Free Ballet and Opera anyone?

The Royal Opera House today announced that this year’s BP Big Screen performances are The Royal Ballet’s Mayerling on Thursday 13 June at 7.30pm, and The Royal Opera’s La rondine on Thursday 11 July at 7.30pm and Tosca on Thursday 18 July at 7.30pm.

2013 marks the first of a new five-year commitment from BP to support the live and free screenings from the Royal Opera House. These world-class productions of opera and ballet will be beamed live from Covent Garden direct to Manchester, Salford and 20 other locations throughout the UK.


Every BP Big Screen is a unique experience and this year will be no different. Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling will mark the final performance at the Royal Opera House of much-loved Royal Ballet Principal Mara Galeazzi in the role of Mary Vetsera. Fresh from her 20th year singing with The Royal Opera, Angela Gheorghiu returns to the BP Big Screens with La rondine. Gheorghiu has performed the role of Magda, one of her signature roles, in every revival since the creation of this production and has been described as ‘simply entrancing.’ There are very few operas as famous or popular as Puccini’s Tosca and after over 470 performances this operatic great shows no sign of tiring. It is a must see for anyone wanting to try opera for the first time. New for all three BP Big Screens in 2013 will be UK broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh, a live anchor from the Royal Opera House alongside a special guest presenter down among the crowd in Trafalgar Square.


The BP Big Screens are the perfect way to share world-class opera and ballet with friends and family for free. The three productions will feature exclusive backstage films, competitions and live interaction, and will bring some of the Royal Opera House’s best performances live to special locations across the UK.  Whether audiences are new to ballet and opera or already devotees, the BP Big Screen relays offer a wonderful opportunity for you to enjoy the very best performances from the Royal Opera House.


KENNETH MACMILLAN’S MAYERLING: The Royal Ballet LIVE at 7.30pm on Thursday 13 June. Presented by Alan Titchmarsh.

A dark drama of political intrigue, twisted romance and morbid obsession, set to dramatic music by Liszt. Mayerling was created for The Royal Ballet by Kenneth MacMillan, one of the 20th century’s greatest choreographers, and is a signature work for the Company. This performance will feature Royal Ballet Principals Edward Watson, Mara Galeazzi and Sarah Lamb.


GIACOMO PUCCINI’S LA RONDINE: The Royal Opera LIVE at 7.30pm on Thursday 11 July. Presented by Alan Titchmarsh.

Glamorous 1920s Paris provides the backdrop for some of Puccini’s most exquisite music in this romantic and elegant production, starring Angela Gheorghiu as the beautiful courtesan Magda and Charles Castronovo as her eager young suitor Ruggero. Operalia winner Sabina Puértolas and former Royal Opera Artist Edgaras Montvidas sing the comic lovers Lisette and Prunier.

GIACOMO PUCCINI’S TOSCA: The Royal Opera LIVE at 7.30pm on Thursday 18 July. Presented by Alan Titchmarsh.

Passion, intrigue, revenge, a beautiful diva and fabulous music – Tosca is one of the great opera experiences. This story is a thrilling and heart wrenching tale of passionate love, jealousy, murder and suicide featuring Martina Serafin as the tragic Tosca and Aleksandrs Antonenko as her lover Cavaradossi, with  Scott Hendricks  as the evil Baron Scarpia who plots their destruction.


Kasper Holten, Director of The Royal Opera House, said:These al fresco summer big screenings, now in their 26th year, are a highlight of our performing Season. To be able to offer world-class performances absolutely free and to so many venues across the UK fills us with pride. We first screened a live performance on a Big Screen in Covent Garden Piazza 1987 and this year we’re broadcasting to 22 different venues. This incredible growth in this free scheme would not be possible without the support of BP and we’re exceptionally grateful to them.’


Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, said: ‘The free BP Big Screens are an absolute treat for anyone who enjoys music and dance and also the perfect way for new audiences to get a taste of what we have to offer at the Royal Opera House. I hope that all who attend bring their friends and family, as these productions, packed with emotion and beauty, are experiences to share. Thank you to BP, whose generous support makes this all possible.


Des Violaris, BP’s UK Director for Arts and Culture, said: ‘BP is delighted to continue its support for the BP Big Screens. Being able to connect people and communities across the UK with the highest quality opera and ballet for free is at the core of our relationship with the Royal Opera House. Every year we see more and more people engage with the BP Big Screens, enjoying these regular events with friends and family who haven’t previously had an opportunity to experience these art forms. We hope that the skies will stay clear this summer so that even more people can discover the BP Big Screens.’


To find out more about the Royal Opera House visit