CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR ENTERTAINMENT AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE: Don Quixote / Tristan und Isolde / Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / NEW The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party / NEW Un ballo in maschera / Afternoon Teas and a New Year’s Eve Party

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30 October 2014



Don Quixote / Tristan und Isolde / Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / NEW The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party / NEW Un ballo in maschera / Afternoon Teas and a New Year’s Eve Party
This Christmas, the Royal Opera House presents a variety of festive entertainment including Don Quixote, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the world premiere of ZooNation’s The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Tristan und Isolde and Un ballo in maschera.


The ultimate show to chase away the winter blues, Carlos Acosta’s colourful and effervescent production of Miguel de Cervantes’s classic tale Don Quixote returns to the main stage in its first revival. This ballet extravaganza follows the adventures of the bumbling knight Don Quixote and his ever-faithful squire Sancho Panza, and features romance, outlandish comedy, sun-drenched spectacle and a wealth of solos and ensembles for the whole company. Acosta’s choreography, drawing on Petipa, is set to a score by Ludwig Minkus arranged and orchestrated by Martin Yates. The production’s inventive designs are by Tim Hatley (Shrek The Musical, The Bodyguard). This Season Don Quixote features debuts from Matthew Golding, Natalia Osipova and Vadim Muntagirov.


Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera, conducts the first revival of Christof Loy’s award-winning production of Tristan und Isolde, which he also conducted when the production was new in 2009. Wagner’s monument to love and passion remains one of the great achievements not just of 19th-century opera but of the whole art form. Inspired by a medieval legend, as well as by Wagner’s experience of falling in love with a married woman, Tristan und Isolde challenges and enthrals audiences and performers with its probing psychological insight and sheer emotional intensity. The opera tells the story of the forbidden love between the Breton knight Tristan and the Irish princess Isolde, who is forced into marriage with King Marke of Cornwall.  Nina Stemme, who sang Isolde at this production’s 2009 premiere, returns to reprise her hugely acclaimed performance of this role. American tenor and Wagner specialist Stephen Gould joins her as Tristan. Renowned Wagnerian John Tomlinson sings the role of King Marke, which he sang to acclaim in this production in 2009, with up and coming Wagnerian bass-baritone Iain Paterson as Kurwenal, and Sarah Connolly as Brangäne, a role she sang in 2009 for Glyndebourne Festival and in Paris in 2012.


Since its hugely successful sold-out world premiere in 2011, Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has established itself as a firm Royal Ballet favourite and is the perfect Christmas show for all the family. This year it will also be relayed live to more than 1,000 cinema sites across the UK and internationally on Tuesday 16 December. Wheeldon’s spectacular production follows Alice’s journey through Wonderland where she sails across a lake of tears, attends a tea party like no other and joins a croquet game played with flamingos and hedgehogs. Bob Crowley’s quirkily inventive designs, including the famous grinning Cheshire Cat, an exotic caterpillar and a vertiginous imagining of Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole, draw on puppetry and projections to bring the colourful world of Wonderland to life. Set to Joby Talbot’s lively and evocative score, the production contains all the iconic characters from Lewis Carroll’s classic novel, including the anxious White Rabbit, an imperious Red Queen, a tap-dancing Mad Hatter and a diabolical Duchess. Role debuts will include Francesca Hayward as Alice and Vadim Muntagirov as Jack, the servant boy who later becomes her Knave of Hearts.


Wonderland also awaits audiences in the Linbury Studio Theatre this festive season with the world premiere of The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, a full length dance spectacular from ZooNation. ZooNation paved the way in bringing hip hop off the street and into mainstream dance theatre, with previous productions including Into the Hoods and Some Like it Hip Hop. This family-friendly show is a dance adventure in true ZooNation style with a new score by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde and choreography by Kate Prince. The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party follows Ernest, a young psychotherapist who hosts a special ‘T for Therapy’ party, and invites all of the familiar characters from Lewis Carroll’s classic tales to join him. The White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter and Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum turn the party into an afternoon of outrageous escapades – including some audience participation.


A star cast comes together to present Un ballo in maschera, one of Verdi’s most brilliant and varied operas, led by Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja as Riccardo, Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Renato and Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska as Amelia.  This opera was originally based on a historical event – the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden at a masked ball in Stockholm in 1792 – but the Italian censors vetoed the setting, so the composer and his librettist transferred the action to 17th-century Boston. For her first production for The Royal Opera, German director Katharina Thoma re-imagines the piece in a central European context in the years leading up to World War I.


For the person who has everything, the Royal Opera House shop is offering supporters the opportunity to purchase the gift of a pair of ballet shoes for a Royal Ballet dancer on behalf of a loved one. This gift acknowledgement is packaged in a beautiful presentation box with a thank you card and signed ribbon.


Bookings are now also being taken for The Alice Tea, a special themed take on the Royal Opera House afternoon tea served in the magnificent surroundings of the Paul Hamlyn Hall. Familiar favourites such as Victoria sponge, chocolate teacakes and jammy biscuits are given twists themed to reflect Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.


To see in the New Year, the Royal Opera House will host an evening of glamour and music on Wednesday 31 December. Guests will attend a Ruinart champagne and canapé reception in the Clore Ballet Studio, followed by a decadent four-course meal in the Paul Hamlyn Hall accompanied by repertory classics from The Royal Opera Chorus. At midnight, guests will have a private view of the fireworks from the Amphitheatre Terrace, before dancing to the sounds of The Denmark Street Big Band inside.


Productions in the 2014 / 2015 Christmas season:


25 November – 30 December Don Quixote
5–21 December Tristan und Isolde
6 December–10 January 2015 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
16 December Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland live in cinemas
6–30 December The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
18 December – 17 January 2015 Un ballo in maschera


All tickets can be booked through the Royal Opera House Box Office on

0207 340 4000, or visit to buy online and for further production information.


For information on ROH Live cinema season please visit


For The Alice Tea menu and booking information please visit


The pointe shoes gift donation package is part of The Royal Ballet’s ongoing Pointe Shoes Appeal. For more information visit

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