London 2017: Classical Music, Dance and Opera (Jan-June)

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Royal Ballet: Woolf Works

Natalia Osipova (c)ROH, 2015 Photographed by Tristam Kenton.

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Royal Ballet: Woolf Works
Written on Skin
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: Masurca Fogo
Flamenco Festival London
Julie Cunningham & Company: Double Bill
English National Opera: The Winter's Tale
English National Opera: Partenope
Company Wayne McGregor / Paris Opera Ballet - Tree Of Codes
Company Wayne McGregor / Paris Opera Ballet - Tree Of Codes
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From George Benjamin's first full-length opera to a triple bill from Ukrainian ballet prodigy Sergei Polunin, LondonTown lists the best classical music, dance and opera events in London throughout 2017.

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Written on Skin

Five years after its well received premiere, George Benjamin's full-scale piece returns.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 13th - 30th January 2017

 

Five years after its well received premiere at the 2012 Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 'Written on the Skin' George Benjamin's full-scale piece returns to the Royal Opera House. Set in 13th-century Provence, the story follows The Protector, who invites a scribe known as The Boy into his home and commissions a manuscript. However, when The Boy gets a little too close to the Protectors wife, an unimaginably violent tale runs its course. The story of love, passion and violence is given a unique contemporary twist as it is narrated by three angels who are placed in present day. The Guardian described Benjamin's score as "more impassioned, more sensuously beautiful and, at times, more fiercely dramatic than anything he has written before."

 
 
 

Royal Ballet: Woolf Works

Wayne McGregor's first full length ballet returns to the Royal Opera House.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 21st January - 14th February 2017

 

Wayne McGregor's critically acclaimed ballet triptych, his first full length ballet for The Royal Ballet, first performed here two years ago, returns to the Royal Opera House. Set to music by Max Richter, inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf, Woolf Works stars former Royal Ballet Principal Alessandra Ferri and Mara Galeazzi. Costume designs are by Moritz Junge who also designed the costumes for the Olivier Award winning Chroma, with lighting by Lucy Carter and film design by Ravi Deepres.

 
 
 

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: Masurca Fogo

Pina Bausch's dance production takes on the subject of desire and the human need for love.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 09th - 12th February 2017

 

Choreographer Pina Bausch created Masurca Fogo, which takes on the subject of desire and the human need for love, with her signature tongue-firmly-in-cheek wit. Dancers fling themselves down water slides and cram into a crowded beach hut for a party, always with "Bausch's sharp mudlarker's eye for social ritual" (The Guardian). Set to a soundtrack that features an eclectic mix of k.d. lang, the Balanescu Quartet's reinvention of German electronic band Kraftwerk and traditional African and Portuguese music, Masurca Fogo is an upbeat piece of dance theatre.

 
 
 

Flamenco Festival London

The annual foot-stomping festival is back for another year.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 15th - 26th February 2017

 

The annual foot-stamping Flamenco Festival London, an annual festival at Sadler's Wells these past fourteen years, includes a gala performance by legendary Gypsy dancer Juana Amaya, Olga Pericet, Jesus Carmona, Patricia Guerrero, and Rocio Marquez, considered one of the shining voices of flamenco today. Opening this year's festival is the UK premiere of FLA.CO.MEN by the rule breaking Israel Galvan. Flamenco Festival favourite, and one of Spain's leading dancers, Eva Yerbabuena returns with Apariencias in which she is accompanied by four dancers and her critically acclaimed ensemble of musicians, including African guest singer Alana Sinkey.

 
 
 

English National Opera: The Winter's Tale

A world premiere of Shakespeare's tale of love, loss and reconciliation.

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES

Tube: Charing Cross Station , Leicester Square Station, Covent Garden Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 27th February - 14th March 2017

 

The ENO presents a world premiere of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. The tale of love, loss and reconciliation sees the King of Sicilia mistakenly believe that his virtuous wife Hermione is having an affair with his good friend Polixenes, the King of Bohemia. The production will be directed by Olivier award-winning actor Rory Kinnear, who brings his considerable Shakespearean experience to the production. The cast, meanwhile, includes Iain Paterson, Sophie Bevan, Leigh Melrose, Anthony Gregory and Susan Bickley.

