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What was your Royal Opera highlight of 2017?

Share your favourite moments of the past year for a chance to win a pair of tickets.

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

27 December 2017 at 10.00am | 132 Comments

As the curtain comes down on another eventful year, we're taking a look back at your highlights from a year of Royal Opera performances on the Covent Garden stage.

Were you overwhelmed by Otello? Moved by Madama Butterfly? Or delighted by Don Carlo? Did you discover a new favourite composer, or perhaps a new production?

We'd love to hear your favourite moments of 2017. Anyone who shares their thoughts on this blog post, via Twitter using the hashtag #ROHreview2017, or on the Facebook post sharing this blog will be entered into a prize draw to win two tickets to Richard Strauss's dramatic Salome.

Here are some of your favourite moments via Twitter:

If you're a ballet fan too, we're also looking for your favourite Royal Ballet moments

Competition terms and conditions: The 2017 Royal Opera review competition prize is two tickets to Salome on 23 January 2018. Closing date for entry is 4 January 2018. The winner will be notified by 6 January 2018. All aspects of the prize are non-refundable, non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for another date. Travel or accommodation costs are not included in the prize. This prize draw can only be entered by tweeting with #ROHreview2017 or by commenting on this blog post, or on the Facebook post sharing this blog.

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

27 December 2017 at 10.00am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged 2017, competition, review, ROH Review, Year in Review

This article has 132 comments

  1. Simon Smith responded on 27 December 2017 at 6:47pm Reply

    It has to be Lucia di Lammermoor with Michele Mariotti conducting and Lisette Oropesa's exquisite Lucia in Katie Mitchell's intelligent production - quite restored my faith in Opera.

  2. Coppelia responded on 27 December 2017 at 7:55pm Reply

    I loved the excitement of seeing the brand new productions this year, particularly Otello (both casts) and La Boheme.

    JPYA deserve a mention for an entertaining La Tragédie de Carmen at the lovely Wilton's Music Hall.

    The not easily forgotten moment of 2017 was the fire alarm and evacuation of ROH mid L’elisir d’amore. Followed closely by being fire evacuated from Rigoletto and surreally meeting the Duke of Mantua in the corridor.

  3. Peter Lewis responded on 28 December 2017 at 10:42am Reply

    I've been lucky to see 20 opera performances at the Royal Opera in 2007, highlights being (not surprisingly) Kaufmann's Otello debut, Jaro's heartbreaking Butterfly and (more surprisingly) the recent Semiramide. Lowlight was the Exterminating Angel which was really disappointing.

  4. Vera Fonseca Romaldini responded on 28 December 2017 at 10:46am Reply

    The most amazing performance in 2017 was Turandot. I have seen it on different stages, but the cast and the staging in ROH was simply awesome.

  5. Janet Davies responded on 28 December 2017 at 10:52am Reply

    Madam Butterfly moved me to tears (again!). We tend to be in the upper seating, the value offered by those seats is amazing and makes opera accessible to all.

  6. LSealey responded on 28 December 2017 at 10:53am Reply

    Absolutely loved Madam Butterly! Unfortunately with 3 children and living 2.5 hours away from London, the only way I see anything these days is with the live streaming but it was still fabulous! Cried my eyes out!
    Hopefully I’ll make it up this year.

  7. JohnBulwer responded on 28 December 2017 at 10:53am Reply

    Joyce DiDonato in Semiramide.

  8. Gregory Musson responded on 28 December 2017 at 10:55am Reply

    Getting my Ring 2018 tickets. First visit to Royal Opera and first Ring

  9. Gloria Lucchese responded on 28 December 2017 at 11:13am Reply

    I really loved every single show I’ve seen this year. Norma at the beginning of the year was stunning both for singers and set of the stage. Turandot this summer left me speachless. But my favourite moment above all was Butterfly, my favourite opera which makes me very emotional.

    I would like to thank you for the big effort you make to show wonderful operas. And most importantly for the quality of the singers. I’m Italian from Verona and I am very picky on this matter! And I have to admit - come to the ROH makes me feel like at home.

  10. Paul French responded on 28 December 2017 at 11:30am Reply

    Without doubt it is the new La Boheme, the production and stage design truly complement the music for today.

  11. Janet Stockley responded on 28 December 2017 at 11:36am Reply

    As I cannot afford to travel to London and stay overnight to see the opera I was thrilled to see the Othello production at the cinema. I enjoyed every moment of it and thought that the opening scene was spectacular. Jonas Kaufmann was, as usual, in tip top form and the whole casting was superb. Thank you ROH for a wonderful experience..

  12. Helen Cooper responded on 28 December 2017 at 11:42am Reply

    My son wants to be an opera singer but he (and I!) had never seen a live opera. For his 16th birthday I bought him tickets to La Traviata which we watched together, absolutely mesmerised, on the eve of my 50th birthday. It is an evening neither of us shall forget and I’d love to watch him sing on that stage one day!

  13. Francesca responded on 28 December 2017 at 11:42am Reply

    Loved Otello.
    Also I had to drive (and survive) into a tornado to reach the cinema where it had to be broadcasted. This, and the fact I am Venetian as well, brought me directly into the mood of the opera's first scene!

