ROMANCE AND TRAGEDY: THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF MACMILLAN’S MASTERPIECE ROMEO AND JULIET; Saturday 19 September – Wednesday 2 December, Live Cinema Relay and BP Big Screen on Tuesday 22 September

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Saturday 19 September – Wednesday 2 December
Live Cinema Relay and BP Big Screen on Tuesday 22 September

The Royal Ballet 2015/16 Season opens this September with the return of Kenneth MacMillan’s landmark Romeo and Juliet, celebrating 50 years since its premiere at the Royal Opera House in 1965. This most romantic of all ballets will relay live to cinemas on Tuesday 22 September 2015.


Originally created on Lynn Seymour and Christopher Gable, it was Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev who danced the 1965 premiere, receiving 43 curtain calls and propelling the partnership to legendary heights.


Set to Sergei Prokofiev’s emotionally charged score, MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet is regarded as a ballet masterpiece and features three passionate pas de deux: the lovers’ first meeting, the famous balcony scene and the devastating final tragedy when Romeo dances desperately with the lifeless Juliet.

Nicholas Georgiadis’ sumptuous designs perfectly evoke Renaissance-era Verona, from the bustling Italian marketplace of the ballet’s opening scenes and high-octane sword fights, to the decadent masked ball where the star-crossed lovers first meet.


Over the past 50 years there have been a number of legendary partnerships dancing the lead roles; Anthony Dowell and Antoinette Sibley, Jonathan Cope with Sylvie Guillem and Darcey Bussell, Alessandra Ferri and Wayne Eagling, and more recently Carlos Acosta with Tamara Rojo. This season’s exciting role debuts include Matthew Golding, Nehemiah Kish and Vadim Muntagirov as Romeo. Francesca Hayward, who was recently promoted to First Soloist, will debut as Juliet, as will Royal Ballet Soloist Yasmine Naghdi who dances opposite First Artist Matthew Ball in his debut as Romeo. Guest Artist Iana Salenko returns to dance the role of Juliet for the first time, opposite Royal Ballet Principal Steven McRae.


Romeo and Juliet will be screened as part of the Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season 2015/16 on Tuesday 22 September, with encore performances the following Sunday 27 September. Romeo and Juliet will also be relayed live to BP Big Screens across the UK on Tuesday 22 September.

Québécois dance company Cas Public present their vibrant contemporary reimagining of Romeo and Juliet titled Symphonie Dramatique, 23 September – 26 September, in the Linbury Studio Theatre. This will be the company’s Royal Opera House debut and is staged as part of Deloitte Ignite 2015.


– ENDS –


Romeo and Juliet is generously supported by Peter Lloyd, Lindsay and Sarah Tomlinson and the Jean Sainsbury Royal Opera House Fund.




Image credits, left to right:

  • Federico Bonelli and Lauren Cuthbertson in Romeo and Juliet. Photo Bill Cooper, courtesy ROH
  • Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev rehearsing ahead of the premiere of Romeo and Juliet. Photo Frederika Davis
  • Steven McRae as Romeo. Photo ROH / Johan Persson, 2013






Choreography                                     Kenneth MacMillan

Music                                                   Sergey Prokofiev

Designer                                              Nicholas Georgiadis

Lighting designer                                John B. Read



Koen Kessels conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.



Romeo and Juliet
Saturday 19 September – Wednesday 2 December
Royal Opera House


19 September at 7pm

22*, 24, 26 September at 7.30pm

1 October at 2pm and 7.30pm

3 October at 12.30pm

9, 23, 29 October at 7.30pm

17 October at 7pm

3, 5, 11, 20, 23 November at 7.30pm

1, 2 December at 7.30pm
*Live Cinema Relay and BP Big Screen

The performance lasts approximately 3 hours, including 2 intervals.




Box Office:

0207 304 4000

Royal Opera House, London WC2E 9DD


Tickets £6 – £127





19 Sept / 22 Sept†                                Sarah Lamb, Rupert Pennefather
22 Sept (mat) / 3 Oct (mat)                Yasmine Naghdi*, Matthew Ball*
24 Sept / 3 Nov / 23 Nov                    Iana Salenko*, Steven McRae
26 Sept / 1 Oct (mat) / 11 Nov           Natalia Osipova, Vadim Muntagirov*
1 Sept / 9 Oct / 17 Oct                        Lauren Cuthbertson, Federico Bonelli
23 Oct / 5 Nov                                    Francesca Hayward*, Matthew Golding*
29 Oct / 2 Dec                                    Roberta Marquez, Nehemiah Kish*
20 Nov/ 1 Dec                                     Marianela Nuñez, Thiago Soares

*Role Debut

†Live Cinema Relay, Tuesday 22 September



INSIGHT: Spotlight on Romeo and Juliet
Tuesday 22 September at 7.30pm

Linbury Studio Theatre

As Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet takes to the main stage and Cas Public’s Symphonie Dramatique (inspired by Romeo and Juliet) opens in the Linbury Studio Theatre, Hélène Blackburn (Artistic Director of Cas Public) and special guests explore why William Shakespeare’s iconic play is such a potent source of inspiration for artists.


Featuring excerpts danced by members of The Royal Ballet and Cas Public.




Romeo and Juliet pre-performance talks

24 September 2015, 6.30pm-7pm

9 October 2015, 6.30pm-7pm

29 October 2015, 6.30pm-7pm

Clore Studio Upstairs


A fascinating introduction to the production before curtain up.





BP Big Screens

BP Big Screens are free outdoor relays broadcast live from the Royal Opera House to locations across the UK.

Deloitte Ignite 3–27 September 2015

The annual Deloitte Ignite festival is a mix of events taking place inside the Royal Opera House and the Covent Garden Piazza. This year will feature a range of ground-breaking projections, internationally renowned street performers, workshops for people of all ages and specially commissioned work and performances.


Twitter: @royaloperahouse

Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation – a charitable company limited by guarantee

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