 
 
 
 

Company Wayne McGregor / Paris Opera Ballet - Tree Of Codes

This multimedia event combines the talents of Wayne McGregor, Olafur Eliasson and Jamie XX.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 04th - 11th March 2017

 

The "spectacular multimedia event" (The Guardian) created for the 2015 Manchester international festival combines the talents of choreographer Wayne McGregor, set against Olafur Eliasson's clever "hall-of-mirrors designs" (Telegraph) to music by Jamie XX. An adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's book Tree of Codes, the piece explores Eliasson's visual concept, which mirrors the sculptural aspects of the book of the same name. The cast combines dancers from McGregor's Random Dance with members of the Paris Opera Ballet who perform to Mr XX's "giddily infectious beats" (Telegraph).

 
 
 

Julie Cunningham & Company: Double Bill

The award-winning dancer and choreographer presents a rare combination of dance and spoken word.

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station , Moorgate Station

 

Dates: 08th - 11th March 2017

 

Dancer and choreographer Julie Cunningham presents a rare combination of dance and spoken word in her expressive double bill about gender and identity. Taking place at the Barbican, it sees Cunningham, who won a Critics' Circle Award for her performances with the maverick Michael Clark Company, set the first half of the bill, To Be Me, to Kate Tempest's hip-hop inspired poetry. The piece is a reworking of the ancient Greek myth about Tiresias, who was turned from male to female by the gods for seven years. The second half of the bill, meanwhile, uses tracks by Anohni as a soundtrack. Cunningham will perform and choreograph this performance with her own small company.

 
 
 

Sergei Polunin - Project Polunin

The Ukrainian ballet prodigy performs a triple bill at Sadler's Wells.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 14th - 18th March 2017

 

His solo dance performance to Hozier's Take Me to Church, made with director David LaChapelle, has had over 17 million views on YouTube. Now Ukrainian ballet prodigy Sergei Polunin performs a triple bill at Sadler's Wells of both classical and modern pieces, including the UK premiere of Vladimir Vasiliev's Icarus, and Tea or Coffee, a company piece choreographed by Andrey Kaydanovskiy. The programme also includes Echo and Narcissus, a piece co-created by Polunin in collaboration with composer Ilan Eshkeri who wrote the music for Polunin's biographical film, Dancer, released in UK cinemas on 10th March.

 
 
 

English National Opera: Partenope

The Olivier Award-winning production comes to London this March.

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES

Tube: Charing Cross Station , Leicester Square Station, Covent Garden Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 15th - 24th March 2017

 

Christopher Alden's Olivier Award-winning production of Handel's opera Partenope comes to London this March. The opera follows Rosmira, who still loves the man who jilted her, Arsace. Unfortunately for Rosmira, however, he is in love with the beautiful Partenope. As too are Armindo and Emilio. Rosmira, therefore, disguises herself as a man and becomes another of Partenope's suitors in order to win back Arsace. Sarah Tynan sings the title role of the proud queen of Naples, who is wooed by rival suitors and must choose between them. The co-production with Opera Australia is conducted by Christian Curnyn. Sung in English, with surtitles projected above the stage.

 
 
 

Nuclear War

Prolific playwright Simon Stephens teams up with choreographer Imogen Knight.

Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 19th April - 06th May 2017

 

Known for plays such as Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Carmen Disruption, Herons and Birdland, prolific playwright Simon Stephens now presents Nuclear War in a collaboration with choreographer Imogen Knight, who makes her directing debut. Staged in the Royal Court's Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, the story is very much under wraps but we do know it's about desire, death and time.

 
 
 
 

Mayerling

Kenneth Macmillan's harrowing tale returns to the Royal Opera House.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 23rd April - 13th May 2017

 

Kenneth Macmillan's harrowing tale of Crown Prince Rudolf's passage from a lonely youth, through a series of affairs, and finally to suicidal erotomania, returns to the Royal Opera House with all its edginess intact. Based on the true story of the Austrian heir and his lover's mysterious, violent deaths in 1889 and set to music by Franz Liszt, the two leads' descent into their frenzied madness is played with wonderful skill. The lucid poise of the role of the doomed Prince perfectly complements the fervid obsession of his young mistress. This is a demanding and ambitious ballet.

 
 
 

Carousel

Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins perform together for the first time in the West End.

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES

Tube: Charing Cross Station , Leicester Square Station, Covent Garden Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 07th April - 13th May 2017

 

Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins perform together for the first time in the West End as Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan in Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical about a doomed romance. Carousel comes with a rousing songbook that includes If I Loved You, June Is Bustin' Out All Over and You'll Never Walk Alone. The semi-staged production is directed by Lonny Price - who was behind the critically acclaimed runs of Sweeney Todd with Emma Thompson and Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close - and features English National Opera's 40-piece orchestra and chorus.

 
 
 
 
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