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ROH TV and radio Christmas broadcasts announced for 2014

The Royal Ballet’s The Winter’s Tale and Carlos Acosta’s Cuban Night are among the treats on offer this festive season.

By Hayley Bartley (Former Content Producer (Learning))

4 December 2014 at 3.00pm | 22 Comments

Royal Opera House productions to be broadcast during the festive period have now been announced.

On Christmas Day at 7pm BBC Four will screen Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter's Tale, performed by The Royal Ballet. As well as the dance adaptation of Shakespeare's tale of love, loss and reconciliation, Carlos Acosta curates and stars in Carlos Acosta’s Cuban Night. This exciting mixed programme of vibrant Cuban dance inspired by his homeland will be shown on Boxing Day at 7.30pm, again on BBC Four.

On BBC Radio 3 there is another chance to hear Plácido Domingo in his 2011 Gala Concert, alongside Ailyn Pérez, Marina Poplavskaya and Francesco Meli, on 6 December at 7.30pm. Christof Loy’s production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, starring Stephen Gould and Nina Stemme, will also be broadcast on 29 December at 5.45pm.

On Sky Arts there will be a number of Royal Opera House productions to watch over Christmas:

Please note, broadcast schedules are subject to change.

By Hayley Bartley (Former Content Producer (Learning))

4 December 2014 at 3.00pm

This article has been categorised Off stage and tagged BBC, broadcast, Carlos Acosta's Cuban Night, Christmas, Production, radio, Sky Arts, The Winter's Tale, TV

This article has 22 comments

  1. Angela Hurlstone responded on 4 December 2014 at 4:46pm Reply

    Fantastic News. Winter's Tale was one of my highlights of 2014 at ROH, I cried a river whilst watching the performance, it was a wonderful production. Then Carlos on Boxing Day - I couldn't ask for more! Then I read of all those amazing productions on Sky Arts, I am thrilled. I don't think I am going to going out much over the Festive Season #balletfestathome

  2. Ann Lander responded on 4 December 2014 at 7:28pm Reply

    Such a shame there are so few on terrestrial.

  3. Valerie Knight responded on 4 December 2014 at 8:10pm Reply

    Great news! Looking forward to 'The Winters Tale'. Have just watched the clip of the lovely Lauren Cuthbertson on Facebook.

  4. Mary responded on 5 December 2014 at 8:33am Reply

    Why is 90% of it on Sky and not the BBC?

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 5 December 2014 at 10:21am

      Hi Mary,

      This is partly due to the decision of the broadcasters, but also that Sky have two dedicated arts channels, whereas arts coverage on the BBC is mixed in with other programming.


      ROH Content Producer

  5. Sheila Cross responded on 5 December 2014 at 10:18am Reply

    It is very disappointing that Sky Arts has the bulk of the ballet, which so many taxpayers cannot access. I had hoped that with Tony Hall at the helm of the BBC there would be greater coverage.

  6. Mark responded on 5 December 2014 at 10:40am Reply

    So no opera at all on Terrestrial TV channels.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 5 December 2014 at 12:17pm

      That is correct.

      Best wishes


  7. Valerie Knight responded on 8 December 2014 at 4:02pm Reply

    At least the BBC has moved from the idea that ballets are pantomimes - ie Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker Here's one for the adults (Winters Tale). Act II should appeal to the youngsters though.

  8. Roy responded on 8 December 2014 at 5:58pm Reply

    I do hope you are talking to Tony Hall to ensure this dire absence of opera from the BBC will be addressed ? He should be ashamed of the BBC failing us in this way !

  9. noel patrick responded on 10 December 2014 at 5:36pm Reply

    The BBC's financial position surely makes it possible for more terrestrial performances to be shown.
    Get the hard-headed business accountants to do the necessary deals. The BBC needs to fill its schedules, and the popularity of your product must appeal to them.
    Every Opera and Ballet is an independent production which the accountants (if not unreasonable) can sell to them.

  10. noel patrick responded on 10 December 2014 at 10:25pm Reply

    Given the BBC's current financial position, it must surely have resulted in their always looking for, and giving consideration to, independently made programs.
    As every ROH Production is created individually, can they not be sold within the present financial constraints? Are your accountants not aware of the value to the Royal Opera House by mainstream coverage?
    I find it hard to believe that agreement could not be reached to result in more Opera/Ballet on the BBC.

  11. Jacky Tarleton responded on 11 December 2014 at 8:15pm Reply

    I am absolutely heartbroken that, yet again, there is no opera on TV for us.

  12. David Stephen Riley responded on 11 December 2014 at 10:23pm Reply

    We may have regrets that the BBC, for whatever reason, is unable to transmit more opera over the Christmas season but the one event you must not miss is the first broadcast of The Winter's Tale from ROH on Christmas Day - BBC4 at 7-00pm. I went to see it in the cinema in the spring not expecting to enjoy it much prefering to watch traditional ballet. How wrong Iwas - the ballet was such a remarkable experience, without doubt the finest experience I had ever seen. Every week I have been scouring the pages of the Radio Times waiting patiently in the hope that it will be broadcast before too long.
    So whatever plans you have in mind for Christmas night, change them for you cannot miss this glorious event. It's simply the best so many many thanks ROH and the BBC for the finest Christmas present imaginaable!

