Announcing the 2024/25 Season

Announcing the 2024/25 Season

By Chloe Westwood, Head of Communications and External Affairs

Tuesday 30 April 2024, 8am


Today, the Royal Ballet and Opera announces its 2024/25 Season. Under a new combined organisational name, the Season features a programme of bold new productions, alongside returning audience favourites, thrilling debuts and bright new voices. 

The Royal Opera 

Our Main Stage and Linbury Theatres will host eight new productions spanning three centuries, including the world premiere of Festen. Based on Academy Award-winning filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg’s 1998 cult film of the same name, Festen is composed by Mark-Anthony Turnage (Greek, Anna Nicole, Coraline) with a libretto by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) and will be directed by Richard Jones. Previously a hit West End play, this darkest of comedy-dramas delves into the disturbing subject of abuse and generational trauma, with a cast including Allan Clayton, Stéphane Degout, Gerald Finley, Eva-Maria Westbroek, and Natalya Romaniw and more, with Edward Gardner conducting.   

In a year that has seen Leonard Bernstein celebrated in mainstream cinema with the success of film biopic Maestro, his two major opera works will be staged at Covent Garden for the first time. The Linbury Theatre opera season opens with two of his semi-autobiographical operatic masterpieces, Trouble in Tahiti and A Quiet Place, directed by Oliver Mears and conducted by Nicholas Chalmers.  

In the autumn, Ted Huffman (4.48: Psychosis) will make his Main Stage debut directing a new staging of Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky’s opera based on Pushkin's classic tale. Henrik Nánási conducts Gordon Bintner (Eugene Onegin), with Kristina Mkhitaryan (Tatyana), Liparit Avetisyan (Lensky), and Avery Amereau (Olga). After the success of Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci and Carmen, Damiano Michieletto returns to Covent Garden to direct a new production of Offenbach’s last and greatest work, The Tales of Hoffmann. Conducted by Antonello Manacorda, with Juan Diego Flórez and Leonardo Caimi sharing the title role, the cast includes Alex Esposito and Julie Boulianne with Olga Pudova, Marina Costa-Jackson and Ermonela Jaho in the three soprano roles.  

Following the glittering triumph of Das Rheingold, Barrie Kosky delves back into Wagner’s mythic universe with the second instalment of the Ring cycle: Die Walküre. With Antonio Pappano leading from the podium, Christopher Maltman reprises the role of Wotan, alongside Elisabet Strid (Brünnhilde), Lise Davidsen (Sieglinde) and Stanislas de Barbeyrac (Siegmund).  

First performed here 250 years ago, Semele is the latest in our series of Handel’s operas and oratorios that were written for Covent Garden. Oliver Mears directs this new production with Handel specialist Christian Curnyn conducting Pretty Yende in the title role, and Ben Bliss making his Royal Opera debut as Jupiter. 

Jakub Hruša conducts Corinne Winters, Karita Mattila, Thomas Atkins and Nicky Spence in a revival of Claus Guth’s Olivier Award-winning production of Jenůfa. Other returning favourites include the first revivals of Tobias Kratzer’s Fidelio conducted by Alexander Soddy and Adele Thomas’ Il trovatore conducted by Giacomo Sagripanti and Carlo Rizzi. Aigul Akhmetshina reprises the role of Carmen alongside Freddie de Tommaso – two casts are conducted by Mark Elder and Ariane Matiakh.  

Commemorating the centenary of Puccini’s death, Speranza Scappucci, Principal Guest Conductor Designate, leads her first Covent Garden Main Stage production, Richard Jones’ La bohème. Also returning is Jonathan Kent’s Tosca starring Sonya Yoncheva, SeokJong Baek and Bryn Terfel, and conducted by Eun Sun Kim in her Royal Opera debut. Andrei Șerban’s Turandot also returns, conducted by Rafael Payare and Francesco Ivan Ciampa with Sondra Radvanovsky and Ewa Płonka in the title role.  

The Season opens with revivals of Richard Eyre’s La traviata and David McVicar’s The Marriage of Figaro which sees Julia Jones conducting rising stars Ying Fang and Huw Montague Rendall alongside Jacquelyn Stucker and Luca Micheletti. Completing the Season are David McVicar’s Faust with Stefan Pop, Erwin Schrott and Lisette Oropesa in the main roles and Robert Carsen’s Aida. For Christmas, families can enjoy Antony McDonald’s story-book production of Hansel and Gretel, conducted by Giedrė Šlekytė in her Royal Opera debut.   

