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Royal Opera House 2016/17 Season announced

Royal Ballet and Royal Opera programmes for the coming Season include world premieres, major new productions and classic revivals.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

6 April 2016 at 9.59am | 70 Comments

Details of the Royal Opera House's 2016/17 Season have been announced.

The Royal Opera’s Season includes seven new productions at the Royal Opera House - NormaCosi fan tutteThe NoseDer RosenkavalierDie Meistersinger von NurnbergThe Exterminating Angel and Otello. Two of these are from directors new to Covent Garden (Jan Philipp Gloger and Barrie Kosky). The programme also includes first revivals of Manon LescautWritten on SkinIl trovatore and Adriana Lecouvreur.

The Season includes three other premieres away from the Royal Opera House in collaboration with a range of partners, co-producers and co-commissioners. Handel’s Oreste will be performed at Wilton’s Music Hall by members of the Jette Parker Young Artist programme.

The 2016/17 Season also sees Antonio Pappano renew his contract as Music Director of The Royal Opera until 2020. Pappano will conduct five productions during the Season, including three new productions.

View full listings for The Royal Opera's 2016/17 Season

The Royal Ballet's Season will include four world premieres - new one-act ballets from Wayne McGregor, Liam Scarlett and Crystal Pite at the Royal Opera House, as well as a new production of Philip Glass’s dance opera Les Enfants Terribles by choreographer Javier De Frutos at the Barbican. It also includes major revivals of Kenneth MacMillan’s Anastasia and William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude as well as the return of MayerlingThe NutcrackerLa fille mal gardéeThe Dream and Marguerite and Armand.

The 2016/17 Season programme marks The Royal Ballet’s 70 years as resident ballet company of The Royal Opera House. The Company’s seven-decade association with the theatre will be celebrated with performances of The Sleeping Beauty and Symphonic Variations. Also celebrating an anniversary during the Season is Wayne McGregor, who marks 10 years as Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet with his aforementioned new one-act ballet set to a commissioned score by Steve Reich and revivals of ChromaWoolf Works and Carbon Life. McGregor will also create a new work in celebration of Chance to Dance’s 25th anniversary as well as mentor young choreographers Charlotte Edmonds and Robert Binet, who will present new commissions in the Clore Studio.

View full listings for The Royal Ballet's 2016/17 Season
Casting correct at time of publishing

12 productions will be relayed live to cinemas around the world as part of the Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season - six from The Royal Opera and six from The Royal Ballet.

Which productions are you most excited about during the 2016/17 Season?
Let us know via the comments section below. 

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

6 April 2016 at 9.59am

This article has been categorised Ballet, Opera and tagged 2016/17, announcement, Royal Ballet, Royal Opera, season

This article has 70 comments

  1. Reuben Loffman responded on 6 April 2016 at 10:10am Reply

    Really excited about Handel's Oreste being performed at the Wilton's Music Hall! Can you forward me some more details about this so I can buy a ticket? The web-link seems not to be working on my computer. Looking forward to Otello also and good to see Pappano back!

    • Miriam responded on 6 April 2016 at 12:36pm

      This will not be on sale until the first booking period, opening on 19 July for the public.

  2. Julia Eccles responded on 6 April 2016 at 10:25am Reply

    Excellent opera and ballet productions all round, sounds like it's going to be the best season for a while!

  3. Carla Rezza responded on 6 April 2016 at 10:38am Reply

    Norma and Otello! Fantastic season anyeay

  4. Ritva Aaltonen responded on 6 April 2016 at 10:38am Reply

    Otello with Jonas Kaufmann

    • Isabelle Dumaret responded on 8 April 2016 at 10:08pm

      Well, wait and see... In an interview published in the French Opera Magazine, Kaufmann says "In the future, it is obvious thatI I will sing Enee, Otello and Tristan". Well, in 2012 Kaufmann was cast at ROH as Enee in Les Troyens, but his name suddenly disappeared from the programme and in the end, without any explanation or excuse, the role was sung by Brian Hymel!

  5. Niall Hoskin responded on 6 April 2016 at 11:02am Reply

    Good to see there will be a run of The Nose!

  6. Ruth Wyman responded on 6 April 2016 at 11:13am Reply

    So very very Excited by Rosenkavalier both casts and Meistersingers amongst all the other goodies - one of the best Seasons for a long time - roll on 2016/2017

  7. Chris Caulfield responded on 6 April 2016 at 11:28am Reply

    Still very new to all this but was genuinely looking forward to the announcement of the new season and there is a lot I plan on going to watch having now gone through it. Hopefully there is plenty for the seasoned veterans too.

