When to see it
These events are part of the Winter 2017/18 season.
King Leontes, possessed by a mad jealousy, believes his pregnant wife Hermione to be having an affair with his childhood friend King Polixenes. His actions tear their families apart.
Hermione’s baby daughter is abandoned and Hermione and their son die of distress. The baby Perdita, rescued by a shepherd, grows up to fall in love with Florizel, son of Polixenes. The young couple is reunited with the remorseful Leontes and Hermione returns from the dead.
Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, created his adaptation of Shakespeare’s late great romance The Winter’s Tale for The Royal Ballet in 2014. Building on the success of Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Winter’s Tale received ecstatic praise at its premiere, acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for its intelligent, distinctive and emotionally powerful story, told through exquisite dance. It is now widely judged to be a modern ballet classic.
The story follows the destruction of a marriage through consuming jealousy, the abandonment of a child and a seemingly hopeless love. Yet, through remorse and regret – and after a seemingly miraculous return to life – the ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation. With powerful designs by Bob Crowley and atmospheric music by Joby Talbot, The Winter’s Tale is a masterful modern narrative ballet.
News and features
27 October 2016
The Company will perform in Brisbane in summer 2017 as part of the QPAC International Series.
16 June 2016
Latex cakes, enormous metal horses and a record-breaking tree are just some of the impressive creations made behind the scenes.
15 April 2016
Shakespeare Day insights event focuses on operas and ballets inspired by the playwright's work, including The Winter's Tale, Romeo and Juliet and Otello.
13 April 2016
What did you think of the return of Christopher Wheeldon's Royal Ballet adaptation of Shakespeare's play?
11 April 2016
Akane Takada replaces Laura Morera as Giselle; Itziar Mendizabal and Christina Arestis replace Laura Morera as Paulina.
31 March 2016
Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet adaptation is a true collaborative effort, with spectacular designs from all the creative team coming together to tell the story.
The Winter's Tale is a ballet in three acts choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon to a commissioned score by Joby Talbot. With scenery and costumes designed by Bob Crowley, lighting designed by Natasha Katz, and special stage effects designed by Daniel Brodie and Basil Twist, it was a co-production of the Royal Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada and was first presented at the Royal Opera House, London, on 10 April 2014.