Five of the best Royal Opera House productions to watch at home

Thursday, 21st May 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Thursday, 21st May 2020, 8:00 am

Opera buffs and curious newcomers alike can now find delights aplenty online - thanks to the Royal Opera House.

The famed Covent Garden venue is presenting productions in various forms to help locked-down culture vultures get their fix - or get into the artform for the first time.

Here’s our guide to the Royal Opera House’s best online offerings ...

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1 CENDRILLON

Video streaming from May 22

Based on the classic fairy tale Cinderella, Laurent Pelly’s production of Massenet’s opera stars Joyce DiDonato in the title role, with Alice Coote as Prince Charming, Eglise Guttiérez as Fairy Godmother, Ewa Podleś as Madam de la Haltière, Jean-Philippe Lafont as Pandolfe and Madeleine Pierard as Noémie. The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House is conducted by Bertrand de Billy.

Joyce DiDonato as Cendrillon in The Royal Opera production of Cendrillon. Picture: Bill Cooper / Royal Opera House / ArenaPAL

2 SIMON BOCCANEGRA

Audio streaming now

Verdi’s dark drama of political intrigue is a story of simmering, long-held resentment that finally resolves into forgiveness and reconciliation. Set in 14th Century Genoa, it tells of a great sea-going hero who reluctantly accepts high office -and who late in life discovers the long-lost daughter who had disappeared years ago. Verdi revisited the work in the years of his maturity and transformed the white-hot melodrama into an opera full of subtlety and wisdom that foreshadows his late masterpieces.

Where to listen: BBC Sounds website and app

3 ARIADNE AUF NAXOS

Audio, streaming now

Karita Mattila stars as the prima donna who appears later as Ariadne and Roberto Sacca is the tenor, later Bacchus, in this often funny work by Richard Strauss.

Where to listen: BBC Sounds website and app

4 ROMEO AND JULIET: BEYOND WORDS

Video, streaming until June

As members of the feuding Capulet and Montague families, Romeo and Juliet should be sworn enemies, but they fall deeply in love and marry in secret. That very day, disastrous circumstances lead Romeo to fight and kill Juliet’s cousin Tybalt, setting off a chain of events that culminate in tragedy. Romeo and Juliet is a drama feature film shot on location in Hungary, starring the dancers of the Royal Ballet in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s classic ballet. The film is set to Sergei Prokofiev’s original score, and is unique in telling this classic story through dance.

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer website and app

5 THE LOST THING

Video, streaming now

The discovery of something mysterious and out of place is the starting point for this family show. Experience a musical reimagining of Shaun Tan’s book about a boy who helps a lost thing find its way home.