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Royal Opera House 2017/18 Season announced

The Royal Ballet and Royal Opera's programme for the coming Season include world premieres, major new productions and classic revivals.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

5 April 2017 at 9.57am | 57 Comments

Details of the Royal Opera House's 2017/18 Season have been announced.

The Royal Opera’s Season includes six new productions at the Royal Opera House – La bohème, Semiramide, Lohengrin, Carmen, From the House of the Dead, and the world premieres of George Benjamin’s new opera, Lessons in Love and Violence and Donizetti’s L’ange de Nisida.

The programme also includes first revivals of Olivier Award-winning Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci, the much-discussed Lucia di Lammermoor, Les Vêpres siciliennes and Philip Venables' UK Theatre Award-winning 4.48 Psychosis.

The Season includes four premieres away from the Royal Opera House in collaboration with a range of partners, co-producers and co-commissioners – the world premieres of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s new opera Coraline, Mamzer Bastard by Guildhall School of Music & Drama/Royal Opera Composer in Residence Na’ama Zisser, and a new work by Tansy Davies.

The Return of Ulysses will be performed at the Roundhouse, and La tragédie de Carmen will be performed at Wilton’s Music Hall by members of the Jette Parker Young Artist programme.

The 2017/18 Season also sees Oliver Mears start his tenure as Director of Opera.

As previously announced, the Royal Opera will collaborate with the V&A for an exhibition covering almost 400 years of operatic history: Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, which opens in September 2017.

Looking ahead to the 2018/19 Season, four full cycles of Keith Warner’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen will be performed between September and November 2018; booking details will be available in autumn 2017.

View full listings for The Royal Opera's 2017/18 Season

The Royal Ballet's Season will include world premieres of five new productions – a new production of Swan Lake with additional choreography by Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett, as well as one-act ballets by Twyla Tharp, Arthur Pita, Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon.

The programme also includes revivals of new and classic works, including Peter Wright's much-loved productions of Giselle and The Nutcracker, Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter's Tale, Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia and Marguerite and Armand, Wayne McGregor’s Obsidian Tear, Liam Scarlett’s The Age of Anxiety and Hofesh Shechter’s Untouchable.

The 2017/18 Season will also celebrate choreographer Kenneth MacMillan’s legacy on the 25th anniversary of his death. Five British Ballet companies – The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet and Scottish Ballet – will come together for the first time on the Royal Opera House stage.

All three Royal Ballet associated choreographers will mark Leonard Bernstein’s centenary with a triple bill of one-act ballets.

Away from the Covent Garden stage, The Royal Ballet will be performing in Hull as part of the UK City of Culture 2017 celebrations, before touring Swan Lake to Madrid in 2018.

View full listings for The Royal Ballet's 2017/18 Season

During the 2017/18 Season, 12 productions — six from The Royal Opera and six from The Royal Ballet — will be relayed live from Covent Garden to cinemas around the world. The programme features a mixture of new productions and classic works. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.

What are you most looking forward to seeing in the 2017/18 Season?
Let us know in the comments below:

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

5 April 2017 at 9.57am

This article has been categorised Uncategorised and tagged classical music, Covent Garden, launch, London, orchestra, Royal Ballet, Royal Opera, season, The Royal Opera

This article has 57 comments

  1. Edward Brown responded on 5 April 2017 at 10:08am Reply

    Kaufmann not singing the entire of next season? Very disappointing.

    • Cecil Ovid responded on 5 April 2017 at 10:36am

      I agree. Jonas Kaufmann is, after all, the only known opera singer in the world. I, for one, am now in tears.

    • Raphael Camillo responded on 5 April 2017 at 10:53am

      Even if he were scheduled to sing, chances are he wouldn't show up anyway, so what's the point?

      I, for one, am really excited about this season. Looking forward to Semiramide with DiDonato, Rigoletto with Hvorostovsky and Macbeth with Netrebko.

    • Sebastian Petit responded on 5 April 2017 at 4:30pm

      I agree but we will have had his Otello this season (hopefully). Given how much he is doing there (and Brexit) I am seriously considering a move to Munich!

    • Mary Saddington responded on 20 July 2017 at 8:24pm

      He will be singing in the Barbican in February 2018 though.

  2. James Hopper responded on 5 April 2017 at 10:53am Reply

    Why is Oren back yet again?! Are there no other uninspired opera conductors available for hire?

    • Keith responded on 5 April 2017 at 11:30am

      This remains one of the strangest mysteries of the operatic-age.

    • ALESSANDRO BISSON responded on 5 April 2017 at 11:47am

      From my point of wiev, Daniel Oren is one of the best conductors, today, for the italian opera: it is very important to have him in London, each year, in this repertoire!

