Try out opera this New Year – The Royal Opera’s The Queen of Spades and La traviata are broadcast live to UK cinemas in January 2019

By Jamie Hill - 27 December 2018

Arts and Culture

Explore culture and feel something new in January 2019 as Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades (6.45pm on 22 January) and Verdi’s best-loved opera La traviata (6.45pm on 30 January) are broadcast live to UK cinemas from the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden. The screenings are presented by Clemency Burton-Hill.

The Queen of Spades (22 January) tells the story of Gherman (Aleksandrs Antonenko), a penniless soldier obsessed by both gambling and the beautiful Liza (Eva-Maria Westbroek). After Gherman tries to discover a winning card trick from Liza’s grandmother the Countess (Felicity Palmer), and she dies of fright, his obsession turns into madness. Stefan Herheim’s inventive production places Tchaikovsky himself at the heart of the action. The Queen of Spades features some ofTchaikovsky’s most beautiful music, with grand choruses, intimate arias and impassioned duets. Antonio Pappano conducts.

La traviata (30 January 2019), features a star cast including Royal Opera favourite Plácido Domingo. The opera tells the story of the Parisian courtesan Violetta (Ermonela Jaho) and her tragic love affair with Alfredo Germont (Charles Castronovo). Their romantic idyll in the countryside ends abruptly when Alfredo’s father Giorgio (Domingo), shocked by their scandalous liaison, persuades Violetta to leave Alfredo for the good of his family – even though he knows Violetta is seriously ill. A distraught Alfredo finally learns the truth when Violetta is on her death bed. The opera contains some of Verdi’s most inspired arias including Violetta’s ‘Sempre libera’ and ‘Addio del passato’. Antonello Manacorda makes his Royal Opera debut as conductor.

The Royal Opera House cinema broadcasts offer audiences the best seats in the house, and include exclusive behind-the-scenes footageinterviews and detailed close-ups of performers. Audiences are never far from a performance at the Royal Opera House, with most UK viewers located within 30 miles of a cinema screening. In 2017/18 more than one million people globally saw a production of world-class opera or ballet from the Royal Opera House at one of more than 1,500 cinemas in 51 countries.  

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The Queen of Spades will be sung in Russian and La traviata will be sung in Italian, both with English surtitles.

The Royal Opera’s The Queen of Spades lasts approximately three hours and 30 minutes including one interval and will be broadcast live to UK cinemas and worldwide on Tuesday 22 January at 6.45pm with an encore screening on Sunday 27 January 2019 at 2pm. La traviata lasts 3 hours and 20 minutes including two intervals and will be broadcast live to UK cinemas and worldwide on Wednesday 30 January 2019 at 6.45pm with an encore screening on Sunday 3 February 2019 at 2pm.

Further details on dates and venues are available here: 

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