  8. Julie responded on 6 April 2016 at 11:34am Reply

    Excited about the new season!!
    However, Norma with Angela Gheorghiu would have been a much better choice!

  9. David Ellis responded on 6 April 2016 at 11:46am Reply

    If you could lower prices and make more available to poorer people it would help a lot of people but for most it is out of reach. For many who do not live in London there is the additional expense of transport and hotel etc so it is just a dream for many.

    • Stephen Cutler responded on 7 April 2016 at 8:19pm

      You don't have to pay £200 for a seat. I just stood at the back of the stalls circle for Boris for £10.

    • Elise responded on 7 April 2016 at 8:57pm

      I live in Birmingham and often get to the opera for around £25/30 including travel and ticket! If you get in quick when they go on sale there are plenty of tickets for around a tenner. You can live the dream if you get organised and set a reminder for the time the booking opens! I got a £9 ticket to see Netrebko in Boheme but had to get up at 8am on my day off haha! It was so worth it...Good luck and happy viewing!

    • Tenfingers responded on 13 April 2017 at 6:49pm

      Hear Hear !!

  10. Thelma Agnew responded on 6 April 2016 at 11:47am Reply

    Absolutely delighted that Woolf Works will be back - it was an overwhelming experience, unlike any other ballet I've seen. And a McGregor triple bill that includes the astonishing Chroma is a must-see. Pleased too at the chance to see some William Forsythe. Would have liked to see some early Ashton or another of the less familiar MacMillans (Anastasia is welcome) but, really, no complaints.

  11. mjm responded on 6 April 2016 at 12:02pm Reply

    disappointing with a couple of exceptions

  12. Peter Lewis responded on 6 April 2016 at 12:08pm Reply

    Very pleased with this season. Balanced and some exciting new productions to boot. I hope all the star names turn up.

  13. Coppelia responded on 6 April 2016 at 12:11pm Reply

    Mayerliiiiiing! Yes! Could you entice Sergei back to do this please?

    Also mightily pleased that Pappano will still be with ROH until 2020!

  14. Dana responded on 6 April 2016 at 12:17pm Reply

    I am looking forward to seeing Anastasia.

  15. John Travis responded on 6 April 2016 at 12:19pm Reply

    My wish has been granted , I have always wanted to see MacMillans Anastasia ; the fact that Mayerling is also being produced , is a fitting reminder of both the political and personal events surrounding the fall of the Habsburgs , Romanovs and the birth of a New Order .

  16. Jan Whittaker responded on 6 April 2016 at 12:24pm Reply

    A wonderful season of ballet ahead,particularly excited by Anastasia,Mayerling and the lovely Sleeping Beauty.I anticipate spending a lot of time on the train up from Devon in the next year!

  17. AlisonC responded on 6 April 2016 at 12:25pm Reply

    Opera looks good - especially interested by The Exterminating Angel and The Nose. Thanks for bringing back Written on Skin.

  18. Mel responded on 6 April 2016 at 12:31pm Reply

    Great to see you finally getting ahead of the curve with Netrebko's first Norma!

  19. LIONEL responded on 6 April 2016 at 12:53pm Reply


  20. Ron responded on 6 April 2016 at 12:54pm Reply

    OTELLO with Kaufmann !!!! YAY..and a wonderful Desdemona and Iago with him.

  21. Ron Pollard responded on 6 April 2016 at 1:12pm Reply

    Excellent season!! Only wish I could travel over for more (i.e. MANON LESCAUT with Radvanovsky).

  22. Raphael Fernandes Camillo responded on 6 April 2016 at 2:18pm Reply

    Unfortunately I am not as thrilled about the new season as some of the other posters appear to be. Besides Otello with Kaufmann, there's nothing that really whets my appetite. I was really hoping Joyce DiDonato would be singing Semiramide (or anything, for that matter). Norma is one of my favourite operas and though Calleja and Ganassi gets my hopes up, I am just not sure Netrebko will be apt for the task. If her performance of Casta diva on YouTube is anything to go by, the prospects are not looking great.

  23. Ekaterina N responded on 6 April 2016 at 2:32pm Reply

    Otello with Kaufmann.
    Norma with Netrebko.
    Adriana Lecouvreur with Angela Gheorghiu.
    Dan Carlo.
    Mitridate, re di Ponto with Mochael Spyres.