  14. Daliah Bond responded on 28 December 2017 at 11:42am Reply

    L'elisir d'amore. I decided to take my mother as a last minute treat and throughly enjoyed this production. From the beautiful set to the wonderful music it was a lovely surprise. Especially the little dog!

  15. John McLeod responded on 28 December 2017 at 11:57am Reply

    Has to be the new ‘Boheme’ - a well worn masterpiece becomes transformed with everything sounding and looking as fresh as its premiere!!

  16. Paul Murray responded on 28 December 2017 at 12:04pm Reply

    The performance of Les Vêpres Siciliennes - I've never seen a full-blown five act Grand French opera before, and everything about it - the singing, dancing, music and production - was magnificent.

  17. Jakke Tamminen responded on 28 December 2017 at 12:07pm Reply

    I'm torn between Die Meistersinger, Otello, and Turandot. All three had fantastic singers, but I suppose Turandot best combined fantastic singing with a fantastic staging. I wish we could see more of Alagna at the ROH!

  18. Carolyn greig responded on 28 December 2017 at 12:08pm Reply

    As a new Opera fan it hard to chose, but I think it has to be Madame Butterfly, thanks to the web link, I go and see them in Chateaubriant France and am now an addict!

  19. Mary Heffernan responded on 28 December 2017 at 12:09pm Reply

    So many wonderful productions at the ROH this year, it’s so difficulties choose. The incredible stagings of Mitradate and Turandot, the wonderful singing in Cav & Pag or the romance of La Boheme?
    But, I guess it has to be Kaufmann singing his first Otello with Pappano conducting - it was so exciting, it felt like the whole world was watching!!

  20. Selene okane responded on 28 December 2017 at 12:27pm Reply

    Semiramide was really mesmerising. Particularly Joyce DiDonato who was so commanding. What fabulous acting,as well as that amazing voice! The set really leant weight to the production with the design facilitating and underpinning super performances. A joy and a treat. Thank you so much.

  21. Katalin Gillemot responded on 28 December 2017 at 12:46pm Reply

    "It is always a crucial decision where you do it for the first time and with whom do you do it for the first time" - said Jonas Kaufman on Otello. Opera lover for 50 years I made the good decision to see Otello for the first time in the Royal Operahouse performance. Even if I could only watch it from a cinema in Hungary, the performance was good enough to let us feel the tension, we could enjoy the incomparable singers and the conductor, the staging... I think it was one of the most "balanced" performance I have ever seen.

  22. Lorraine Roberts responded on 28 December 2017 at 12:47pm Reply

    I love that I was able to see The Nutcracker as a live stream from my local cinema. With three children I am unable to travel upto London frequently. But after watching this amazing performance it has ignited my love for the ballet and I look forward to watching again at my local cinema other live streams which make art/theatre more accessible for all.

  23. Sylvia, Sauerman responded on 28 December 2017 at 12:48pm Reply

    Almost my most exciting evening this year was the night I went to Otello. My son bought me a ticket, and once I was all decked out I got a cab and off I went to ROH! I live in Cape Town, and this was the first time I had heard JK sing. The whole experience was incredible, the music, stage, lighting and of course the awesome singing of Jonas Kaufmann....

  24. David Warren responded on 28 December 2017 at 12:59pm Reply

    Jonas Kaufmann in Otello was brilliant, but Jaro’s Butterfly eclipsed that - superb!

  25. Nick responded on 28 December 2017 at 1:10pm Reply

    For me it has to be Semiramide - I had no idea what it would be like beforehand and was completely blown away. Joyce DiDonato was excellent as ever. Close second being Les Vepres Siciliennes which was also a revelation!

  26. Bill Worley responded on 28 December 2017 at 1:14pm Reply

    There wasn't one!!!

  27. Carrie Bell responded on 28 December 2017 at 1:15pm Reply

    yep. Thats the one.

  28. Anthony Coote responded on 28 December 2017 at 1:17pm Reply

    These comments reflect the tremendous impression made on audiences who were fortunate enough to experience a work of aesthetic genius.

  29. Ivan Baird responded on 28 December 2017 at 1:18pm Reply

    I loved Otello and saw it with both casts. Kaufmann sang the best I have ever heard.

  30. Anastasia Pavlova responded on 28 December 2017 at 1:21pm Reply

    Otello definitely! The staging and the performance were superb, enjoyed it thoroughly.

  31. Claudia Rittmann-Pechtl responded on 28 December 2017 at 1:45pm Reply

    It was without doubts Otello, even after performances with Jones Vickers, Vladimir Atlantow and beloved Placido Domingo. Jonas Kaufmann was great in singing and performing the jealous and suffering hero. Pappano as a wonderful sensitive conductor and Maria Agresta as gentle and naive Desdemona. Stage and lighting were amazing. Best performance for me, very balanced.

  32. Petra H. responded on 28 December 2017 at 1:57pm Reply

    Cavalleria and Pagliacci in December - gorgeous debuts of E. Garanca, B.Hymel and S. Keenlyside!!!

  33. Chris Caulfield responded on 28 December 2017 at 1:58pm Reply

    Too many.. First ring tickets. DiDonato in semiramide, jaho in Butterfly and Oropesa in Lucia.

    Getting Kaufmann Otello tix on Friday rush.

