Audiences across the entire country are invited to bring a blanket, pack a picnic and head to one of the free Royal Opera House BP Big Screens as part of the Royal Opera House’s dazzling summer programme.
Viewers across the UK are expected to be able to experience world-class opera and ballet in locations ranging (in 2018) from Aberdeen to the Isle of Wight.
This year’s programme begins with The Royal Ballet’s brand new production of Swan Lake (12 June) with new choreography by Liam Scarlett, followed by Puccini’s iconic and romantic La Bohème (26 June), and Mozart’s dazzling tragi-comic opera Don Giovanni (12 July).
With exclusive backstage footage, competitions and a chance to enjoy the great British outdoors in summer, the screenings continue to be a part of the summer social calendar. Last year more than 33,500 people attended a BP Big Screen performance.
Swan Lake is one of the best-loved of classical ballets, with a sublime score by Tchaikovsky. The Royal Ballet’s new production (12 June) is set to enchant audiences. The ballet follows the story of Prince Siegfried who one night encounters a flock of swans, one of whom reveals herself to be a beautiful woman called Odette. Odette is being held under a spell by the evil Von Rothbart, who later disguises his daughter Odile as Odette to trick Prince Siegfried into breaking his vow of love. But Siegfried is determined to save Odette, whatever the cost.
Puccini’s ever-popular opera La Bohème (26 June) depicts life in 19th-century bohemian Paris and explores the love affair between the penniless poet Rodolfo and the seamstress Mimì, which is threatened by Mimì’s tuberculosis. The couple eventually separate so that Mimì can find a richer lover to provide her with the care she needs, but are reunited in her final hours when she returns to the only man she ever loved.
The season moves from romantic tragedy to tragi-comedy with Don Giovanni (12 July), which follows the story of the seductive and swaggering anti-hero Giovanni, as his womanising leads him to murder the father of one of his victims – with devastating results.