In the autumn, the Linbury Theatre will present The Sound Voice Project. With music by Hannah Conway, this internationally award-winning opera-video installation features a libretto by Hazel Gould and performances by Roderick Williams and Lucy Crowe, raising questions about how we make ourselves heard, how we listen, and which voices are invited to the stage.  

Impassioned opera meets dreamlike dance in a Royal Ballet and Opera double production of Phaedra and Minotaur, a collaboration between award-winning director Deborah Warner and choreographer Kim Brandstrup. Last performed as part of 4/4 (2020), Phaedra sees Christine Rice reprise her Olivier award-nominated role. The Jette Parker Artists programme welcomes seven talented newcomers who will perform throughout the year. They bring their talents to a lively new production of Telemann’s Pimpinone in the Linbury Theatre. In the summer, Catch a Sea Starthe award-winning, interactive, multi-sensory opera for toddlers and babies – will be staged in the Clore Studio. With music from J.S. Bach, children can step into an enchanting underworld realm of mermaids and sea monsters.  

The Royal Ballet 

In 2024/25 The Royal Ballet presents a diverse programme of works that celebrate the Company’s rich heritage alongside groundbreaking creations by some of the world’s leading choreographers and creative teams.   

Following the landmark success of Woolf Works and The Dante Project, Wayne McGregor returns with the European premiere of MaddAddam, based on Margaret Atwood’s monumental trilogy of novels (Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam). Leading creative forces of the contemporary dance, music, fashion and literary worlds, come together to bring Atwood’s vision to life in this visceral three-act ballet. With a specially commissioned score by celebrated composer Max Richter and costume designs by Gareth Pugh, this promises to be a spectacular experience.  

In October, Encounters: Four Contemporary Ballets features the work of four distinctive choreographers championed by The Royal Ballet. Experience a spectrum of human emotion beginning with Kyle Abraham’s gentle meditation on love, loss and memory in The Weathering. Four characters battle for control in Crystal Pite’s gripping boardroom drama The Statement. Expanding 2022’s Dispatch Duet, which received critical acclaim on its premiere, Pam Tanowitz employs her trademark style to turn the conventions of dance inside out in her new work Dispatch. Joseph Toonga presents his second Main Stage work for the Company where the idioms of classical ballet and hip-hop converge.  

Crystal Pite’s Light of Passage returns in February. Masses of dancers move as a mesmerising whole in a piece that grapples with themes of safe passage, displacement, community and mortality. This award-winning work is set to Gorecki’s affecting Symphony of Sorrowful Songs – a reminder of the power of human connection in our turbulent times.  

The ballet Season opens with two technicolor adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s popular children’s story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – both of which will be available to young people as part of our Schools’ Matinee programme. The Main Stage sees the return of Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The Royal Ballet’s Artistic Associate created this magical and whimsical interpretation in 2017, in collaboration with composer Joby Talbot and designer Bob Crowley. Powerhouse storytellers Zoonation: The Kate Prince Company transform Carroll's Wonderland into a dysfunctional institution, returning to the Linbury Theatre with The Mad Hatter's Tea Party. This energetic hip-hop show, featuring original music and family-friendly storytelling, encourages us to embrace the differences that make us who we truly are. 

Later in the Season, Ballet to Broadway: Wheeldon Works a mixed programme to showcase Christopher Wheeldon’s choreographic versatility – combines sensuous contemporary ballet with the energy of musical theatre. Luminescent and shimmering, Fool’s Paradise marked the first of the choreographer’s many collaborations with composer Joby Talbot. Three works follow, all of them new to The Royal Ballet. Recognizing Wheeldon’s extraordinary success in musical theatre, the Company performs the ballet from his Tony Award-winning musical An American in Paris, set to Gershwin’s jazzy melodies. Its zesty spirit is contrasted with two duets of intimacy and yearning. The wistful songs of Joni Mitchell set the scene for The Two of Us, while the music of Keaton Henson is used in the tender duet from Us that Wheeldon created for BalletBoyz in 2017.  

