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To celebrate Shakespeare400, Christopher Wheeldon's adaptation of Shakespeare’s late great romance The Winters Tale returned to the Royal Opera House alongside performances of Romeo and Juliet and Otello.


Ballet, Opera and the Bard

To celebrate the life of the Bard, the Royal Opera House live-streamed an event focused around opera and ballet adaptations of his work.

'Ballet, opera and the Bard' showcased rehearsals and performance from both The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet in the hour-long stream. Royal Ballet Principals Lauren Cuthbertson and Edward Watson rehearsed The Winter's Tale and there was a performance of the potion scene from Kenneth MacMillan's classic adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. The event also saw the Royal Opera artists performing music from Verdi's two great Shakespearean operas, Otello and Falstaff.

The Winter's Tale

Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, created his adaptation of Shakespeare’s late great romance The Winter’s Tale for The Royal Ballet in 2014. Building on the success of Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Winter’s Tale received ecstatic praise at its premiere, acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for its intelligent, distinctive and emotionally powerful story, told through exquisite dance. It is now widely judged to be a modern ballet classic.

Dancers of The Royal Ballet in Act II of The Winter’s Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014
Dancers of The Royal Ballet in Act II of The Winter’s Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

The story follows the destruction of a marriage through consuming jealousy, the abandonment of a child and a seemingly hopeless love. Yet, through remorse and regret – and after a seemingly miraculous return to life – the ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation. With powerful designs by Bob Crowley and atmospheric music by Joby Talbot, The Winter’s Tale is a masterful modern narrative ballet.


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