    • Max C. responded on 6 April 2017 at 6:53am

      I agree: Oren capability to sing with the Orchestra is unique. I'll never forget his ''Butterfly''. Welcome in London!

  3. Keith responded on 5 April 2017 at 10:57am Reply

    A thrilling season. New operas by Benjamin and Turnage, a return of 4.48 Psychosis, Ulysses' Homecoming at the Roundhouse, the company's first-ever staging of From the House of the Dead, a new Lohengrin, and a revival of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Add to that a serious production of Carmen by that theatrical genius Barrie Kosky (replacing that hideous Zambello staging), and a new Boheme by Jones to replace that dreary Copley staging, and we have the most exciting season for years! My poor bank balance though!

  4. Stephen Diviani responded on 5 April 2017 at 11:07am Reply

    Krzysztof Warlikowski directing 'From the House of the Dead'? That's one to miss. Looking forward to 'Semiramide' and the new George Benjamin though.......

  5. Bray Grem responded on 5 April 2017 at 11:08am Reply

    La Gheorghiu is to sing Tosca again? She just revived the production last year, and we hope something new for her

  6. Joanne Simmons responded on 5 April 2017 at 11:33am Reply

    Hurrah the return of 'Sylvia'!!

  7. Graeme Wright responded on 5 April 2017 at 12:03pm Reply

    Jonas Kaufmann is NOT the only known opera singer in the world! that is a ridiculous statement. I can think of worse things happening in the world today to cry over.
    'Daniel Oren one of the best conductors today'!!! are you serious?

    • Viv responded on 5 April 2017 at 2:11pm

      Graeme, I think there may have been more than a little sarcasm involved in Cecil's post.

    • Chris Saunders responded on 14 May 2017 at 1:35pm

      I cried over Kaufman!! In Jan I booked to see him and Giorgio in Tosca in Vienna and arrived last week to find neither was singing!

  8. Diane Park responded on 5 April 2017 at 12:35pm Reply

    I am feeling frustrated as hoping to get tickets for the opening night in Hull but so far unable to access the City of Culture website !! Do you know how to go about this please ?

  9. amac responded on 5 April 2017 at 12:52pm Reply

    We are also being denied Holten's Das Liebesverbot !! perhaps Kaufman and Oren are otherwise enaged ??!

    • Kathy responded on 28 June 2017 at 1:39pm

      Hi Amac, Only just seen your post. I took up the "Das Liebesverbot" issue with Mr Holten when he departed the ROH. He indicated that it was scheduled for Spring 2019 and as far as he knew that hadn't been changed. It would be great to see it in German, 51 years after seeing it twice in English at Nottingham University.

  10. Giulia responded on 5 April 2017 at 1:49pm Reply

    I will be so happy if I could come to see Alice's ballet with my partner and my 5 years old daughter !!! She loves watching the DVD and she will adore the show!!! Love from Italy

  11. Penny Carlisle responded on 5 April 2017 at 2:55pm Reply

    Very sorry to see that Semiramide is not being screened! !!!

  12. Helen responded on 5 April 2017 at 3:00pm Reply

    Please, please bring back Tales of Beatrix Potter and Ashton's Cinderella. Please. Much as I love the Nutcracker, I'd love to see one or both of these as well....

    • Nicola responded on 2 December 2017 at 11:35am

      I fully support the call for Beatrix Potter to return I look every season and its never repeated. SO please bring it back 2018

  13. Ntenis responded on 5 April 2017 at 3:52pm Reply

    Exciting season ahead! Looking so much forward to La bohème, Carmen & Donizetti’s L’ange de Nisida! Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ... keen on that too! Thanks ROH!!

  14. Not a Londoner responded on 5 April 2017 at 5:34pm Reply

    Yet another season where those of us outside London indirectly pay for but do not physically see what is on at ROH, and to maintain balance, the other place around the corner. Notice that to celebrate Kenneth Macmillan all the other 'regional' ballet companies are appearing in Floral St but aside from a Gala appearance in Hull the Royal Ballet can travel to Madrid but cannot manage anywhere in the UK. As to the Royal Opera, I suppose Camden is, yet again,the limit of their horizon. Live Cinema is fine but Covent Garden is by far the largest subsidised Arts outlet in the country and yet it is one of the most insular with regard to it's audience. Another season of rail travel and overnight accommodation then but I just wonder why it is cheaper for those of us beyond the M25 to travel to many European houses than the one supposedly serving the domestic audience.

    • Jane Collins responded on 1 January 2018 at 4:17pm

      I agree with you 100 percent. Why does The Royal Ballet not perform in theatres outside the Capital. Watching ballet on a cinema screen is not the same as being physically in a theatre. I think the company should be compelled to tour some performances to receive the subsidies they do. They should follow the example of Northern Ballet who not only perform in the north of the country but also tour South!

