Dangerous desires, family secrets and political intrigues twist through every moment of daring choreography in Kenneth Macmillan's ballet inspired by true events.
Choreography: Kenneth Macmillan Music: Franz Liszt Arranged and Orchestrated by John Lanchbery
Mayerling is a classic of the Royal Ballet repertory, with its emotional depth, haunting imagery, and one of the most demanding roles ever created for a male dancer. Kenneth Macmillan choreographed a complex work around the psychologically tormented heir to the Habsburg Empire, Crown Prince Rudolf. From the start, the glamour of the Austro-Hungarian court is contrasted with the undercurrents of sexual amd political intrigue that drive the story to its violent climax. The large cast allows for impressive ensembles in additional to the ballet's many solos of distinctive character and pas de deux of disturbing eroticism. This ballet, bursting with intensity, madness and passion, proves that sometimes the truth is more scandalous than fiction.
Appriximate running time: 3 hours 15 minutes, including two intervals
"Leaves you bobbing on a wave of happiness" Independent
Alan Bennett's sharp and hilarious new play is "just what the doctor ordered" (Daily Telegraph). Filmed live at London's Bridge Theatre during its limited run, don't miss this "rousing chorus line for the NHS" (Observer) in your local cinema.
The Beth, an old-fashioned crade-to-grave hospital serving a town on the edge of the Pennines, is threatened with closure as part of an efficiency drive. A documentary crew, eager to capture its fight for survival, follows the daily struggle to find beds on the Dusty Springfield Geriatric Ward, and the triumphs of the old people's choir.
Alan Bennett's celebrated plays include The History Boys, The Lady in the Van and The Madness of George III, all of which were also seen on film. Allelujah! is his tenth collaboration with award-winning director Nicholas Hytner.
Filmed live in front of an audience.
Choreography: Natalia Makarova After: Marius Petipa Music: Ludvig Minkus Orchestrated by John Lanchbery
Marius Petipa's fantasy, set in legendary India, tells the tale of a temple dancer and the prince who loves her but marries another. The famous, moonlit 'white night' - The Kingdom of the Shades - is a corps de ballet highlight, as multiple images of the prince's lost love haunt his mind. The choreography allows two opposing ballerinas to shine, while a bronze idol comes vividly to life in a stunning solo. Throughout, the melody and moods of Minkus's music perfectly match the fluidity and precision of the classical choreography and the drama of the storytelling.
Approximate running time: 3 hours 5 minutes, including two intervals
Multi-award-winning drama 'The Madness of George III' will be broadcast live to cinemas, in National Theatre's first-ever broadcast from Nottingham Playhouse.
Written by one of Britain's best-loved playwrights Alan Bennett (The History Boys, The Lady in the Van), this epic play was also adapted into a BAFTA Award-winning film following its premiere on stage in 1991.
The cast of this new production includes Olivier Award-winners Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Wolf Hall, NT Live: Coriolanus) in the title role, and Adrian Scarborough (Gavin and Stacey, Upstairs Downstairs, After the Dance).
It's 1786 and King George III is the most powerful man in the world. But his behaviour is becoming increasingly erratic as he succumbs to fits of lunacy. With the King's mind unravelling at a dramatic pace, ambitious politicians and the scheming Prince of Wales threaten to undermine the power of the Crown, and expose the fine line between a King and a man.
Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.
With one of the finest scores ever written including; Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You, and Shall We Dance, and featuring a company of over 50 world-class performers, The King and I is a testament to the lavish heritage of gloriously romantic musical theatre.
Choreography: Peter Wright After: Lev Ivanov Music: Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
The Nutcracker has long been one of the most delightful ways to discover the enchantment of ballet - and makes fore a delicious seasonal treat for all the family. Tchaikovsky's much-loved music is matched to a magical adventure on Christmas Eve forClara and hewr Nutcracker doll. Thier journey to the Land of Sweets brings with it some of the most familiar of all ballet moments, such as the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Waltz of the Flowers. Peter Wright's production for the Royal Ballet keeps true to the spirit of this Russian ballet classic, with period details and dancing snowflakes. The many solo roles and ensembles put the world-class skills of the Company to the fore in this Christmas classic.
Approximate running time: 2 hours 30 minutes, including one interval
Caesar and his assassins are dead. General Mark Antony now rules alongside defenders of Rome. But at the fringes of a war-torn empire the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony have fallen fiercely in love. In a tragic fight between devotion and duty, obsession becomes a catalyst for war.
Director Simon Godwin returns to National Theatre Live screens with this hotly anticipated production, following broadcasts of Twelfth Night, Man and Superman and The Beaux' Strategem.
Image photograph (Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okanedo) by Jason Bell
Music: Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky Director: Stefan Herheim Conductor: Antonio Pappano
Gherman: Aleksandrs Antonenko Prince Yeletsky: Vladimir Stoyanov Countess: Felicity Palmer Liza: Eva-Maria Westbroek
In Tchaikovsky's most ambitious opera of obsession and the supernatural, Gherman is caught between the woman he loves and a destructive fixation. The Queen of Spades is based on a short story by Pushkin, and comes to the Royal Opera House in a new production yjat has already garnered five-star reviews in Amsterdam. The production is set in 1890, the year of the opera's premiere. In his study, Tchaikovsky imagines the opera into life as his own story, its characters giving voice to his unfulfilled desires. Aleksandrs Antonenko and Eva-Maria Westbroek head the cast and Royal Opera Chorus, conducted by Antnio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera. This is an engrossing portrayal of a tortured creative artist and a gripping piece of gothic storytelling.
Approximate running time: 3 hours 30 minutes, including one interval
Sung in Russian with English surtitles
I'm Not Running is an explosive new play by David Hare, premiering at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinema.
