Thursday, 17 November 2016


Artists from The Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera Chorus performed at the official ‘switch on’ of Covent Garden’s Christmas lights last night, transforming the Piazza into an open-air spectacle of festive song and dance.  

The Sugar Plum Fairy herself, danced by Soloist Mayara Magri, pressed the button to ‘switch on’ Covent Garden’s Christmas lights and famous Christmas tree, illuminating the Market Building and surrounding streets with over 45 magnificent mistletoe chandeliers and 80,000 pea lights. 

The evening’s performances comprised a selection of operatic favourites from CarmenNorma and Il trovatore and Christmas carols sung by members of the acclaimed Royal Opera Chorus.

Dancers from The Royal Ballet and The Royal Ballet School then performed excerpts in the Piazza from the much-loved Christmas ballet The Nutcracker, including the celebrated grand pas de deux by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince.

“Watching the spectacle of The Nutcracker at Covent Garden’s world famous Royal Opera House is a Christmas tradition and we are thrilled to bring this to life in the Piazza” said Beverley Churchill, Creative Director at Capco Covent Garden.  

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet added, “The Nutcracker is synonymous with The Royal Ballet and one of the best loved works in our repertory.  For many people it’s the ballet that was their first contact with the art form and has inspired them to explore other great classics. With its familiar score, a Christmas tree that grows on stage and a whole host of magical characters including the mysterious magician Drosslemeyer and the iconic Sugar Plum Fairy, it is a work that every young ballet dancer dreams of being part of. It’s wonderful for us to be able to share this in Covent Garden and I hope that many people will be able to see the performances this Christmas either in our beautiful theatre, or in a cinema near where they live.”