    The trumpets at the finale in Meistersinger.

    Laughing throughout Elisir

    But probably topping the lot; Taking my 7 year old to his first ever opera (Zauberflöte) and him LOVING it.

  34. Brian Suntken responded on 28 December 2017 at 1:58pm Reply


  35. Geoffrey Ashley responded on 28 December 2017 at 2:09pm Reply

    Adored Madam Butterfly

  36. Emma Walker responded on 28 December 2017 at 2:15pm Reply

    L'elisir d'amore. Roberto Alagna performed the first act, but had to be vocally replaced due to a throat infection. He was replaced by Atalla Ayan (who was superb in La Traviata). Watching the interplay between Ayan and Alagna, as Alagna performed the role and Ayan used his voice perfectly to match Alagna's performance was incredible to see.

  37. Nat Singatullina responded on 28 December 2017 at 2:51pm Reply

    It is La Boheme for me. A real treat! Thank you ROH!

  38. Liz Price responded on 28 December 2017 at 3:20pm Reply

    Magic Flute in October. I had just accompanied a very demanding group of tourists from the U.S Deep South around Venice and had lost my sense of wonder and humour. It was restored by a visit to this amazing production.

  39. Joyce Watson responded on 28 December 2017 at 3:40pm Reply

    Semiramide was outstanding......was there at first performance and had to see it again on 4 December. JDD and Daniela Barcellona were sublime.

  40. Nigel Gallimore responded on 28 December 2017 at 3:48pm Reply

    The Exterminating Angel and L'elisir d'amore without a doubt.

  41. FrenchFries responded on 28 December 2017 at 3:51pm Reply

    Anita Rachvelishvili's outstanding role debut as Azucena.

  42. Die Zauberflote with Christina Poulitsi, Tuomas Katajala, In Sung Sim and Janai Brugger. Delightful and glorious singing!

  43. Monique Archer responded on 28 December 2017 at 4:10pm Reply

    Semiramide, stellar performance from Joyce DiDonato, well surrounded by wonderful artists, we wished we could go again but it was the last performance...

  44. Laura Balica responded on 28 December 2017 at 4:50pm Reply

    We loved all the productions we saw this year, but I must say we were mesmerised by Mitridate Re di Ponto, an opera my son and I saw this year for the first time. What a colourful and entertaining production! Thank you, ROH. Looking forward to the 2018 productions.

  45. Angie Grayson responded on 28 December 2017 at 4:52pm Reply

    My friend and I went to see the new production of La Boheme. We loved the young cast which added a new dimension. Mimiseemedn even more vulnerable played by a young woman, while the young male characters were a real bunch of ‘lads’ out on the town, living the bachelor lifestyle. Even more Verismo! The performance will stay with me for a long time to come.

  46. Bryan Moore responded on 28 December 2017 at 4:53pm Reply

    Well I have two favourite moments, one in February and the other more recently in December. The first was hearing Angela Gheorghiu singing live for the first time. It was an incredible experience hearing the emotional sweetness of her rendition of her "lo son l'umile ancella" and a definite highlight. But the prize has to go to the December performance of Cavalleria Rusticana with it's unique staging and direction and the most wonderful voice of Elina Garanca making the hairs stand out at the back of my neck with her delivery of the beautiful Regina Caeli. I was lucky enough to be sitting in the front row of the Orchestra stalls that evening and the incredible cast, the powerful and most excellent ROH Orchestra and the excellence of Pietro Mascagni's music moved me as no production has done before and will remain with me for a long time to come. So, no contest really, Cavalleria Rusticana.

  47. Patricia Morris responded on 28 December 2017 at 5:29pm Reply

    Ivan Magri in L'elisir d'amore, who gave a marvellous performance and continued to sing even though he had cracked some ribs during the performance and was in agony.

  48. Paul Good responded on 28 December 2017 at 5:29pm Reply

    The return of Carbon Life...
    Such a thrilling piece of dance.

  49. Lucia di Lammermoor moves me to tears. I wish I could afford tour tickets more often!

  50. Mairi responded on 28 December 2017 at 5:50pm Reply

    I really loved Madama Butterly as always! I especially enjoyed watching and learning about contemporary dance this with productions by the Royal Ballet, always beautiful and so inventive!

  51. Antonio Reche-Martinez responded on 28 December 2017 at 6:06pm Reply

    Ioan Hotea's unexpected appearance, replacing Roberto Alagna in L'Elisir d'Amore, was pure gold. He made a superb impression, and it was truly heartening to sense the audience's warmth towards him in difficult circumstances. He has a lovely voice and I look forward to hearing more of him. It was good, also, to note that the ROH had a plan B!

  52. Linda Fettes responded on 28 December 2017 at 6:15pm Reply

    Madame Butterfly stays with me and will be in my senes forever. Her tears, voice and sincerity balanced against the solemn face of her waiting son broke my heart.

  53. Christos Chanios responded on 28 December 2017 at 6:21pm Reply

    I really liked La boheme - a very intimate, touching production of a great opera.

  54. My first trip to ROH in June for the triple bill of ballet, including Marguerite and Armand. The chance to see such amazing dancers live for my 60th was a dream come true.