  15. Janet responded on 5 April 2017 at 6:39pm Reply

    And missing from the Royal Ballet repertoire for some time has been Coppelia. When are we likely to see its return?

  16. Richard Davis responded on 5 April 2017 at 7:34pm Reply

    Other than Arthur Pita and Twyla Tharp I find the season line-up less than exciting

  17. Nelson Jones responded on 5 April 2017 at 7:35pm Reply

    Let's hope Netrebko makes it this time.

  18. Ziv responded on 5 April 2017 at 9:28pm Reply

    What about "flight pattern" of crystal pite???? Please you must include it in your schedule

  19. I want to see La Boheme in June or July, when Matthew Polanzani and Maria Agresta are singing. You are double casting. I do not know which dates they are singing. I thought 16 June,
    20 June 2018,
    26 June,
    30 June,
    4, 11,14,and 20 July.
    Please advise.
    I shall go to the first, a middle, and last performances. I wish I could attend all...

    Seeing these two in La Boheme is my one reason for coming to London that summer.

    I have seen Maria Agresta as Mimi, and what a wonderful Mimi !!! I only wish I had liked her Rodolfo.
    I saw Matthew Polanzani as Rodolfo in Barcelona, and there is no other Rodolfo for me.
    This paring in a favorite opera is a fine reason for braving the flight over the ocean!
    Now I just have to save the money.

    • Asher Korner (Former Assistant Content Producer) responded on 6 April 2017 at 3:55pm

      Dear Leslie,

      Thanks for your comment, very glad to hear you're coming to see La bohème next summer. You're absolutely right, both Matthew Polanzani and Maria Agresta are singing on each of the dates you listed above.

      The cast list for each performance is here, on the production page:

      Hope this helps,

      Asher Korner
      Interim Assistant Content Producer

  20. Camilla responded on 6 April 2017 at 4:39am Reply

    Unfortunately giving up on Kaufmann and looking forward to a wonderful season in london, Here in New york have great opportunities at the Met but looking to Royal Ballet .

  21. Bill Worley responded on 6 April 2017 at 11:33am Reply

    Not Britten or Tippet or Handel. I have given up hope of the Royal Opera presenting an opera by Haydn. The only Baroque opera is The Return of Ulisses at the Round House? Why not the main stage and why is it being sung English?

    There are some things to look forward to including the new Carmen. Barry Koski is an inspired choice to direct this.

  22. Geoffrey responded on 6 April 2017 at 5:56pm Reply

    I sympathize with 'Not a Londoner', but was delighted to see how many matinee performances are planned for 2017-18 and that there are several at weekends, This is a great help for those of us who live away from London.

    • Not a Londoner responded on 7 April 2017 at 2:42pm

      I agree about the number of matinees, although for people living some distance from London, in my case Manchester, only the weekend ones are possible given the extortionate cost of travelling during the week. My main grouse is the lack of any presence outside London by our main flagship companies. I can appreciate the problems associated with opera, there being no real company to speak of, but fail to understand why the Royal Ballet cannot tour, they are after all a resident ensemble. They do not even travel to Birmingham where their supposed sister company are based. I am fortunate to be able to visit ROH and there is much to savour next season but I find it dispiriting that for many opera and ballet lovers the best work is not available, not even as a rare treat. Incidentally I am in no way demeaning the excellent work of the companies that do tour who should in my opinion be more favourably subsidised than they are for being more readily accessible.

  23. Anna Emma Sur Voigt responded on 7 April 2017 at 9:20am Reply

    "Go compaaare ! Go compaaare !
    Here's some casts I'd like to shaaare !"

    Munich : Kaufmann, Stemme, Petrenko, Pape (altogether in Parsifal), Garanča, Rachvelishvili, Yende, Grigòlo, Tézier, Damrau, Beczala, Flórez, Gruberova, Harteros, Netrebko, Calleja, Hampson, Keenlyside, Pieczonka, O’Neill, Koch …

    Vienna : Alagna, Garanča, Beczala, Netrebko, Rachvelishvili, Kaufmann, Harteros, Gould, Denoke, Furlanetto, Tézier, Grigòlo, Pieczonka, Camarena, Opolais, Flórez, Hampson, Domingo, Alvarez, …

    Paris : Hampson, Kaufmann, Yoncheva, Tézier, Garanča, Terfel, Vargas, Spyres, Dudamel (Gustavo !), Harteros, Radvanovsky, Netrebko, Domingo, Osborn, Yende, Jurowski , Abdrazakov, Pertusi, Brownlee, Alagna, Rachvelishvili, Alvarez …

