6 Operas To See This Spring
Going to the opera is a wonderful and truly unique experience. As the story unfolds, the audience is taken on an emotional journey; every minute of the performance is electric and emotive.
But whether you’re new to the opera or you’ve been a hundred times, as with any theatre production, you want to make sure you choose a performance that you’re going to love.
Well, this spring, you’ll have plenty to choose from as several magical operastake to the stage in London, ranging from some of the most romantic stories ever told to satirical takes on British politics.
But they won’t be there for more than a few months, so make sure you don’t miss out on these great performances.
Having originally shot to the top of the classical music charts back in 1992, The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs from Polish composer Henryk Górecki is now the best-selling work of the modern era.
This spring, Górecki’s composition will be showing at the London Coliseum, a modern classic about motherhood, love and loss.
Górecki has taken an exciting new approach to his work and has created this powerful commentary on family and grief. The show is inspired by three sources, one of which is a message from an 18 old that was written on the walls of a Gestapo prison, adding to the emotion of this harrowing tale.
This deeply emotive and powerful performance is directed by Isabella Bywater and conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya. The symphony is sung in Polish, with English subtitles displayed above the stage.
This is only a short performance at just 55 minutes long, but you’ll be taken on an unforgeable and emotional journey. It's worth noting that because of the nature of some of the themes, this production is recommended for those aged 11 and up.
Alban Berg’s masterpiece originally premiered back in 1925, before it was suppressed during the Nazi era due to its ‘scandalous’ themes. Despite this, Berg’s tale of impoverished communities, violence and revenge has retained its relevance and popularity, even today.
Now reimagined by award-winning director Deborah Warner, this gripping tale has a vivid new staging and is presented to audiences in full musical force.
Starring Christian Gerhaher and conducted by Antonio Pappano, this operatic classic returns to the stage this spring. Wozzeck will be showing at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden between May and June with a run time of approximately one hour and 40 minutes.
Showing at the London Coliseum between April and May, Blue is an award-winning contemporary opera and a devastating look at family and race in America.
This is the tale of an African-American family. The father is a police officer, and the son is a peaceful protestor and activist who believes his father works for an oppressive system. These clashing views threaten to tear the family apart in this deeply personal story of US politics and racism.
Written by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori and directed by rising star Tinuke Craig, this powerful new story is brought to you by some of the opera’s fastest-rising stars. The show has a run time of approximately two hours and is not recommended for anyone under the age of 15.
If you want to see something a little more wacky and satirical, TONY! The Tony Blair Rock Opera tells the story of how wannabe pop star Tony Blair goes on to be one of Britain’s most controversial Prime Ministers.
You’ll be transported back to a time of turbulent political upheaval in a show that features characters like Princess Diana, John Prescott, Gordon Brown, Osama Bin Laden, George W Bush and even Saddam Hussein.
The show, written by comics Harry Hill and Steve Brown, has been described as ‘colossally tasteless’ and is certainly one of the most boundary-pushing operas you’ll ever see, so a sense of humour is a must if you’re going to enjoy it.
This out-there satirical romp is showing between April and May at Leicester Square Theatre and has a run time of just over two hours with an interval. It is not recommended for anyone under the age of 14.
Showing at the New Wimbledon Theatre in May, La Boheme is one of the most romantic operas to ever grace the stage. Set in Paris in the 1830s, the show reflects the Bohemian art of the time and tells a classic tale of love and loss.
The tragic story features the doomed Mimi and tells the tale of her love for a poor writer. The performance features famous arias, including Your Tiny Hand is Frozen, They Call Me Mimi and Muzetta’s Waltz.
This award-winning Ellen Kent production features the Ukrainian Opera and Ballet Theatre Kyiv, as well as some international soloists and a full orchestra. It is sung in Italian with English subtitles and has an approximate run time of two hours and 35 minutes with one interval.
Finally, in Phelim McDermott’s incredible production of Philip Glass’ opera, Akhnaten, you’ll be transported back to Ancient Egypt to experience the tale of the Pharaoh Akhnaten. Through dazzling songs, you’ll learn how Akhnaten was the first Ancient Egyptian leader to change from worshipping multiple gods to just one.
And that one god was the Sun.
This operatic masterpiece takes inspiration from ancient hymns, prayers and inscriptions and is performed in Egyptian, Hebrew and Akkadian with no subtitles.
Despite Glass’ love for a minimalist style, this performance is dazzling and led by an impressive cast that includes Anthony Roth Costanzo, Crystal E. Williams and Haegee Lee, to name a few.
Having sold-out audiences in the past, the show returns to the London Coliseum between March and April. Due to some adult themes, this show is not recommended for those under the age of 12. It also has one of the longest run times of any show on our list at nearly three hours long.