George Balanchine defined the American neoclassical style, pushing the boundaries of ballet with movement of extreme speed, dynamism and athleticism. In Balanchine: Three Signature Works, The Royal Ballet present a triptych of distinctive Balanchine pieces in one programme. The ethereal beauty of Serenade, the first ballet he created in America, is contrasted with the avant-garde Prodigal Son, a parable of sin and redemption. Symphony in C, with its symmetrical formations and crystalline placements, brings this programme to a majestic and exhilarating close.  

The Royal Ballet revives Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Julieta modern classic that celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2025 – with Prokofiev’s glorious score feeding the epic tragedy and sweeping the ballet towards its inevitable and devastating conclusion.  

Also marking 60 years since its creation, John Cranko’s 1965 ballet Onegin, based on Pushkin’s novel, returns to the Main Stage. Cranko’s expressive choreography is set to an arrangement of lesser-known Tchaikovsky music in this sumptuous period ballet.  

For Christmas, Cinderella continues to cast its spell. This enchanting work by The Royal Ballet’s Founding Choreographer Frederick Ashton, with evocative music by Prokofiev and some spectacular stagecraft, is a rich theatrical experience not to be missed. In the Linbury Theatre, Ruination, returns – the electric and darkly hilarious work of dance theatre, set to live music, that was created by Ben Duke and Lost Dog in 2022.  

In the Linbury Theatre, The Royal Ballet continues its commitment to honing new and diverse choreographic and performing talent. In October, First Soloist of The Royal Ballet Joseph Sissens is the driving force behind Legacy, a celebration of Black and Brown dancers from all over the world. In the spring, International Draft Works returns, gathering burgeoning choreographers from all over the world, revealing how the art form is ever changing and evolving. Closing the Season, celebrating both national and international talent, the Next Generation Festival is a showcase for the diversity and range of global performing talent presented by a selection of junior companies and dance schools.

Across the Season, the Linbury Theatre welcomes returning guest dance companies including Northern Ballet, Acosta Danza and Ballet Black. The Ballet Black: Heroes mixed programme will include a new work, If at First, by Choreographer-in-Residence at Scottish Ballet Sophie Laplane, that explores the complexity of humanity, heroism and self-acceptance.   


The Royal Ballet and Opera also present 11 productions in 1,500 cinemas across the globe next Season, including such beloved classics as Cinderella, The Nutcracker and The Marriage of Figaro and exciting new opera productions including The Tales of Hoffmann and Die Walküre

Inspiring creativity across the UK 

In 2025, the Royal Ballet and Opera celebrates 40 years of pioneering learning programmes. To celebrate, we announce our biggest year of learning initiatives to date. Over the past year the schools programme has grown from 1575 schools to 2710, working with more than 46,000 students, 1500 teachers and 700 schools to inspire creativity and open up access to the arts across the UK.      

We continue to run projects in communities up and down the country including regional partnerships with Bradford 2025 (UK City of Culture), Rotherham, Children’s Capital of Culture 2025 and a new focused initiatives in the east of England.   

This Season, the Royal Ballet and Opera will continue to offer a range of programmes to enhance arts education, spark creativity and improve access to the arts for all. These learning and community-based initiatives include: offering free resources and livestreamed lessons to help teachers and students be creatively confident in the classroom; hosting Create Day (in partnership with the Rights Respecting Schools Alliance) which brings together 30,000 children together in celebration; hosting Schools’ Matinees that give children from across the UK the chance to experience a live production at the Royal Opera House; Creative Exchange partnerships with commonly underrepresented groups in the arts to create a collaborative performance piece; connecting the Royal Ballet and Opera with local dance and primary schools through the Chance to Dance programme and Youth Opera Company.  

The Royal Ballet and Opera also continues to invest in future talent and professional development through initiatives such as the specialist apprenticeship programme, which will see the number of participants double this Season. We continue to nurture diverse talent through our second Overture cohort in partnership with Black Lives in Music, beginning in Autumn 2024. Members of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House mentor young musicians aged 18-25 from the global majority or other underrepresented backgrounds. The scheme provides support tailored to the participants’ individual needs, enhancing skill sets, insight and training in the classical music field.  

Whether it is welcoming audiences from across the globe to experience magic on its stages or inspiring creativity in classrooms across the UK, the Royal Ballet and Opera celebrates everything that the arts bring to UK society, looking boldly ahead to a new and exciting Season.   


Watch and listen to the audio-described trailer:

Sign up now to our newsletter to get our latest news, offers and alerts

Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation, a charitable company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales (Company number 480523) Charity Registered (Number 211775)