The BP Big Screens are back in 2019 with some of the world’s most popular operas and ballets broadcast live for free from the Royal Opera House in London. This year, another three live performances return to the Big Screen Portsmouth so make sure you put the dates in your diary and come along. Bring your friends and a picnic and soak up free culture on your doorstep – and get there early for the exclusive pre-performance content 30 minutes before curtain-up.
We’re thrilled to announce this summer’s line up:
Romeo and Juliet
The Royal Ballet | 11 June at 7.00pm
Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers encounter passion and tragedy in Kenneth MacMillan's 20th-century ballet masterpiece. Soak up free culture on your doorstep: watch The Royal Ballet on stage at the Royal Opera House in this free live screening on the BP Big Screen.
Romeo and Juliet fall passionately in love, but their families are caught up in a deadly feud. They marry in secret, but tragic circumstances lead Romeo to fight and kill Juliet's cousin Tybalt. As punishment, he is banished from the city.
When Juliet's parents force her to marry Paris, she takes drastic action, drinking a potion to make her appear dead so she can escape the marriage and join Romeo. But the message explaining her plan fails to reach him. When he hears news of her death, he returns to visit her tomb and kill himself. Juliet wakes to find him dead and, devastated, she stabs herself.
The Royal Ballet | 2 July at 6.30pm
Bizet's greatest opera tells the story of the enigmatic and seductive Carmen and the dangerous passion she arouses in Don José. Soak up free culture on your doorstep: watch The Royal Opera’s fresh take on this much-loved opera, complete with flamenco dancers, bull fighters and a gorilla – all in a free live screening from the Royal Opera House on the BP Big Screen.
Carmen declares that any man she loves should beware. But even she is unprepared for what will happen when she seduces Don José, an army corporal who initially appears uninterested in her charms.
Don José soon abandons his sweetheart Micaëla and his job in the army for Carmen, and joins her and her smuggler friends in the mountains. But Carmen quickly wearies of Don José's possessiveness. When she turns her attentions to the dashing toreador Escamillo, Don José's jealousy erupts into violence.
The Marriage of Figaro
The Royal Opera | Tuesday 9 July at 6.30pm
Revolution is in the air in The Royal Opera’s beautiful production of Mozart's great comic opera. Colourful characters mix with intrigue, misunderstanding and forgiveness in a multitude of dramatic twists. Soak up free culture on your doorstep with this free live screening from the Royal Opera House stage to the BP Big Screen.
Figaro and Susanna plan to get married – but their master Count Almaviva has designs on Susanna and is determined to stop the wedding taking place. Meanwhile the page Cherubino's passion for the ladies jeopardizes his job, and Countess Almaviva wants to regain her husband's love.
Figaro, Susanna and the Countess plot to shame the Count and save Cherubino from banishment. But their plans don't run smoothly, particularly when the elderly Marcellina tries to force Figaro to marry her. An astonishing revelation prevents this happening, but will the Count still find a way to thwart the wedding? And can the Countess win back her husband's affection?
Oliver Ing, Producer of the Big Screen Portsmouth said:
“This is such a great opportunity for Portsmouth residents to experience these cultural live performances for free in the heart of the city this summer. The Royal Opera House events have grown in popularity year on year and so we are very excited for their return as we welcome Romeo and Juliet, Carmen and The Marriage of Figaro.”
Gok Wan, who will present the BP Big Screens in July said:
“As a huge opera and ballet fan, I love the BP Big Screens. As a child I would have loved watching opera for free with my friends! It’s fantastic that 24 sites across the UK become opera houses or ballet stages for the night and share in the magical performances live from London’s Covent Garden. Outdoor cinema is now one of the nation’s favourite summer pastimes and each summer the Royal Opera House BP Big Screens give everyone access to free culture on their doorstep, a great experience for free!”
Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, commented:
“The BP Big Screens are a much-loved highlight of the summer calendar across the UK, and I am delighted that we once again beam the best the Royal Opera House has to offer to an ever-wider audience. Over the years, our collaboration with BP has enabled more than half a million people to experience ballet and opera – many for the first time – and together we bring this summer highlight to people all over the UK.”
Des Violaris, Director – UK Arts and Culture at BP said:
“Each summer we look forward to the BP Big Screens and taking free culture to people all over the country. This year we screen live world-class opera and ballet from Aberdeen to the Isle of Wight and build on over 30 years of partnership work between BP and the Royal Opera House”
The first Royal Opera House BP Big Screens was in 1987 showing free ballet and opera to audiences across the UK. In 2018, 41,500 people saw a free opera or ballet performance at one of 40 screenings in 20 different locations.