John responded on 3 January 2017 at 11:45pm Reply

    It was all about Sonya Yoncheva in Norma. Sublime is an understatement.

  38. Arthur Levy responded on 4 January 2017 at 12:38am Reply

    Charles Castronovo as Edgardo for me was clearly my favorite vocal and artistic highlight. For my taste the most beautiful lyric tenor voice in the world at this time.

  39. Stephen Hutchings responded on 4 January 2017 at 1:09pm Reply

    Hello, My highlight was the matinee performance of The Nutcracker on 27th December 2016 because by wonderful friend Isabella Gasparini danced her debut as Clara and she was so brilliant as were the other members of the cast including Mayara Magri, Beatriz Stix-Brunell, Nicol Edmonds, Gina Storm-Jensen. It was a fantastic show which I will never forget.

  40. francois responded on 5 January 2017 at 4:29pm Reply

    Werther and Norma were the highlights. I will also keep fantastic rememberings from Boris Godunov, Suor Angelica and Grigolo's Hoffmann.

  41. Hrizantema Dobreva responded on 9 January 2017 at 10:04pm Reply

    I thoroughly enjoyed Sonya Yoncheva's performance in AlexOllie's Norma.

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