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The Royal Opera House's new Linbury Theatre is now open

The West End’s newest and most intimate theatre opens today with its first live performance.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

17 January 2019 at 2.40pm | 4 Comments

The Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre, the West End’s newest and most intimate theatre, opens today with its first live performance. Extensively redesigned and refurbished as part of our Open Up project, London’s latest state-of-the-art theatre will open with TRIOConcertDance, a mixed programme of contemporary choreography. Performed by Alessandra Ferri, Herman Cornejo and Bruce Levingston, TRIOConcertDance features a series of UK premieres, and showcases the Linbury Theatre as The Royal Ballet’s new innovative and international stage for dance.

In February, The Royal Opera presents the world premiere of The Monstrous Child in the Linbury Theatre, a new opera by British composer Gavin Higgins and best-selling author Francesca Simon. Inspired by Norse mythology, and incorporating innovative puppetry and design inspired by the Nordic landscape, this theatrical spectacle is sung in English and stars British-Spanish mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons. Celebrating the Linbury Theatre as The Royal Opera’s intimate stage for contemporary storytelling, this opening production presents a new story for audiences in a fresh and imaginative way.

Also in February, The Royal Ballet performs for the first time in the Linbury Theatre, presenting New Work New Music, a mixed programme of world premieres set to contemporary music never used before for dance. With work from internationally renowned choreographers including Aletta Collins, Goyo Montero and Juliano Nunez performed by Royal Ballet dancers including Marianela Nuñez, Lauren Cuthbertson and Marcelino Sambé, this mixed bill offers audiences a unique opportunity to experience a series of world premieres in a new and intimate context, devised by international, world-class artists and presented as part of The Royal Ballet’s ongoing commitment to creating dance of the future.

Other programme highlights presented during the Linbury Theatre’s opening season include Handel's Berenice, a collaboration between The Royal Opera and London Handel Festival, and The Diary of One Who Disappeared, Muziektheater Transparant’s unique staging of Janáček’s song cycle, directed by Ivo Van Hove. These productions further establish the Linbury Theatre as a flagship, international stage for chamber scale opera and a platform for in demand artists from around the world.

Visiting dance companies presenting work in the Linbury Theatre during 2019 include Ballet Black, Introdans and Cas Public, and in June the inaugural Young Talent Festival encompasses work from Rambert 2 and The Royal Ballet School, emphasizing the importance of talent development through flagship, cross-company collaboration on this new West End stage.

Upcoming performances at the Linbury Theatre: 

TRIO ConcertDance
17–27 January 2019

Insights: Primeiro Bailarino – Film Screening
21 January 2019

New Work New Music
6–9 February 2019

The Monstrous Child
21 February—3 March 2019

Discover Dance
8–10 March 2019

8–9 March 2019

Dutch Masters
15–17 March 2019

27 March—7 April 2019

International Draft Works 2019
11–12 April 2019

Juliet & Romeo
13–14 April 2019

A Man of Good Hope
16 April—4 May 2019

SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill
18 April—4 May 2019

24–30 May 2019

The Diary of One Who Disappeared
5–8 June 2019

Ballet Black
13–15 June 2019

Young Talent Festival
18 June—6 July 2019

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

17 January 2019 at 2.40pm

This article has been categorised Off stage, Theatre and tagged Linbury Theatre, Open Up

This article has 4 comments

  1. Kevin responded on 18 January 2019 at 8:44pm Reply

    Sorry. I was very disappointed with last night. Despite having several choreographers and composers, the pieces looked very "samey".

    There were 2 dancers and a pianist for 1 hour 5 minutes for 45 GBP. At Sadlers Wells there is the full company of Birmingham Royal Ballet and an orchestra for 45 GBP. The Linbury used to look industrial, functional. Now it looks luxurious. Where are the experimental, unfinished, incomplete works - that the Opera House should have space for - going to go?

    Will the Linbury Theatre now be competing with Sadlers Wells?

    P.S. When is the winning post of the Instagram competition going to announced?

  2. I visited Linbury on 20th to see Trio. I am not sure whether a new work is created for the programme, but it was thrilling to see some great dances, in particular, the last PDD from Le Parc. I expect that the new Linbury will stimulate SWT to bring more interesting dance/dancers/companies to London. There are still so many dancers that we have not seen in London.

    I was quite impressed by the new Linbury Theatre. The seat I sad down (A25 at the first circle) was really comfortable and enough space for my legs. I am quite interested in seeing how the new Linbury will entertain us with lots of new programmes.

    There is one thing I would like to raise. Because I was aware of a fact that my seat was in the middle of the front row, I sat down there as soon as the doors were opened. However, I was annoyed by many people saying, "I am sorry we are at the wrong side". I had to stand up and sit down four or five times. Please make your staff member advice the audience which side they should go.

  3. Dave Morgan responded on 28 January 2019 at 3:26pm Reply

    I was unfortunate enough to be suckered into buying a standing place in the upper circle (on the sides that is). The view was shockingly AWFUL!! The 'aesthetically pleasing' bulge in the platform that holds the seats cuts out at least a quarter of the stage. A friend told me the same applied for the seats at that level too. And yet no mention of a restricted view on the ticket or the ticket purchase process. I was expecting to miss some of the action as we did in the old Linbury, but not THAT much for heavens sake.

  4. Julia Newton-Bishop responded on 12 February 2019 at 8:13pm Reply

    We saw New Work New Music and the venue and the programme were wonderful: quite wonderful.

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