Pauline Gibson has spent her life as a doctor, the inspiring leader of a health campaign. When she crosses paths with her old boyfriend, a stalwart loyalist in Labour Party politics, she's faced with an agonising decision.
What's involved in sacrificing your private life and your piece of mind for something more than a single issue? Does she dare?
Hare was recently described by the Washington Post as 'the premiere political dramatist writing in English'. His other works include Pravda ansd Skylight, broadcast by National Theatre Live in 2014.
Image photograph (Sian Brooke) by Felicity McCabe
Richard Eyre's beautiful production provides the perfect setting for Verdi's opera about a courtesan who sacrfices all for love.
Music: Giuseppe Verdi Director: Richard Eyre Conductor: Antonello Manacorda
Violetta Valery: Ermonela Jaho Alfredo Germont: Charles Castronovo Giorgio Germont: Placido Domingo
From the thrill of unexpected romance to a heartbreaking reconciliation that comes too late - Verdi's La Traviata is one of the most populkar of all operas. Alfredo falls in love with the courtesan Violetta in glamorous Paris society, but underneath the surface run darker undercurrents, leading to a tragic ending. The opera's wealth of melodies includes the famous Brindisi and the exuberant 'Sempre libera' - both showing the lyricism of Italian opera at its most immediately appealing. Richard Eyre's production for the Royal Opera brings out all the emotional colour, from the giddy discovery of love, through painful confrontation to the inevitable conclusion. Lavish period sets and costumes enhance the reality of a moving story based on true life.
Approximate runningg time: 3 hours 35 minutes, including two intervals
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
Choreography: Carlos Acosta After: Marius Petipa Music: Ludwig Minkus Arranged and Orchestrated by: Martin Yates
Cervantes's story of the bumbling knight Don Quixote has inspired countless artistic interpretations. Marius Petipa choreographed this sparkling ballet about the encounters of the Man from La Mancha and his faithful squire Sancho Panza. At its heart are virtuoso roles for the lovers Basilio and Kitri. Carlos Acosta chose this joyful classic for his first production for the Royal Ballet. His vibrant staging brings together the whole Company in such roles as exuberant villagers, passionate gypsies and even fantasy flowers. The story follows Don Quixote's picaresque journey to do deeds in honour of his imaginary noble lady, Dulcinea. Sunny, charming, funny and touching - Don Quixote is a ballet as full of uplifting emotion as it is of astonishing ballet technique.
Approximate running time: 2 hours 45 minutes including one interval
Music: Giuseppe Verdi Director: Christof Loy Conductor: Antonio Pappano
Donna Leonora: Anna Netrebko Don Alvaro: Jonas Kaufmann Don Carlo di Vargas: Ludovic Tezier
Leonora falls in love with Don Alvaro, but when her father forbids her marriage, a fatal accident triggers a drama of obsession, vengeance and tragedy. Jonas Kaufmann and Anna Netrebko star in Verdi's epic La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny), an opera which demands the very best of singers for its powerful music and the fullest theatrical treatment for its story of bitter revenge pursued across miles and years. This production comes to the Royal Opera in a sensational staging from Amsterdam packed with colour and action. It is directed by Christof Loy and conducted by Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera.
Apprioximate running time: 4 hours 15 minutes, including two intervals
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
Music: Charles-Francois Gounod Director: David McVicar Conductor: Dan Ettinger
Faust: Michael Fabiano Mephistopheles: Erwin Schrott Marguerite: Diana Damrau
There are many versions of the story of Faust, whotrades his soul with the Devil for youth and power, but Gounod's opera remains one of the most constantly enthralling. Michael Fabiano stars as Faust, with Diana Damrau as his beloved Marguerite and Erwin Schrott as the diabolical Mephistopheles. Virtuoso leading roles, a large chorus, sensational sets, ballet and an ecstatic finale make this the epitome of theatrical spectacle - the lavish scale of French grand opera is wonderfully in evidence in this production by David McVicar, set in 1870s Paris. Above all, the music includes sevral of popular opera's most recognisable numbers, performed by a cast of great international singers and the Royal Opera Chorus.
Approximate running time: 3 hours 45 minutes including one interval
Sung in French with English surtitles
Two recent works and one world premiere showcase the contemporary face of The Royal Ballet.
Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Crystal Pite Music: Ezio Bosso, Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki (and tbc)
The contemporary face of the Royal Ballet is shown in works from three of today's leading choreographers. Christopher Wheeldon's 'Within the Golden Hoour' is based around seven couples separating and intermingling, to music by Vivaldi and Bosso, and lit with rich colours suggested by sunset. Crystal Pite's 'Flight Pattern', revived for the first time, uses a large dance ensemble and Gorecki's familiar music from his 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs' for a poignant and passionate reflection migration. Between them, a new work by Sidi Larbi Chekaoui, created on the Royal Ballet, has its premiere to bring the contemporary truly up to date.
Approximate running time: 3 hours 15 minutes, including two intervals
Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan Music: Sergei Prokofiev
Shakespeare's enduring love story is known the world over. Since its 1965 premiere with the Royal Ballet, Kenneth MacMillan's 'Romeo and Juliet' has become a modern ballet classic. The choreography captures the emotions of the young couple as they fall in love, despite the barriers that finally bring about the story's tragic end. Each revival gives opportunities for new dancers to interpret the doomed lovers. The whole Company brings the colour and action of Renaissance Verona, where a busy market all too quickly bursts into sword fighting, and a family feud leads to tragedy for both the Montagues and the Capulets.
Approximate running time: 3 hours 15 minutes, including two intervals