Explore culture and feel something new in January 2019 as Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades (6.45pm on 22 January) and Verdi’s best-loved opera La traviata (6.45pm on 30 January) are broadcast live to UK cinemas from the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden. The screenings are presented by Clemency Burton-Hill.

Left, The Queen of Spades at Dutch National Opera (2016) ©Karl and Monika Forster; right, La traviata, Act II scene 2 ©2016 ROH. Photographed by Tristram Kenton

The Queen of Spades (22 January) tells the story of Gherman (Aleksandrs Antonenko), a penniless soldier obsessed by both gambling and the beautiful Liza (Eva-Maria Westbroek). After Gherman tries to discover a winning card trick from Liza’s grandmother the Countess (Felicity Palmer), and she dies of fright, his obsession turns into madness. Stefan Herheim’s inventive production places Tchaikovsky himself at the heart of the action. The Queen of Spades features some of Tchaikovsky’s most beautiful music, with grand choruses, intimate arias and impassioned duets. Antonio Pappano conducts.

La traviata (30 January 2019), features a star cast including Royal Opera favourite Plácido Domingo. The opera tells the story of the Parisian courtesan Violetta (Ermonela Jaho) and her tragic love affair with Alfredo Germont (Charles Castronovo). Their romantic idyll in the countryside ends abruptly when Alfredo’s father Giorgio (Domingo), shocked by their scandalous liaison, persuades Violetta to leave Alfredo for the good of his family – even though he knows Violetta is seriously ill. A distraught Alfredo finally learns the truth when Violetta is on her death bed. The opera contains some of Verdi’s most inspired arias including Violetta’s ‘Sempre libera’ and ‘Addio del passato’. Antonello Manacorda makes his Royal Opera debut as conductor.

The Royal Opera House cinema broadcasts offer audiences the best seats in the house, and include exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and detailed close-ups of performers. Audiences are never far from a performance at the Royal Opera House, with most UK viewers located within 30 miles of a cinema screening. In 2017/18 more than one million people globally saw a production of world-class opera or ballet from the Royal Opera House at one of more than 1,500 cinemas in 51 countries.

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The Queen of Spades will be sung in Russian and La traviata will be sung in Italian, both with English surtitles.

The Royal Opera’s The Queen of Spades lasts approximately three hours and 30 minutes including one interval and will be broadcast live to UK cinemas and worldwide on Tuesday 22 January at 6.45pm with an encore screening on Sunday 27 January 2019 at 2pm. La traviata lasts 3 hours and 20 minutes including two intervals and will be broadcast live to UK cinemas and worldwide on Wednesday 30 January 2019 at 6.45pm with an encore screening on Sunday 3 February 2019 at 2pm.

Further details on dates and venues are available here: https://www.roh.org.uk/cinemas

The Royal Opera House has seen huge growth in the influence of independent cinemas, which now account for almost half of our network in the UK. Internationally, a partnership with Trafalgar Releasing sees our productions broadcast to up to 1,000 cinemas in 50 countries.

Audiences are also able to access an array of livestreamed and on-demand content via the Royal Opera House YouTube channel, which is the most subscribed-to YouTube channel of any arts organization in the world.

The 2018/19 Live Cinema Season is as follows from January 2019 (there may changes for international screenings).

The Royal Opera
LIVE: Tuesday 22 January 2019 (6.45pm)
ENCORE: Sunday 27 January 2019 (2pm)

The Royal Opera
LIVE: Wednesday 30 January 2019 (6.45pm)
ENCORE: Sunday 3 February 2019 (2pm)

The Royal Ballet
Acosta/Petipa: DON QUIXOTE
LIVE: Tuesday 19 February 2019 (7.15pm)
ENCORE: Sunday 24 February 2019 (2pm)

The Royal Opera
LIVE: Tuesday 2 April 2019 (6.15pm)
ENCORE: Sunday 7 April 2019 (2pm)

The Royal Opera
Gounod: FAUST
LIVE: Tuesday 30 April 2019 (6.45pm)
ENCORE: Sunday 5 May 2019 (2pm)

The Royal Ballet
LIVE: Thursday 16 May 2019 (7.15pm)
ENCORE: Sunday 19 May 2019 (2pm)

The Royal Ballet
LIVE: Tuesday 11 June 2019 (7.15pm)
ENCORE: Sunday 16 June 2019 (2pm)