Current, Rising - Credit Joanna Scotcher & Figment Productions

Current, Rising

20 May9 June 2021
Linbury Theatre
Opera and music

Current, Rising is a 15-minute hyper reality opera experience, combining virtual reality with a multisensory set, blending historic stagecraft with cutting-edge technology. It invites audiences to step into an immersive, atmospheric virtual world and experience a dream-like journey carried musically by a poem layered in song.  It is a radical new way of seeing opera in which you – the audience – are at the centre of the performance.

Inspired by the liberation of Ariel at the end of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Current, Rising will take four people at a time into its magical universe, traversing together the landscapes of the night, from twilight to dawn – exploring ideas of isolation, connection, and collective reimagination – a powerful experience for our time.

Developed by a female-led creative team, this timely artistic experiment is directed by video pioneer Netia Jones and designed by award-winning designer Joanna Scotcher. The music is by renowned composer Samantha Fernando, the libretto is by the celebrated performance maker Melanie Wilson, and the singing voice is acclaimed Baroque and contemporary music soprano Anna Dennis.

Buying tickets

Tickets are priced at £20 for adults and £15 for under-25s.

Current, Rising is a shared experience for groups of four at regular timed slots throughout the day. Audiences are able to socially distance (1m+) within the experience at all times. Audience members can purchase a ticket either individually or for multiple people (up to four). If you wish to buy three tickets or fewer, you may be grouped with other individuals to make up a 4.

Virtual Reality Experience

Virtual reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Guests wear a backpack computer (weighing 6kg) and a VR headset that present video and audio to immerse them in a virtual world. You will be accompanied at all times during the experience by a host who will be wearing a face covering, and who will provide assistance if required.

Once you put your headset on you will be able to see other members of your group as avatars in the virtual world. This will be a reflection of your physical distance within the space, and so we ask that you ensure you remain at least 1m apart during the experience.


Time slots are available at 15-minute intervals from 9.40am to 7.25pm each day, excluding some times that are held for technical reset.

Please arrive at the Royal Opera House 10 minutes prior to the start time of your booking. Admission may not be permitted if you arrive after your start time. Entry to the venue will not be allowed until start time for your booking.

The core VR experience lasts 15 minutes. Please allow up to an hour from your arrival time. This includes preparation time, a health and safety briefing, a technical briefing and equipment setup, a core 15-minute VR experience, and time to collect your belongings and exit the venue.

Please note this experience explores new forms of immersive entertainment, and therefore operations may be subject to technical interruptions.

COVID/Health and Safety Measures

The experience is designed so that social distancing of 1m+ can be observed throughout. A separate ingress and exit is provided to minimise crossover of groups.

We thoroughly clean and sanitize all equipment, including headsets and backpacks, with hospital-grade antibacterial wipes and UVC wands before each use. We request that you use the hand sanitizer provided upon arrival. We also regularly clean all points throughout the venue that are touched. Find out more about other safety measures that we have put in place.

A face covering must be worn at all times throughout the experience unless you are exempt.

Babies in slings are not permitted inside the experience.

Any guests arriving for the experience who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be permitted to take part.

Clothing recommendations

Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes – ideally no high heels or flip flops.

Some spectacles may be worn under the VR headset however it may be more comfortable to wear contact lenses or go without your glasses for the experience.

Personal belongings

Lockers will be available for guests to store their personal belongings during the experience. These, and their keys are thoroughly cleaned after each use with hospital-grade antibacterial wipes. Please note that the Royal Opera House will not take responsibility for personal items stored in the lockers.

Photography of the installation is permitted.

The experience is suitable for those aged 13 and over due to height and size requirements. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

This is a fully immersive multi-sensory experience, and has varying levels of volume throughout.

Current, Rising is a collaboration between Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House, Figment Productions and StoryFutures at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Generous philanthropic support from

The Bunting Family

Current, Rising has received funding support from The Audience of the Future Challenge, delivered by UK Research and Innovation as part of the government's Industrial Strategy.


Please allow up to an hour from your arrival time for your visit.

Safety information

We are working hard to keep our audiences and staff safe. We ask that you please:

Follow the one-way system, and instructions from staff

Wear a mask at all times throughout your visit unless exempt.

Keep a 1m+ distance from those around you.

Most people do not experience any negative reactions to VR experiences. VR may be disorientating for individuals who are neurodiverse, have hearing or sight impairments, suffer from vertigo, epilepsy, dizziness, seizures, motion sickness or fainting. Please click here for more accessibility info, or contact If you are pregnant, please consult with your GP before taking part.

Find out more



ConductorRichard Baker

SopranoAnna Dennis


DancerHayley Chilvers


DirectorNetia Jones

Designer and CG Art DirectorJoanna Scotcher

ComposerSamantha Fernando

CGI supervisorOly Spinks

WriterMelanie Wilson

Sound designerDavid Sheppard

Sound engineerDavid Lefeber

Movement directorAnna Morrisey

Installation lighting designerZoe Spurr

Software developmentFigment Productions


Current, Rising is a fully immersive multi-sensory experience, and involves varying levels of volume (generally 85 decibels throughout, no more than 100db for a few seconds), bright flashes of light, and physical vibrations.

A free companion ticket is available to anyone who requires assistance or supervision throughout their visit, although please note that due to space limitations, this companion will not be able to fully take part in the experience. A discount may also be available for customers in receipt of any disability-related state benefits. Please contact for more information.

This event is accessible to wheelchair users, and there is step-free access. If you or someone in your group require step-free access please contact

Find out more about accessing the Linbury Theatre.

A large print version of installation text for visually impaired audience members and a visual instruction sheet for Deaf or hard of hearing audience members are available to download or print.



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