Opera at Covent Garden 2018/19: Royal Opera House must-sees
Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Mozart and more ... Top singers head for London for a rollcall of outstanding productions
Brand new to audiences at Covent Garden will be productions of the fairy-tale opera Hansel and Gretel (11 – 29 Dec), Tchaikovsky’s mysterious The Queen of Spades (13 Jan – 1 Feb), Janacek’s Katya Kabanova (4 – 26 Feb), Verdi’s powerful La Forza del Destino (21 Mar – 22 April 2019), and Benjamin Britten’s intensely moving Billy Budd (23 April – 10 May 2019).
Barrie Kosky’s dramatic and glamorous Carmen by Bizet is back (22 June – 20 July), as are two lively Mozart comedies, Così Fan Tutte (25 Feb – 16 March) and The Marriage of Figaro (29 June – 21 July). Look out too for Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra (15 Nov to 10 Dec) and Mussorgsky’s mighty Boris Godunov (19 June to 3 July), with Bryn Terfel as the czar.
Top singers include the American tenor Michael Fabiano, singing the title role for the first time in Gounod’s Faust for Covent Garden, in the composer’s centenary year (11 April to 6 May), and sopranos Ermonela Jaho and Angel Blue sharing the role of Violetta in another classic Verdi, La Traviata (14 – 30 Jan).
Love letters change hands secretly in 'The Marriage of Figaro'. Photo: Mark Douet
The year ends on a light note with the vivacious Donizetti comedy La Fille du Regiment (8 – 20 July), a co-production with Vienna State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
Tickets for the Royal Opera start from £6, and go on sale at intervals, for performances in autumn (25 July), winter (31 October), spring ( 30 Jan) and summer (3 April), all at 9am. Click here for more details.
Five operas will be screened at cinemas across London and nationwide: Die Walküre (28 Oct) from Wagner’s sold-out Ring cycle, which opens the season (24 Sept – 2 Nov, returns only), The Queen of Spades (22 Jan), La Traviata (30 Jan), La Forza del Destino (2 April) and Faust (30 April). Click here for more details of ROH cinema relays.
Operas at Covent Garden are sung in the original language with surtitles in English. Watch Culture Whisper for detailed previews and reviews.
And if your 2018/19 diary is already filling up, make time above all for these four new productions: The Queen of Spades, Katya Kabanova, La Forza del Destino with soprano Anna Netrebko, and Billy Budd, whose fabulous cast includes baritone Jacques Imbrailo, tenor Toby Spence and bass Brindley Sherratt.