Our performance events offer our audience the opportunity to experience live opera, theatre, ballet, concerts, music and exhibitions from some of the best venues around the world — while only having to travel as far as your favourite indie cinema.
A MESSAGE FROM ROGER GIBSON
It is pleasing to report that audiences, after a hesitant start, from September, have been returning in similar pre-pandemic numbers to the productions of Opera and Ballet. Before the official live Met and Bolshoi seasons started , I imported various recorded productions including Orpheee & Euridice & Tosca (La Scala). Cav & Pag (Salzburg) and Bejart’s compelling ballet version of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony from Tokyo (returning due to its popularity in the new year.)
The Bolshoi’s 5 ballet Season opened in spectacular style in November attracting a full house for it’s sensational live Spartacus and on Christmas eve we present their seasonal Nutcracker (children reduced prices).
The Met is offering an ambitious 11 live Opera Season: all recorded as live Satellite on Saturday nights, where we gained permission to relay these as delayed live on the following Sunday matinees - our Mats at the Met. Their ambitious programming to diversify and include 3 new modern Operas is to be lauded, but regrettably the conservative audiences have attracted numbers in almost single figures (everywhere!) for the first two: however every member of our small audience were stunned by the superb all black Fire Shut Up In My Bones, a mixture of jazz, gospel, and straight music by jazz and film composer Terence Blanchard - destined to become a classic in the Porgy and Bess style.
Ringing in the new year, the Met are presenting a shortened family version of Massenet's opera Cinderella in English (children half price). Most of the following seasons operas are sure to have great appeal including Verdi's grand opera Don Carlos, presented in his 4 hour French version in a new Met production, plus Lucia di Lammermoor and Turandot.
The Royal Opera House starts a little later with its all live mix of 5 operas and ballets in December with some sure-fire hits including Tosca, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Romeo and Juliet, and Swan Lake.
The opening night of Italy’s greatest annual Opera event was on Dec 7 at the Le Scala, Milan with Verdi’s Macbeth - a sensational and controversial production. This event was announced too late for us to present live, but we have recorded it live by satellite and will be transmitting it on January 9.
After Follies, musical theatre is returning with a vengeance with Anything Goes (Barbican), where, due to immediate popular demand, we have added two further encores due in January.
NT LIVE has waited until 2022 before presenting it’s first crop of new productions, beginning with Tom Stoppard’s epic Leopaldstadt (Wyndham Theatre) in January, Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust (Bridge Theatre) in February, Hex (Olivier Theatre) the upcoming new musical based upon Sleeping Beauty in March, and Henry V (Donmar Warehouse) in April.
Much to look forward to in the new year.
Roger Gibson Dec 2021