What’s on at the Royal Opera House this Christmas


This festive season, The Royal Ballet’s signature production of The Sleeping Beauty returns to the Royal Opera House. First presented at Covent Garden in 1946 after the post-war re-opening of the Royal Opera House, this three-act ballet was fully restored to the Company’s repertory in 2006, incorporating original designs by Oliver Messel and Tchaikovsky’s ground-breaking score. Featuring choreography from Marius Petipa, Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon, the production includes an array of virtuoso sequences, including the Rose Adage, celebrated as one of the most challenging solos in the classical ballet repertory, and a sequence made famous by The Royal Ballet’s Prima Ballerina Assoluta, Dame Margot Fonteyn. The production will be broadcast live to cinemas on Thursday 16 January 2020.

Coppélia makes a welcome return to the Royal Opera House this winter. Charming, funny and full of joy, the ballet is the perfect Christmas treat for the whole family, and will also be live streamed to cinemas on Tuesday 10 December. Based on E.T.A Hoffman’s story Der Sandmann, Coppélia follows toymaker Dr Coppélius who brings to life a mechanical doll called Coppélia. Sweethearts Swanilda and Franz’s love for each other is challenged when Franz falls for the doll mistaking her as a human. Coppélia was first staged by The Royal Ballet by Ninette De Valois, founder of The Royal Ballet, and the intricate choreography showcases the technical precision and comic timing of the whole Company.

The Royal Opera’s first production in the festive season is the world premiere of The Lost Thing, a musical reimagining of Shaun Tan’s beautifully illustrated book about a boy who helps a lost thing find its way home. In this enchanting collaboration between Candoco Dance Company and The Royal Opera, a cast of disabled and non-disabled singers, dancers and musicians, come together to tell a story about how we are all connected.

This Christmas, one of the most famous operas, Verdi’s La traviata, returns to the Royal Opera House. Richard Eyre’s magnificent production, now celebrating its 25th anniversary, perfectly encapsulates the colour, glamour and splendour of 19th century Paris as tragedy unfolds in this powerful drama. The winter season continues with La Bohème, Puccini’s tragic opera of young lovers on Christmas Eve.

Cinema audiences can enjoy a double bill of festivity as Coppelia will also be live broadcast in cinemas on Tuesday 10 December with an encore screening on Sunday 15 December. This shortly followed by Peter Wright’s interpretation The Nutcracker from 2016 which is broadcast in cinemas from 17 December featuring Lauren Cuthbertson as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Federico Bonelli as The Prince, Francesca Hayward as Clara and Alexander Campbell as Hans-Peter/ The Nutcracker.

Families can make, sing, dance and take part in a variety of workshops at the Family Sunday on 8th December (11am to 3.30pm). The festive day will feature exclusive pop-up performance, crafts and a chance to try out opera or ballet.

Whether you are going to the opera, a ballet production or one of the amazing front of house activities at the Royal Opera House this Christmas, finish your visit with a trip to the fabulous shop. If you are looking for gifts for foodies, interior-lovers, accessory fanatics, or the kids this Christmas, the Royal Opera House shop has something special for everyone, including a limited-edition Ballet Biscuit Box from The Biscuiteers, Rory Hutton designs, Rachel Vosper candles and exclusively designed china from Timorous Beasties.