This Christmas, the Royal Opera House is opening up a world of festivities for people of all ages to enjoy the holiday spirit. From a Christmas Cracker Family Sunday to classic performances of The Nutcracker and accessible opera for all the family, there is a way for everybody to enjoy the winter season at Covent Garden. The Songs for Ukraine Chorus will celebrate the festive season with a spectacular Christmas concert in the Paul Hamlyn Hall on 17 December 2023. This concert will reunite Ukrainian singers displaced or impacted by the war with the Royal Opera Chorus.
Singing traditional Ukrainian Christmas songs, as well as popular Christmas carols, this concert is the perfect way to kick off the festive season.
On Stage and Screen
The Royal Ballet’s magnificent production of The Nutcracker makes a welcome return this Christmas, with performances running on the Main Stage from Wednesday 6 December 2023 to Saturday 13 January 2024. It will also be broadcast live around the world to cinemas on Tuesday 12 December at 7:15pm, with encore screenings running from Sunday 17 December at 2pm.
This year’s Paul Hamlyn Christmas Treat will be the Royal Opera House’s first relaxed performance of The Nutcracker. Designed to create a better performance environment for neurodiverse people and others with access requirements, this relaxed performance for The Paul Hamlyn Christmas Treat is generously supported by The Helen Hamlyn Trust, in memory of the late Paul Hamlyn.
Award–winning folk opera Wolf Witch Giant Fairy returns to the Linbury Theatre for 19 relaxed performances, having won the Olivier Award for Best Family Show during its premiere run in 2021. Presented by The Royal Opera and innovative theatre company Little Bulb, the original troupe of travelling players return as the energetic ensemble cast, bringing this endearing folk opera to new audiences, young and old.
This festive season also celebrates the return of The Royal Opera’s Hansel and Gretel, now translated into English for the first time on the Royal Opera House stage. This exquisite adaptation of the well-known Brothers Grimm fairytale is staged by director and designer Antony McDonald, who crafts a magical picture-book production, bringing this darkly enchanting story to vivid life.
Festive Tours and Events
A special Christmas Cracker Family Sunday will be taking place on Sunday 10 December, full of activities for the whole family! From dress ups, ballet barre and opera workshops based on Hansel and Gretel, to pointe shoe making demonstrations, and gingerbread decorating with Cook School, this is sure to be a Sunday full of great Christmas memories.
This festive day will also feature beautiful performances, including a demonstration by The Royal Ballet School, and a performance inspired by Wolf Witch Giant Fairy.
For those who want a peak behind the red velvet curtain, look no further than the Making of The Nutcracker Tour. This 75-minute behind-the-scenes tour is suitable for anyone aged 12 and up, and will focus on how the magic of The Nutcracker comes to life.
With an expert guide taking groups to areas not usually accessible to the public, a drink which can be enjoyed on the heated terrace or in the Christmas champagne bar in the Linbury foyer, and a Nutcracker themed tree decoration to take with you, this tour is made for lovers of the theatre and the holiday season!
Children aged 5-12 can join the Children’s Nutcracker Adventure! – a tour that will guide children and their accompanying adults through the Royal Opera House’s iconic building to experience The Nutcracker in a whole new way. Anyone who joins these fabulous tours will also receive 10% off at the café and shop on the day. Both tours will begin running from Wednesday 6 December.
Get Christmas all wrapped up with the Royal Opera House Shop. From unique gifts and dazzling accessories to stocking fillers and greetings cards – the Royal Opera House Shop has everything needed for a sparkling festive season. With an emphasis on bespoke, exclusive and sustainable products, the Shop has something to suit every budget.
Shop in-store at Covent Garden or online at shop.roh.org.uk.
Discover a delicious spread of festive treats in the ROH Café and Lindbury Bar, inspired by our on-stage productions this Christmas and available from Monday 20 November. With the Café open with extended hours and the Linbury Bar open until Saturday 13 January, there’s more reason to spend your time exploring the Royal Opera House.
Visit the Level 5 Piazza Restaurant to sample the special Christmas set-menu, available for group bookings of 12 or more from Monday 20 November, or simply watch the wintery world below pass by, with a cocktail in hand in the Piazza Terrace Bar. Choose from a selection of Christmas cocktails, mulled wine or non-alcoholic spiced apple press.