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Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of The Virtues of Things. It was last on stage 2–6 May 2015 as part of the Spring 2014/15 season.


A long-established family prop-making business struggles to adapt to modern pressures. When a mysterious illness strikes, a slick outsider steps in to help – but his attempts to modernize their methods place the family in peril.


The Royal Opera, Opera North and Aldeburgh Music have come together in an annual project to commission new works from British composers and other creative figures relatively new to the genre of opera. 2015 sees the premiere of The Virtues of Things, a witty dissection of how objects carry meaning and operas unfold their fictions.

The piece has been conceived collaboratively by composer Matt Rogers and writer Sally O’Reilly. Rogers (also known as Gameshow Outpatient) has created commissions for the London Symphony Orchestra and London Sinfonietta, among many others. O'Reilly writes art criticism and fiction for video, performance and the page.

News and features

  1. Opera Essentials: The Virtues of Things

    29 April 2015

    Our quick guide to this world premiere from composer Matt Rogers and librettist Sally O'Reilly, a co-commission between The Royal Opera, Aldeburgh Music and Opera North.