  55. Maisie Lewis responded on 28 December 2017 at 6:49pm Reply

    I was lucky enough to attend many live cinema events in rural Somerset which were all outstanding, but I particularly enjoyed La Boheme and watched it both on the screen and in my own home on Christmas Day. The characterisation was effortless and stunning and, in particular, Michael Fabiano and Nicole Car had the most amazing stage presence, let alone their beautiful, heart-wrenching singing.

    I also particularly enjoyed Die Zauberflöte which I was lucky enough to see at a schools matinee on the 18th of September. We had outstanding seats and the music was overwhelming and so, so inspiring to me, as an A Level musician. Thank you, Royal Opera House, for everything.

  56. Diana responded on 28 December 2017 at 7:20pm Reply

    I found amazing the live streams that the ROH did this year! Turandot was specially bubbling and attractive, great for new people to the opera!
    I also loved the insights on the operas! All the presentation about the upcoming productions, it was great! I specially loved the Exterminating Angel: to listen from the composer, stage director, singers, etc. was amazing! This helps the audience go deeper into these masterpieces wether we are opera lovers or new to to the opera world!

    Please continue to do this and livestreams!

    Great year for the opera at the ROH!

    Happy New ópera filled Year!

  57. David Houghton responded on 28 December 2017 at 7:36pm Reply

    My most exciting evening was the wonderful performance of La Boheme. The love duet between Rodolfo and Mimi during the first act was so moving it brought me to tears. What a night.

  58. D. Engi responded on 28 December 2017 at 7:49pm Reply

    It has to be Otello with Jonas Kaufman and Antonio Pappano. I watched it twice more on the TV as I found the story tragic and so poignant. I also love Joyce DiDonato in Semiramide. The only performance of all twenty I saw last year I did not enjoy was the exterminating angel. It is always a huge joy and treat to come to the ROH

  59. Cyrus Lam responded on 28 December 2017 at 7:53pm Reply

    There are particularly two favourite moments in 2017 - the performances of Lucia di Lammermoor and Rigoletto. The acting and singing of Lisette Oropesa, I would say a world-class lyric coloratura soprano who brought the whole opera Lucia di Lammermoor to a new and strong level. And for Rigoletto, on the day of the performance, Lucy Crowe was suffered from heavy cold and still managed to ace the performance without letting her sickness to affect her. Wonderful year Royal Opera House, and looking forward to come back in 2018!

  60. Kevin B responded on 28 December 2017 at 8:19pm Reply

    Top highlights among many for me:
    Jonas Kaufmann in Otello and Joyce DiDonato in Semiramide. Both superb singers in excellent productions with great casts.

    DiDonato just shades it for me with her flawless bel canto. She somehow manages, (with a little help from Rossini), to make the ornamentation an integral part of conveying the emotion rather than just the singer showing off.

    Honourable mentions for Don Carlo and Les Vepres. Those two great Verdi masterpieces challenge every element of opera production and the cast, crew and particularly the superb orchestra and magnificent chorus of the ROH met those challenges with flying colours.

  61. Damian responded on 28 December 2017 at 8:41pm Reply

    Until last week, I would have said Semiramide - where the singing was amazing.

    However, the revival of Cav Pag last week was simply awesome. An excellent cast, with such high-quality musicianship on stage and in the pit. And - where it tops Semiramide - an intelligent production!

  62. Elizabeth responded on 28 December 2017 at 8:47pm Reply

    It has to be l'elisir d'amore. Although Les Vepres Sicilliennes is a close contender for it's wonderfully dramatic staging. L'elisir was wonderful, I am so glad I was able to see it with 3 great friends from the upper slips. The performance we saw was incredibly memorable, not just for the 2 replacement voices, but the production and the vocals were astounding. I would thoroughly recommend this slightly lesser known Donizetti work to opera novices and aficionados alike. It was entertaining and captivating and at times truly beautiful. For someone who no longer qualifies for student tickets, but can't quite afford anything below the slips or amphitheatre, it was a brilliant night out.

  63. Jonas Kaufmann in Otello, very unforgettable role for the tenor who was sick a few months before this outstanding performance...

  64. Paul Fifield responded on 28 December 2017 at 8:55pm Reply

    Without a doubt it was Otello for me. Was very excited to see this production and it didn't disappoint. The whole cast were magnificent and the Chorus were divine. Kaufmann was superb in his debut and I look forward to a DVD release.

  65. Eleanor Martindale responded on 28 December 2017 at 8:56pm Reply

    Elina Garanca in Cavaleria Rusticana- followed by the revelation of Pag, which I had never heard in full, and is a gem of an opera. A wonderful production and a perfect Christmas treat.

  66. Yvonne Raptis responded on 28 December 2017 at 9:08pm Reply

    Lots of fantastic performances, especially Kaufmann in Othello, but for me the highlight was the opportunity to see Les Vepres Siciliennes for the first time. After many years of opera going I love the chance to see something I've never seen before.

  67. Aisling responded on 28 December 2017 at 9:36pm Reply

    Seeing Vittorio Grigolo in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, my mother's favourite tenor, and Jonas Kaufmann in Otello.

