Opera highlights of the season

Opera highlights of the season

Innovative productions and celebrated classics from the UK’s top companies

The Royal Opera House’s general booking line opens on 15 July for the autumn/winter season, so our Tickets team picks the programme’s highlights and looks at other upcoming productions around the UK. Please contact us for further information and to make your booking, whether you would like to watch from centre stalls, a private box or your local cinema via a live link.

Royal Opera

Royal Opera House, London

Anna Nicole

11-24 September

Richard Jones’ Olivier-nominated production touches on classic operatic themes, such as greed and scandal, while exploring the thoroughly modern notion of celebrity culture. It follows the extremely public rise and fall of the fame-hungry model, who notoriously wed an 89-year-old millionaire shortly before his death. The jazz-and-blues infused score is inspired by composer Mark Anthony Turnage’s time in America and Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek is set to shine again in the title role.

Pictured: Eva Marie Westbroek as Anna Nicole

L’elisir d’amore

18 November – 13 December

After its premiere in Milan in 1832, Donizetti’s charming love story secured his place as a leading Italian composer of the time. Despite the name, true love triumphs without the effects of a magic potion, when Adina realises her feelings for Nemorino after what turns out to be a glass of wine. The countryside of 1950s Italy is effectively recreated on stage with hay bales, Vespas and a stray dog.

English National Opera

London Coliseum

The Marriage of Figaro

16 October – 23 November

Set to a glorious score by Mozart, the action of this four-act comedy takes place within a single day in a maze-like mansion. The Count’s valet Figaro endeavours to marry the lady’s maid Susanna, before she falls into the arms of their seductive master. The production is directed by much-loved Irish actress Fiona Shaw and audiences can attend a pre-performance talk on 23 October at 3pm.

La bohème

29 October – 6 December

With an atmospheric set inspired by 1930s photographs of Paris, this is the third revival of Jonathan Miller’s adaptation of Puccini’s celebrated work. The previous runs have allowed various reworkings, resulting in an evolved performance that explores both the bohemian characters and their complex desires in more depth. Previously playing the part of singer Musetta, Californian soprano Angel Blue makes her role debut as the seamstress Mimì.

Welsh National Opera

Various venues in Wales and England

William Tell

12 September – 29 November

Reimagining the Swiss folk hero, Rossini’s last operatic work remembers the character for more than shooting an apple off his son’s head and explores his legendary role in fighting Austrian occupation. This new production by David Pountney is set in the early 19th century, when the music was composed, and features splendid traditional costumes. It is sung in French with surtitles in Welsh or English, depending on the location.


19 September – 27 November

Using Goya-inspired backdrops to recreate the sultry mood of early 19th-century Seville, this creative production retells the well-known story with extra passion. Working in a cigarette factory by day, the seductive Carmen entertains her many admirers with exotic dancing at night. When the strait-laced soldier Don José falls under her spell, however, events take a dramatic turn. Highlights include the provocative Habanera aria from the original score by Georges Bizet.

Scottish National Opera

Various venues in Scotland


25 September – 1 November

In the powerful four-act opera, the haunting brilliance of Shakespeare’s Scottish play is intensified by Verdi’s score. The drama is heightened further still and updated in this 2005 version by Dominic Hill, which is influenced by the Yugoslav Wars and features camouflage army uniforms and witches smoking cigarettes. David Stephenson reappears in the title role after a successful run last spring and the performance is accompanied by the piano.

English Touring Opera

Various venues in England


18 October – 22 November

Based on the lives of Otto I and his successor by the same name, this three-act opera takes place in the late 10th century. Following a sequence of bloody events, it charts the turbulent relationship of the German emperor and his Byzantine love interest Teofane. Handel’s musical masterpiece has rarely been performed in full, but many of the popular arias, such as Falsa immagine, may be familiar to the audience.

Last updated on 2 July 2014

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