  24. Jonathan Coulton responded on 6 April 2016 at 2:47pm Reply

    Obviously thrilled by the prospect of Otello ~ which I have never seen; but looking forward to the revival of John Schlesinger's production of Les Contes d'Hoffmann too which I have & thoroughly enjoyed.

  25. Sun responded on 6 April 2016 at 3:02pm Reply

    Which 12 will be cinema relayed? Thanks!

    • Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer) responded on 7 April 2016 at 11:02am

      Hi there,

      Full details of the territories and individual venues will be released over the next few weeks – with tickets on sale next month.
      In the meantime, you can find all the productions and dates of our upcoming cinema relays here:

      All best wishes,

  26. Alexandra Eldin-Taylor responded on 6 April 2016 at 3:16pm Reply

    I am surprised that Domingo is returning again in Nabucco and will be interested to hear a rejuvenated Alagna in Il Travotore.

  27. Deborah Jones responded on 6 April 2016 at 3:30pm Reply

    Handel! Hurrah! Please don't muck it up with daft gimmicky production...

  28. Jack Murray responded on 6 April 2016 at 5:52pm Reply

    YET AGAIN no Bayadere and no Sylvia. Both superb productions not revived for at least 5/6(?) years. Damn shame IMHO.

  29. Wendy Knipe responded on 6 April 2016 at 6:22pm Reply

    Can't WAIT for Liam Scarlett's Frankenstein!!

  30. Bill Worley responded on 6 April 2016 at 9:00pm Reply

    Traviata - yet again. Is this six consecutive seasons we have seen this. Verdi did write other things

    • Roger responded on 7 April 2016 at 1:37am

      Don Carlo, Il Trovatore and Otello, for example? They're all being done too. La Traviata is a banker. It helps, massively, to balance the books. In the scheme of things, and looking at a season that also includes a new Adès, the return of Written on Skin, The Nose, a new Meistersinger, etc etc, what's the problem?

  31. Anthony responded on 6 April 2016 at 10:21pm Reply

    Netrebko as Norma?

    anyone with any taste will agree that she would have been a house soprano years ago before all the hype and looks became so important.

    someone is playing it safe giving the role to someone who singings everything regardless of whether is suited to it or not, or could stand independently among other great Norma's.

    cant the garden come up with more imagination? debuting a younger singer in the role?

    nebrebko? why not get Lesley garrett?

  32. David Roger responded on 7 April 2016 at 7:33am Reply

    Where can I see the season details in full ?

  33. Andrew Stafford responded on 7 April 2016 at 8:48am Reply

    You wait for years for a Norma to come along then 3 arrive at once...

    Really can't wait. Will it be included in an mini package with the Glass?

  34. francois responded on 7 April 2016 at 8:59am Reply

    Brilliant program, chiefly for the Opera (a bit more "routine" for the Ballet). My only disappointment is the absence of Simon Keenlyside, who will sing 3 operas in Vienna but none at the ROH. Apart from that it is globally a very attractiive and exciting season.

  35. Cathie Hubert responded on 7 April 2016 at 9:15am Reply

    Jonas Kaufmann Otello

  36. Sylvie responded on 7 April 2016 at 9:43am Reply

    I would like to see more Puccinni please.

    • John responded on 7 April 2016 at 5:03pm

      More Puccini??? You've got Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly & Turandot! How many more do you want?

    • Roger Mullis responded on 11 April 2016 at 1:01pm

      Not to mention that we've had Tosca and ll Trittico this season. I might make a plea for 'different' rather than 'more' Puccini, only in that it would be good to see La Fanciulla del West again before too long. I doubt we'll ever get a Villi or an Edgar here, but that's no great loss!

  37. Christine Kroger responded on 7 April 2016 at 12:07pm Reply

    my message of yesterday seems to have disappeared .I had asked when the bookings would open for the May and June 2017appearances of Pretty Yende in L'esire de Amore. there is a group of people wanting to fly over to attend . if I am commenting on the incorrest thread would you be able to re-direct me? I thank you

  38. Karen responded on 7 April 2016 at 2:47pm Reply

    Ballet season incredibly dull though I suppose Anastasia has some merit - struggling to remember the last time it was performed. Opportunity for a year off and more time at ENB/in Europe.