  68. Patricia Brattle responded on 28 December 2017 at 9:53pm Reply

    It had to be Otello! Not able to get to ROH but we are finding the live screenings an absolute revelation......after years of watching from the Upper slips, we're able to see everything in detail! The Nutcracker surprised me as I'd seen it too many times to count but found it new and fresh on screen. Thank you for enriching our lives?

  69. DUVIVIER CECILE responded on 28 December 2017 at 9:53pm Reply

    For me the best show of the season at Roh, was "Turandot" and Roberto Alagna's calaf and Liu Aleksandra Kurzak. Nothing better this season ...

  70. John Davies responded on 28 December 2017 at 10:02pm Reply

    Despite all the other amazing performances during 2017 the ultimate stand out performance has to be Semiramide. Sir Antonio Papano took the orchestra to wonderful level of feeling and Joyce di Donato excelled with enormity and was beautifully balanced particularly by Daniela Barcellina.

  71. Jill Holmes responded on 28 December 2017 at 10:14pm Reply

    Although I nearly melted in the theatre it has to be Otello......the best opera night of my life so far!

  72. Roberto Rincon responded on 28 December 2017 at 10:24pm Reply

    My partner and I are sort of new to opera. Obviously, we both knew a few arias (don't live in a cave), had seen an occasional YouTube performance, but never a live opera. Then a friend convinced us of going to see Turandot this year for my birthday. I don't think either one of us was prepared for what we saw. Amazing production, beautiful singing and the incredible atmosphere... so we went to see The Magic Flute next...

  73. RUSSEL THOMAS responded on 28 December 2017 at 10:28pm Reply

    I particularly liked Turandot, the MES was superb and the cast wonderful, especially Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak

  74. Susan responded on 28 December 2017 at 10:35pm Reply

    The wonderful Lucy Crowe in Mitridate - touching, and immaculately sung. A huge highlight.
    Michael Spyres wasn't that bad either!

  75. Lesley Taylor responded on 28 December 2017 at 11:10pm Reply

    My highlight was the live streaming of the new La Boheme. The perfect moment was the snow falling in front of the curtain during the interval, lit by a spotlight.

  76. Tooth responded on 28 December 2017 at 11:47pm Reply

    Turandot and hearing Nessun Dorma sung in context, wonderfully. Great production.

  77. Greatest performance was Turandot. I watched live on the Internet with friends and we were all delighted. Cast and the staging in ROH was simply awesome

  78. Sonia Soyeong Ahn responded on 29 December 2017 at 2:06am Reply

    I live in Seoul, Korea. My mother and I went to London last June to see Jonas Kaufmann 's .
    It was a really great and fantastic performance. I came to Korea and saw it again in November at the theater as a Cine Opera.

    My mom shed tears when she heard Desdemona's "Willow Song" and "Ave Maria". and impressed Maria, Jonas and Marco's fantasitc performance.

    And the rabbit and lamb dishes that I had at the Amphitheatre restaurant were so delicious, and I deeply thanks to the staff of restaurant for the good and kind service!

    Thank you for the Royal Opera House, which has made me feel wonderful in 2017. See you again!

  79. To me it was taking my fiancé (And now husband) to see my favourite opera 'Turandot' in Royal Opera House. Yes, Love IS the answer.

  80. Andrew Read responded on 29 December 2017 at 7:08am Reply

    A controversial favourite from me I think but I loved The Exterminating Angel. A superb cast, a challenging story and sheep. What's not to like?

  81. Elizabeth Newington responded on 29 December 2017 at 8:31am Reply

    I saw The Magic Flute and Die Meistersinger this year. The latter was my first live Wagner opera. Sitting in the amphitheatre for both, I particularly loved the fanfares performed up there in the Wagner and the grandeur of the staging and mass cast and the opportunity to see Bryn Terfel perform.

  82. Michelle Hemstedt responded on 29 December 2017 at 8:43am Reply

    Madama Butterfly with a friend who had long professed it his favourite opera but had never seen it performed live. What a production to take him to and what a treat for me - not only the performance but his reaction too.

  83. Vivienne Crossland responded on 29 December 2017 at 9:05am Reply

    Without a doubt Les Vepres Siciliennes the singing duets were the finest I can remember. I would just love to have the opportunity to see this amazing opera again. All your productions are amazing it is simply this one had the edge !!!!!

  84. the most amazing performance in 2017 was Turandot. Beautiful staging with fabulous singers. Roberto Alagna and Alexandra Kurzac wonderful !

  85. Dyana Rodriguez responded on 29 December 2017 at 9:20am Reply

    Otello was wonderful, and Iago too. Magnificent production all round.

  86. Christiane Lefoulon responded on 29 December 2017 at 9:24am Reply

    My most wonderful moment was Turandot with Roberto Alagna, Lise Lindstrrom, Aleksandra Kurzac, Brindley Sherrat ! Exciting and unforgettable evening !

  87. Frances Martin responded on 29 December 2017 at 9:25am Reply

    I took my mum, who is an avid opera lover, to see La Traviata earlier this year. She had never been to the ROH before. The performance was mesmerising and the memory of watching my mum engrossed and humming along will be treasured forever

  88. Erica Allen responded on 29 December 2017 at 9:39am Reply

    Definitely Rigoletto earlier this year. I still remember how fantastic it was. I took my niece because my original friend was sick and we still both agree it was amazing. Can't wait to see more operas in 2018. Thank you for such brilliant productions.