  13. Manon1753 responded on 12 December 2014 at 11:51am Reply

    Perhaps the BBC should review its priorities: it appears to have enough money for (seriously overpaid) political and sports personalities. It forgets it is OUR money it is spending and therefore what it buys with that money should come to US. We are all already subsidising many arts productions that deserve to be seen by more than the happy few who can afford ROH seat prices or ditised TV and huge screens at home. A seat in the Amphi costs me 4 days work - full time.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 12 December 2014 at 3:06pm

      Hi Ellen,

      In regards ticket prices, it's worth keeping an eye out - this Season we have more than 200,000 tickets priced less than £25 and more than half of ballet tickets are £40 or below.

      ROH Content Producer

  14. Anthony STODART responded on 19 December 2014 at 8:50am Reply

    So many comments by so many desperately disappointed (as am I) people bemoaning the lack of musical arts programming on our NATIONAL PUBLIC broadcast channels -

    And, in best British fashion, you are all so polite in your protest - WHY?!

    It is scandalous that the arts recede further and further into obscurity with every passing year - not only at Christmas and Easter, but all year round.

    And, please, let the BBC not whine that they do do the Proms, including retrospective showings months after the events -

    A direct parallel with Wimbledon - yes, AT PRESENT, they do it - but - otherwise, tennis, forget it (unless, of course, A. Murray happens to be (losing) somewhere other than at Wimbledon!) So consequently, Wimbledon to Sky inevitably and quite soon (and a womens' revolution in the UK?!)

    Sorry to thus mix the subject matter and on a ROH site, but - it is a NATIONAL popular rights issue wherein the publicly funded ROH should and could be taking responsibility, with the similarly funded BBC, for arts programming.

    The BBC is mealy mouthed, always having a feeble, age old 'cost' based self-excuse for its abrogation of its public responsibility with respect to so much - the arts, national sporting events et seq., - and its substition of low cost, easy and 'lowest common denominator' - brain dead, 'idiot food' - programming in lieu - interminable cookery, bric a brac, house hunting, (good but dumbed down) history, etc., - plus the obsessive Strictly Come Dancing thing

    Even BBC Drama seems to exist only because it is marketable as 'film' & DVD sale based material.

    And governmental responsibility for a balanced 'People's' national broadcasting diet - absolute ZERO - not to mention repeated broken promises by successive governments over the years with respect to the nation's entitlement to free access to the 'Crown Jewels of Sport'!

    You, WE, are tyrannised, almost without a murmur of effective protest, in so many respects - goes way beyond broadcasting, the Arts and Sport.

    Do something - vote, refuse to pay the Licence, boycott the Royal Opera, demonstrate, stand up for yourselves - stop being 'so nice' (and apologetic) - otherwise the tyranny and complete acceptance of the dictatorial Nanny State will be absolute and irreversible!

    This is not a political rant, but absolutely a heartfelt bemoaning of our lack of national musical arts fare - the problem is that this is, amongst so much of current British 'deprivation' in life, symptomatic of a far deeper malaise - including, or resulting from, the apalling phenomenon of to 'those who have, everything', but to those who have not (or little), increasingly NOTHING!

    (Thus, in contexct, vide - ROH Opera ticket prices after a multi-million pound revamp claimed to be making the hallowed halls more accessible to all - yes, ALL THE RICH!)

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 19 December 2014 at 1:22pm

      Hi Anthony,

      I'm not sure I'm able to respond to your comments about the BBC's arts coverage, but in regards to ROH ticket prices, they're cheaper than you might think. This Season we have ballet tickets from £4 and opera tickets from £5. In fact, over the course of the Season we have 200,000 tickets priced at £25 or below. We also offer cinema relays around the world, and free live streams via our YouTube channel.


      ROH Content Producer

  15. Sophie responded on 19 December 2014 at 1:59pm Reply

    I find ROH very accessible. There are excellent DVDs produced if you don't have Sky Arts. The live cinema relays mean I see more productions than I ever could previously. They are cheaper and closer to home. When I do go to ROH it is such a treat I don't mind what the tickets cost whether £20 or £100 because the experience as a whole is what you are paying for.
    We are very fortunate to have four ways to be able to view the tremendous work of the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera and let's not lose sight of the fact that they need our funding as they are not a public service.

  16. susannah wight responded on 29 December 2014 at 10:15pm Reply

    I frequently go to ballet at ROH spending £10-20 for good tickets in the amphitheatre. I once heard someone behind me say 'it's cheaper to come to the ballet than to spend the evening at home'. Opera tickets usually cost more - £25-40 - but are always worth the price. And one can get seats or standing places for less than £10 so it is rubbish to say that the ROH is only for the rich.

  17. trevor l responded on 1 January 2015 at 9:44am Reply

    I recently had a very acceptable seat in the amphitheatre slips for £10. Sitting beside me were a couple who had bought their tickets from viagogo - £25 each. Maybe it's third parties who are giving ROH an exorbitant image.

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