    • Anna Emma Sue Voigt responded on 7 April 2017 at 4:59pm

      Last but not least : the mighty Met roster …

      Yoncheva, Fabiano, Westbroek, Alagna, Grigolo, Goerke, Yende, Peretyatko, Pratt, Beczala, Domingo, Graham, Radvanovsky, Calleja, DiDonato, Vogt, Mattei, Nikitin, Herlitzius, Furlanetto, Camarena, Abdbrazakov, Opolais, Terfel , Netrebko, Alvarez …

  24. Anne sellars responded on 7 April 2017 at 2:56pm Reply

    Which operas will have matinee performances

    • Asher Korner (Former Assistant Content Producer) responded on 7 April 2017 at 5:16pm

      Dear Anne,

      Thanks for your comment. Many of the operas in the 2017/17 Season will be performed as matinees, including Macbeth, Tosca, Carmen, and La Bohème.

      Please see the opera listings page for more details:

      Each production has its own page, with all the performance details.

      Many thanks and all the best,

      Asher Korner
      Interim Assistant Content Producer

  25. Robin B. responded on 9 April 2017 at 1:33pm Reply

    The new Semiramide, seen in Munich, is traumatizingly ugly. Why hire such a fantastic cast to put them in such a hideous production ? What a waste !

  26. alex responded on 9 April 2017 at 7:16pm Reply

    Since when is there an opera called Swan Lake?? Who composed this opera...??

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 10 April 2017 at 10:37am

      Thanks for your comment Alex. I think this may have been a case of over-zealous copy and pasting in the original reply. I have edited this now so Swan Lake is not included.

      Kind regards,


  27. Marian Howell responded on 10 April 2017 at 7:52pm Reply

    I was really excited to see that a range of mixed bill ballet programmes were included, together with full length ballets. However, this turned to deep is appointment when I realised that there were no Saturday matinees of these mixed bills. Whoever is in charge of scheduling, please note that not all RB supporters live in or around London. Try getting back to the West Country after an evening show!

  28. Django Mason responded on 16 April 2017 at 9:24pm Reply

    This years live cinema season was wonderful! Unfortunately, I kept seeing very similar principal casting. For example, Marianela Núñez will be the lead in 4 out of the 6 ballet's. Don't get me wrong, I love Marianela, but I would love to see in the 2017/18 cinema season some more of the other principal women. Especially Lauren Cuthbertson! I would love to see more of her dancing the cinema relays next year. I can't wait for the next cinema season and hopefully we will see more of Lauren Cuthbertson and more debut casts! Would love to see Reece Clarke as well!

  29. Graham Southern responded on 20 April 2017 at 6:42pm Reply

    The return of Ashton's Sylvia is great news. Thank-you!

  30. Jon responded on 8 May 2017 at 10:10am Reply

    Some great looking things in this season (yay - Vepres Siciliennes back!) but a tad concerned about something I just read on the Lohengrin production page: 'Alden’s vision for Lohengrin situates the opera in a bombed-out city: a dystopian world threatened from outside, where the people crave both a sense of direction and a leader.' Isn't that more or less what we had with Tim Albery's Tannhauser? Why don't we seem to get original thinking on Wagner operas?!

  31. Alan responded on 24 July 2017 at 6:15pm Reply

    Alas, my Odeon (central Manchester) seems to have changed hands. There doesn't seem to be anywhere near me that does "Live Cinema Season". Unless I can get down to London, I'm not sure I will be able to see anything. Boo hoo!

    • Noelia Moreno responded on 25 July 2017 at 10:37am

      Hello Alan,

      There are two cinemas in central Manchester showing our Live Cinema Season, another one in Salford, one in the Trafford Centre and several more further out. Please visit our webpage here for more details. I hope you find a good replacement.

      Best wishes,
      ROH Cinema

  32. Dana responded on 26 July 2017 at 9:27am Reply

    Really looking forward to:

    - Sylvia
    - Le Baiser de la fée
    - The Wind
    - Arthur Pita Insight

    All booked this morning!

  33. Wendy. Tribley responded on 25 November 2017 at 2:24pm Reply

    I will be visiting London for a few days in May 2018.
    When will I be able to purchase two tkts for performance on May 11th?

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 27 November 2017 at 12:05pm

      Hi Wendy,

      11 May 2018 will see a mixed programme of works by The Royal Ballet on stage.

      Booking opens to Friends of Covent Garden on 5 December 2017, with General Booking opening on 31 January 2017

      Best wishes,


  34. maureen craven responded on 10 December 2017 at 1:44pm Reply

    I want to see La Boheme in my 70th year 2018 will that be possible

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