  89. Mona responded on 29 December 2017 at 9:42am Reply

    My 15yo daughter and me went to see the premiere of Lucia de Lammermoor, and we loved it. What a great performance! We are visiting operas, musicals, ballets and the theatre very often, but this was our ROH Highlight 2017, after the Midsummer Night’s Dream this summer has left us a bit disappointed.

  90. Nina Battleday responded on 29 December 2017 at 10:55am Reply

    Enjoyed my opera visits this year, but I think the most enjoyable was a matinee of Turandot which was attended by a marvellously mixed audience of tourists, families with children, certainly no dressing up for the occasion. Rapt attention from everyone, enthusiastic applause, a really special afternoon.

  91. Christine Grove responded on 29 December 2017 at 10:56am Reply

    I have not been able to get to the House for a couple of years but I greatly appreciate the cinema broadcasts - Jonas Kaufman was a revelation in Otello. The new production of La Bohème, shown on BBC4 on Christmas Day was exquisitely moving - a real treat. I hope to see some productions in London in the New Year.

  92. Jacqueline CATHALA responded on 29 December 2017 at 11:27am Reply

    What about Turandot with Roberto Alagna ?? It was great

  93. Andrew Pycock responded on 29 December 2017 at 11:56am Reply

    Going to see Otello twice and having the most wonderful company for meals before or after each performance. Conversation a9 and singing) was great and mainly arose from those days performances.

  94. John Bradley responded on 29 December 2017 at 12:02pm Reply

    Without a doubt, the highlight of the year was during L'elisier d'amore on 16th June.

    Arriving at the venue, there were displays stating that Aleksandra Kurzak was ill and her understudy would be performing the role instead. Nevertheless, on with the show.

    As soon as Alagna started singing in Act 1, it immediately struck me that, although absolutely stunning, he didn't sound quite right. After the interval before the second act, someone on stage informed us that Alagna had begun struggling with a throat infection earlier today and, despite a sublime first act, would not be able to continue the performance.

    So here we are, the start of Act 2, and both the lead actors are unable to perform. At this point, we are told that during the interval the production staff became aware that in tonight's audience is a tenor -
    Atalla Ayan - who is currently on the Royal Opera House roster. When approached, he immediately agreed to sing the entire second act whilst Alagna continued to act but not sing. Mr Ayan respectfully stood at the side of the stage, a few pieces of paper on a stand next to him, and delivered an absolutely breathtaking performance. After the most famous aria, "Una furtiva lagrima", the whole place erupted; Alagna, the conductor, and the orchestra applauding just as loudly as everyone else. The only noise louder than this was the curtain call.

    These are world class artists with world class productions in world class venues - and things still go wrong. Both leading stars were too ill to deliver the scheduled performance, and one of them learned this half way through. This is an objectively catastrophic situation, but the result of adapting to this situation as they did was an evening of opera - of live entertainment - that nobody in attendance will ever forget. I have already booked tickets for next year to see Mr Ayan in La Boheme.

    Once again, these are worse class artists in world class productions in world class venues, and even at this level things still go wrong. However, this is an incredible example of the manifestation of "the show must go on."

  95. Jaime responded on 29 December 2017 at 12:37pm Reply

    My highlight derives from a rather unfortunate moment, when during one of the first few performances of Pretty Yende's debut role at the ROH this May (as Adina in L'elisir d'amore) the fire alarm went off. Audience and cast equally confused, were evacuated from the theatre and despite nervouseness and awkward situation the cast kept it toghether (with some of them still in character while out in Covent Garden and taking pictures with members of the audience) and came back to deliver a magnificent performance. A NIGHT I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER!

  96. John R responded on 29 December 2017 at 12:39pm Reply

    Difficult decision, because this year there have been a number of wonderful performances, Ermanela Jaho, as an utterly heart-wrenching Butterfly, the magnificent Jonas Kaufmann as Otello, the fabulous singing in the new Boheme (Fabiano, Car and Kwiecien were peerless in this music), Les Vepres, with the wonderful Bryan Hymal, Erwin Schrott, Michael Volle and Malin Brystrom, but the top for me is the one which ended the year - the wonderful production of Cav and Pag - and Bryan Hymal in ringing voice making a tremendous success of both Turiddu and Canio

  97. francois responded on 29 December 2017 at 3:03pm Reply

    Not the best season I've attended at the ROH, at each opera there have been pros and cons (with most of the time casts of uneven quality and disappointing productions), never reaching the outstanding level that I've been used to at the ROH during the last 15 years. Globally I feel that, compared to Munich or even Paris, ROH is now on a declining trend notably regarding its casting strategy. What will remain in my best rememberings are all the performances conducted by Antonio Pappano, who confirms that he is definitely one of the top 2 or 3 opera conductors in the World. Each of his appearances has been a highlight of the year. Apart from Pappano's performances, if I had to mention one production that reached the top quality both musically and theatrically, I would say Mitridate Re di Ponto, probably the only one which was really at the ROH-expected level . Fortunately, at the same time the Royal Ballet is currently at its best, so that compensates the quality decline of the lyrical part.

