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London Opera

London is home to some of the most prestigious opera companies in the world who perform a rich and varied programme each year. Audiences are spoiled for choice at London opera houses, with classics from well-known composers such as Bizet, Verdi and Wagner complemented by dynamic work from a budding new generation of opera stars.

Whether you’re a seasoned fan or just starting to dip your toe into the genre, the breathtaking vocal performances, rousing stories and iconic scores performed by the UK's top opera professionals promise an experience that you will never forget.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is a diverse selection of operas in London, including those by composers such as Gluck, Mozart and Rossini. Many opera companies fill their schedules with a mixture of these well-known classics and new work by modern composers. Check our listings above for the opera in London you can book now.
In 2023, a dynamic mix of classic operas and contemporary productions are playing in London. The most exciting amongst these include Calixto Bieito’s acclaimed production of Carmen, which moves the action of Bizet’s opera to 1970s Spain, when Franco’s regime was collapsing.

In April, Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori’s Blue receives its UK premiere with the English National Opera. This contemporary piece, which won the 2020 MCANA Award for Best New Opera, is a powerful family drama and an indictment of racism in the USA.
Some of the most famous operas are staged in London every year and are a great place to start because of their recognisable music and stories. These include Puccini’s La bohème, about four struggling artists in Paris; Bizet’s tragic tale of jealousy, Carmen, and Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle, which is inspired by Norse mythology. The Ring Cycle includes The Rhinegold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung.

There are also modern operas which may appeal if you enjoy shows about contemporary issues such as Blue, which is about race and policing in the USA.
The London Coliseum is the home of the English National Opera, and one of the best places to watch opera in the world. The prestigious Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and open-air Opera Holland Park are two other world-class opera houses in the capital. They offer a varied programme of classical operas and new work every year.
There is no formal opera dress code at London venues and audiences are encouraged to wear clothes that they find comfortable. Some people enjoy dressing up for a night at the opera, whilst others prefer to wear more casual clothes. Press nights or galas may have stricter dress codes, but this will be communicated to you during or after booking.
Most operas performed in London are sung in English, or have English surtitles displayed above the stage. You will be able to follow along with the lyrics and story with the help of these surtitles. If you are unable to read surtitles, binoculars can be rented at most opera houses and access aids are also available.
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