Friday, March 1, 2024

Rigoletto coming to the High House in Purfleet

THE final of the 2014 BP Big Screens will be taking place on Wednesday 17 September with a live screening of Verdi’s Rigoletto from the iconic Covent Garden stage direct to Purfleet at the High House Production Park. Free to 14 towns and cities across the UK, the screening will kick-off at 7pm with pre-performance build-up presented by Dominic Peckham and Natasha Kaplinsky.

The BP Big Screens are the perfect way to share world-class opera with family and friends for free. The three productions screened over the course of the summer (the two previous screenings being La bohème and La traviata) feature exclusive backstage films and live interaction bringing some of the Royal Opera House’s finest performances live to the great outdoors across the UK.

Rigoletto will also be a final chance to enter into the BP Big Screen competition to a performance of The Royal Ballet’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with a stay at The May Fair Hotel and a meal in the Paul Hamlyn Balconies Restaurant – once a part of the Covent Garden flower market. In addition there will be a chance to win a food hamper from the Royal Opera House to the cinema-goer with the best ‘opera selfie’ using the hashtag #BPBigScreen, via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the partnership with BP which has enabled half a million people to enjoy world-class opera and ballet through free live broadcasts from the Royal Opera House beamed to big screens in their home town. BP first supported the Big Screen programme in 2000, when there was just one screen in Covent Garden, although the partnership began in 1988 with a wide variety of activities. Last Season was the most successful year for BP Big Screens, with more than 45,000 people watching from Aberdeen to Belfast and London to Plymouth. This year the screening of Rigoletto will be showed at a new venue, The Forum in Southend on Sea.



One of Verdi’s best known operas makes a welcome return to Covent Garden, in David McVicar’s dark and atmospheric production, with strong characterizations and vivid scenery. The production deftly depicts the colourful and corrupt world of the court in 16th century Mantua. The dark and violent themes remain as potent today as ever. The opera tells the story of the jester Rigoletto, cursed by a man he has mocked, who is driven to despair by the seduction of his daughter and later by his increasing obsession with revenge.

In the title role of Rigoletto is Greek baritone Dimitri Platanias, and the role of the innocent Gilda is performed by Japanese soprano Eri Nakamura. The role of the Duke of Mantua is sung by Italian tenor Piero Pretti with Italian specialist Maurizio Benini conducting.

Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House said “These screenings are a great way for people to enjoy live opera from Covent Garden – and for free – and perhaps with a picnic with friends and family too. We’re extremely grateful to BP for their partnership with us – this year celebrating 25 years – and for bringing opera and ballet to people across the country.”

Des Violaris, BP’s UK Director for Arts and Culture, added “BP is delighted to continue its backing for the BP Big Screens in this our 25th year of supporting the Royal Opera House. Being able to connect people and communities across the UK, bringing high quality opera to their doorsteps, is at the core of our relationship with the ROH. Last year we had an audience of over 45,000 across the country, the highest audience figure since our support for this initiative started 14 years ago and hope that the skies over the UK will stay clear this year so that even more people can discover and be inspired by the BP Big Screens.”

To find out more about the Royal Opera House visit


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