  98. Ewa Posner responded on 29 December 2017 at 4:13pm Reply

    I do not think I could ever be tired of it! Thank you for such a fantastic year, I look forward to the next one and I am starting with 1st Jan Czajkowski!

  99. tuula petitto responded on 29 December 2017 at 5:13pm Reply

    Otello was spellbinding for me

  100. Roger Taylor responded on 29 December 2017 at 5:34pm Reply

    My highlight was hearing Joyce DiDonato sing Semiramide. As a teenager I played the quite tricky clarinet part in the overture. Fifty years on I finally had the opportunity to hear this infrequently performed opera. Singing, conducting, orchestral playing and production were superb.

  101. Richard Franklin responded on 29 December 2017 at 5:59pm Reply

    Seeing and hearing Adriana Lecouvreur for the first time in your lovely production. Both myself and my wife were bowled over!

  102. Clive Stubley responded on 29 December 2017 at 6:58pm Reply

    L'elisir d'amore was an absolute joy. The music of course, but also the choreography. Then there was the set itself - haystacks, the truck etc. and not forgetting the dog of course.

  103. D. Kalemis responded on 30 December 2017 at 4:26am Reply

    It's been an amazing year at the ROH! I had the immense joy of attending 15 performances (Opera and Ballet) and I find it quite difficult to decide. Every performance felt like a highlight to me! I was thrilled with Les Vêpres Siciliennes, Die Zauberflöte and Turandot especially! The music, the stage and costumes... what a spectacle! But then again La Traviata, L'elisir d'amore, Lucia di Lammermoor & La bohème were incredible too! There is so much talent and passion in the house!

  104. Geoff responded on 30 December 2017 at 4:59am Reply

    Not the best of years, though a pleasure to see some top singers (Garanca, Joyce, Jaho). Oropesa seems to be the real deal and I hope she will be back in more bel canto soon.

    Reading through the many previous comments (some about ballet?) I am struck by the difficulty of bulking together those who only saw something in the cinema with the entirely different live experience. It is a sad fact of today's opera-going that some performances, though apparently sensational onscreen, are not quite the thing when lived in the theatre. Several examples from this season come to mind: I will spare most blushes but it should be noted for the record that the hyped Otello managed best when assisted by technology. Greg Kunde did better in the theatre.

  105. Jenny Brend responded on 30 December 2017 at 9:36am Reply

    My favourite was Turandot- Idnever seen this production before and thought it was a masterpiece- please keep it for many more years! Roberto ALAGNA SINGING Calaf and Aleksandra Kursak as Liu we’re just out of this world- fresh realistic acting in such a stylised creation made it a wonderful evening. I also loved them in L’Elisir d’Amore which is another production which is perfect for the opera. And Madame Butterfly with Ermonrla Jaho pulled mightily at my heartstrings . More French opera please!

  106. Lynda Hillyer responded on 30 December 2017 at 9:53am Reply

    Ermonela Jaho in Madama Butterfly was heartbreaking, I saw it twice in the Opera House, once in the cinema and last night from a small hotel in Chania in Crete I watched a streaming of Ermonela singing Buterfly from Madrid. There were many other highlights but she touched my heart like no other.

  107. Andrea Lewis responded on 30 December 2017 at 10:29am Reply

    La Traviata was wonderful and as was Norma.

  108. Ann O'Shaughnessy responded on 30 December 2017 at 12:40pm Reply

    2017 was a good year for regular opera goers with some fine productions. The highlight for me was the relief I felt on seeing the new production of La Boheme - surely one which will last many years. Otello , Semiramide, Mithridate - I could go on but will simply say thank you and well done to all concerned. 2018 has a lot to live up to

  109. John AF responded on 30 December 2017 at 12:56pm Reply

    Highlight - Joyce di Donato in Semirimade.
    Lowlight - Had tickets for Turandot in July and forgot to go!!. Doh!

  110. Emily Grant responded on 30 December 2017 at 1:27pm Reply

    Highlight: Madama Butterfly, first time seeing opera at the ROH and it was simply stunning!

  111. Bahar responded on 30 December 2017 at 9:18pm Reply

    Othello with Kaufman ❤️

  112. Gabi responded on 31 December 2017 at 3:47am Reply

    There have been so many I had to go through my event history. And there's no doubt in my mind... The new Boheme is absolutely sublime. Love the stanging, the way it's been injected some freshness, but also respects the original setting and libretto. I went twice and was in tears both times. I took my parents, and my dad, who has been working in the opera house worshops in my home city, building sets for over 30 years, couldn't stop praising it and commenting on how simple and elegant, yet stunning sets were. Looking forward for the next time it will be on, I will go to at least two more performances and also planning to take friends along! Well done!!!

  113. George Baiatu responded on 31 December 2017 at 6:48pm Reply

    Definitely Traviata ! We also found out that my wife was expecting during the Brindisi and decided our little girl name will be Violetta. Thank you ROH

  114. Karenb responded on 2 January 2018 at 5:17pm Reply

    Hard to choose between Kaufmann in Otello , which I expected to love and did; the new production of La Boheme which I expected not to like but did; and finally Joyce Di Donato in Semiramide which I knew absolutely nothing about before the insight. I think it has to be Joyce di Donato in Semiramide with Pappano conducting. Wonderful!