  39. Stephen Ratcliffe responded on 7 April 2016 at 6:26pm Reply

    Exciting opera programme. Looking forward to it. Much better than the current season which has been rather dull so far, save the magnificent Boris.

  40. adrian burley responded on 7 April 2016 at 7:13pm Reply

    Thrilled. Some ballets I have not seen and Mayerling as well. I might be able to face the winter.

  41. smd responded on 7 April 2016 at 9:11pm Reply

    Chroma and anastasia

  42. Vanessa Wilde responded on 7 April 2016 at 11:14pm Reply


  43. M.T. responded on 8 April 2016 at 12:31pm Reply

    It comes as a pleasant surprise to see a more classically based ballet season than we have seen for some time. I assume or perhaps that should be hope that the choice of repertory for the 2016-17 season means that the younger dancers will be given the opportunity to develop as artists by being cast in roles such as Lise and Aurora..

    Many ballet goers have been disappointed that the current revival of Giselle has seen only one debut in the title role by a company member. I trust that we will not be similarly disappointed by casting decisions next season.

    If the company is to developed its own leading dancers rather than buying them in from other companies who are prepared to put in the necessary time and resources it needs to do so working from the bottom up. I trust that we shall be seeing a number of debuts in major roles by company members during the coming season. If that happens I shall be happy. If it does not then I shall end up being as dissatisfies about the ballet programme for 2016-17 as I feel about the forthcoming opera season.

    The problem with the next opera season is that when you read the opera titles it does not look too bad but when you go into the details of directors and casts it becomes considerably less enticing..

  44. Can't wait to see Jonas Kaufmann as Otello!

  45. Daria responded on 9 April 2016 at 7:27pm Reply

    Would really love to see on ROH's stage again magnificent Les vêpres siciliennes with Erwin Schrott as Procida.

  46. Dionne responded on 10 April 2016 at 4:33pm Reply

    It seems there's no pleasing some people! I'm happy with McGregor, Reich, Woolf Works and Chroma, it doesn't get better than that.

  47. Jane Hulse responded on 24 April 2016 at 6:24pm Reply

    Very good news re Antonio Pappano.
    Wish the new production of Cosi was a traditional one.

  48. Alan Flemming responded on 27 April 2017 at 5:24pm Reply

    When does booking open for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland? Try as I might I can't find anything on the website.

This article has 1 mention elsewhere

  1. Royal Opera House announces 2016/17 season « Rachel Willis-Sørensen:  […] Today, the Royal Opera House announced its 2016/17 season and we’re delighted to see so many Askonas Holt artists involved! View full listings for Askonas Holt artists here. The season will see seven new productions, including the UK premiere of Thomas Adès’ ‘The Exterminating Angel’ starring Christine Rice, Sir Thomas Allen, Sophie Bevan and Iestyn Davies, and a joint production with Welsh National Opera of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ starring Gary Griffiths. Rachel Willis-Sørensen will star in two new productions: ‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’ directed by outgoing Director of Opera, Kasper Holten; and ‘Der Rosenkavalier’, directed by Robert Carsen and also starring Sophie Bevan and Matthew Rose. The season will feature revivals of Katie Mitchell’s production of George Benjamin’s ‘Written on Skin’ (conducted by the composer and with Iestyn Davies in the role of The Boy), Jonathan Kent’s ‘Manon Lescaut’ (with Luis Gomes as Edmondo) and Nicholas Hytner’s ‘Don Carlo’ (with Ludovic Tézier as Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa and Paata Burchuladze as the Grand Inquisitor). The ROH’s Live in Cinema Season, broadcasting six operas and six ballets throughout the season, including ‘Norma’ (with Brindley Sherratt), ‘Il trovatore’ (with Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Alexander Tsymbalyuk), ‘Les Contes d’Hoffmann’ (with Christine Rice) and ‘Otello’ (with Ludovic Tézier). Dorothea Röschmann appears in other performances of ‘Otello’, sharing the role with Maria Agresta. Other productions include ‘Adriana Lecouvreur’ with Angela Gheorghiu, ‘L’elisir d’amore’ with Roberto Alagna and Adam Plachetka, ‘Mitridate, re di Ponto’ with Lucy Crowe, and ‘Turandot’ with Lise Lindstrom, Roberto Alagna, Dinara Alieva, Brindley Sherratt and Zheng Zhong Zhou. View full listings for Askonas Holt artists here, or visit the Royal Opera House website. […]

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