Conductor and pianist James Levine is one of the powerhouse figures of the classical music scene today. As a child he undertook both piano and violin; he was so accomplished on the violin that at the age of ten he played Mendelssohn's second violin concerto at a Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra youth concert. He studied piano at various summer music festivals before enrolling at New York's Juilliard School, where he took conducting courses with Jean Morel and continued piano studies with Rosina Lhevinne.
Yolanda Sonnabend's Fabergé-inspired designs evoke the world of Imperial Russia in Anthony Dowell's acclaimed production for The Royal Ballet of one of the world's best-loved ballets. Marianela Nuñez as Odette/Odile and Thiago Soares as Prince Siegfried bring new vitality to a compelling story of tragic romance. The Russian conductor Valeriy Ovsyanikov directs the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in Tchaikovsky's lush romantic score.
The final revival of this well-loved production by John Schlesinger provided the perfect vehicle for Vittorio Grigòlo as Hoffmann to display his wonderful voice and masterful acting, surrounded by an exemplary supporting cast, including Sonya Yoncheva in the role of Antonia, and Thomas Hampson as Hoffmann’s arch rivals. The production at the Royal Opera House (November 2016) garnered very good reviews, especially for Vittorio Grigòlo.