  115. Thea Grace Callaghan responded on 2 January 2018 at 5:40pm Reply

    Saw a few productions at the Royal Opera House this year, but Lucia di Lammermoor has to be my favourite. Having only in recent years discovered my love for opera and being a young classical soprano, this production really inspired me and has driven my passion to perform even further. Looking forward to the productions this year!

  116. Dvorzsák Anna responded on 2 January 2018 at 6:26pm Reply

    A ROH-ban még nem voltam /Budapesten élek / az előadásait így csak moziban és DVD-n láthattam. Az elmúlt évben az Otelló volt a csúcs, minden tekintetben. Kaufmann csodálatos hangja és lenyügöző játéka Verdi zenéjével több mint 4 órán át a székeknek szegezte a, nézőket, akikszereplőivé váltak a történetnek. Köszönöm!!

  117. Fiordiligi responded on 3 January 2018 at 9:57am Reply

    Jonas Kaufmann’s debut as Otello! Magnificent voice, singing and acting, never saw such a vulnerable Otello, torn between tenderness and madness! Awesome.

  118. Agnieszka responded on 3 January 2018 at 2:43pm Reply

    Opera-wise, it was the mesmerising Ermonela Jaho as Madam Butterfly in the last act.
    Ballet-wise, I loved Sarah Lamb's performance in Jewels.

  119. Bruce responded on 3 January 2018 at 3:31pm Reply

    I agree with so much that has been written above. I just wanted to mention one performance that I thought was TRULY outstanding and doesn't yet seem to have been mentioned above: Lawrence Brownlee in Semiramide. His second act aria alone was a master class for the world - let alone any tenor - in the spellbinding bliss possible via extraordinary Rossini delivery. Bravo.

  120. Michael responded on 3 January 2018 at 7:55pm Reply

    My highlight was Les Vepres Siciliennes - one of the last nights of the run, so Helene was sung by Rachele Stanisci (the saviour of one performance in this production's last outing). She's a great artist, and I'd love to hear more from her at ROH. As for Vepres, it's a bonkers opera and a bonkers production- but great music and a great night at the opera.

  121. Noel Patrick responded on 4 January 2018 at 2:21pm Reply

    'Chi mia frena in talking momento' The sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor was breathtaking like.
    A wonderful piece by Donizetti that transends time and remains of it type probably the Best everywhere written. It's up there with the quartet from Rigoletto.
    A beautifully performed Opera enjoyed on the 20th Novenber past.

  122. Noel Patrick responded on 4 January 2018 at 2:25pm Reply

    Excellent-the predictive texting-
    'chi mi frena in tal momento'

  123. Ian Williams responded on 5 January 2018 at 9:36am Reply

    It has to be the new Boheme, in tears from beginning to end, worth waiting for!

  124. A Pyshkin responded on 5 January 2018 at 5:52pm Reply

    Sicilian Vespers for me without a doubt. Last time you had it a few years ago I went straight back the next performance - the first time I’ve ever seen anything more than once in a run. This time I prepared in advance and again saw it twice - was prepared to be disappointed given my glowing memories but it lived up to it and more. Such an amazing group of singers.

  125. Ann Warr responded on 5 January 2018 at 8:59pm Reply

    Best of La Boheme I have seen ever I enjoyed it mor than the performance I have seen with Anna Ntrebsko. A brilliant young cast and fabulous music by the orchestra.

  126. Jacky Tarleton responded on 7 January 2018 at 12:16am Reply

    The achingly beautiful duets from Joyce DiDonato and Daniela Barcellona in Semiramide were my top highlight. I saw the opera live from the amphitheatre, and the time sped by - wonderful music performed so vividly by all.
    This choice is closely followed by La Boheme, which I saw in the cinema in Beckenham. Everybody in the audience was in tears by the end. On the strength of that experience, I am resolved to come and see La Boheme live at the Royal Opera House in 2018.

  127. John Hook responded on 7 January 2018 at 12:50pm Reply

    My partner and I were amazed by The Sicilian Vespers. This was an opera I had never seen produced by any company and which I knew little about when I booked our tickets. We learned a great deal from Antonio Pappano's series for the BBC which explained the complexity of the opera. My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed this iconic production and this was our highlight of 2017.

  128. naomi layish responded on 9 January 2018 at 12:15pm Reply

    Rosenkavalier all round (singing , interpretation by conductor, production)- save for the distracting background waltz during the Presentation of the Rose. Jaho in Butterfly for most touching delivery, Vespers for ensemble singing
    (though not production) and Semiramide for singing and interpretation . I won't win any prizes for this, but have to say that most productions recently at the ROH have ruined enjoyment of the often excellent singing.

  129. Definetely Otello! To be more accurate: Jonas Kaufmann 's rendition of "Dio mi potevi scagliare" together with the opera's opening lines. Such a tremendous conducting by Sir Tony and a great performance by the orchestra!

  130. Catherine Cornford responded on 18 January 2018 at 6:43am Reply

    My opera highlight this year was Roderick Williams singing in Mitridate Re da Ponte. Not only was the opera completely new to me but also Roderick Williams's singing and acting was joyous and exciting and the whole production was very good.

  131. Roland Wilding responded on 13 January 2019 at 10:51pm Reply

    Joyce in semiramide

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