The Royal Opera House presents Current, Rising, the world’s first opera in hyper reality


From 19 December 2020 the Royal Opera House will present the world’s first opera in hyper reality: Current, Rising – a unique collaboration between the Royal Opera House’s innovation programme, Audience Labs, award-winning Figment Productions and Royal Holloway, University of London.

Developed by a female-led creative team and funded by UK Research and Innovation, Current, Rising is a timely experiment blending historic stagecraft, artistic excellence and cutting-edge technology – a radical new way of seeing opera which puts the audience at the centre of the performance. Current, Rising is a 15-minute hyper reality opera experience, combining virtual reality with a multisensory set, inviting audiences to step into a bespoke ‘Opera Tardis’ and experience a dream-like journey carried musically by a poem layered in song.

The experience will take place in the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre from 19 December to 17 January and will strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines. Tickets will be available to buy from 4 December.

Inspired by the liberation of Ariel at the end of Shakespeare’s 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 of our time.

Current, Rising is directed by video pioneer, Netia Jones, hailed as ‘one of the most imaginative directors of opera working in Britain today’ (The Observer). It is designed by award-winning designer Jo Scotcher, who trained at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is composed by renowned composer Samantha Fernando. Featuring in the experience is soprano, Anna Dennis, noted for her work in both baroque and contemporary music and recently described as a ‘delectable soprano and a serene, ever-sentient presence’ (The Times).

The Royal Opera House will also go behind the scenes of Current, Rising in an Insight Event featuring interviews with the creative team, exploring the creative process, technology and composition of this extraordinary piece. Date to be confirmed.

Alex Beard, Chief Executive, Royal Opera House says; “We are thrilled to launch Current, Rising as part of the Royal Opera House autumn programme 2020 – this has been two years in the making, a perfectly formed experiment and proud illustration of our work, reimagining, prototyping and presenting opera and ballet in bold new ways”.