Are you a culture vulture? Well, the cinema isn't just about superheroes, it's also a window into some of the world's greatest plays, ballets and operas.
Here's what coming up in January 2019…
Met Opera 18/19: Adriana Lecouvreur (12th January)
For the first time at the Met, soprano Anna Netrebko sings the role of Adriana Lecouvreur, the eighteenth-century actress whose real-life intrigues inspired Cilea's tragic opera. Adriana is adored by many but loves only Maurizio, sung by tenor Piotr Beczala, who adores her in return. Maurizio desperately tries to extricate himself from his relationship with previous lover, the Princess of Bouillon – mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili.
When the princess discovers that Adriana is her rival, she takes desperate measures of her own. In this new production directed by Sir David McVicar, the action is partially set in a working replica of a baroque theatre. Gianandrea Noseda conducts the riveting score.
NT Live: The Tragedy of King Richard the Second (15th January)
Simon Russell Beale plays William Shakespeare's Richard II, broadcast live from the stage of the Almeida Theatre in London to cinemas. This visceral new production about the limits of power will be directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins, whose previous plays include Little Revolution at the Almeida and Absolute Hell at the National Theatre. Richard II, King of England, is irresponsible, foolish and vain. His weak leadership sends his kingdom into disarray and his court into uproar.
Seeing no other option but to seize power, the ambitious Bolingbroke challenges the throne and the king's divine right to rule. Simon Russell Beale returns to National Theatre Live screens following broadcasts of Timon of Athens and King Lear, and his recent role in the National Theatre's critically acclaimed production of The Lehman Trilogy.
Bolshoi Ballet: La Bayadère (20th January)
The temple dancer Nikiya and the warrior Solor fall deeply in love, giving way to heated passions, and murderous intrigues when the Rajah and his daughter Gamzatti discover their forbidden love. La Bayadere is one of the greatest works in classical ballet history – a story of love, death and vengeful judgement set in India. Dazzling sets, costumes, and one of the most iconic scenes in ballet, the 'Kingdom of the Shades,' illuminate the tragic tale of Nikiya's doomed love for the warrior Solor, and their ulimate redemption. A must-see!
ROH Royal Opera Live 2019: The Queen Of Spades (22nd January)
In Tchaikovsky's intense opera of obsession and the supernatural, Gherman is caught between the woman he loves and a destructive fixation. The Queen of Spades is based on a short story by Pushkin, and comes to the Royal Opera House in a new production that has already garnered five-star reviews in Amsterdam.
The production is set in 1890, the year of the opera's premiere. In his study, Tchaikovsky imagines the opera into life as his own story, its characters giving voice to his unfulfilled desires. Aleksandrs Antonenko and Eva-Maria Westbroek head the cast and Royal Opera Chorus, conducted by Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera. This is an engrossing portrayal of a tortured creative artist and a gripping piece of gothic storytelling.
Everybody's Talking About Jamie (29th January)
Inspired by a true story, Everybody's Talking About Jamie is the new award-winning five-star hit musical for today. Jamie New is sixteen and lives on a council estate in Sheffield. Jamie doesn't quite fit in. Jamie is terrified about the future. He is going to be a sensation. Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight. John McCrea, Josie Walker, Tamsin Carroll, Lucie Shorthouse and Phil Nichol lead a twenty-four strong company and an eight-piece band that will 'sweep you away on a tide of mischief, warmth and exuberance' (Financial Times). With 'songs that have the wow factor' (The Times) by lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells, and 'hilarious' book and lyrics 'with delightful punch' (Whatsonstage), by writer Tom MacRae, this funny, fabulous, feel-good, musical sensation has been thrilling audiences and critics alike.
ROH Royal Opera Live 2019: La Traviata (30th January)
From the thrill of unexpected romance to a heartbreaking reconciliation that comes too late – Verdi's La Traviata is one of the most popular of all operas. Alfredo falls in love in with the courtesan Violetta in glamorous Paris society, but underneath the surface run darker undercurrents, leading to a tragic ending. The opera's wealth of melodies includes the famous Brindisi and the exuberant 'Sempre libera' - both showing the lyricism of Italian opera at its most immediately appealing. Richard Eyre's production for The Royal Opera brings out all the emotional colour, from the giddy discovery of love, through painful confrontation to the inevitable conclusion. Lavish period sets and costumes enhance the reality of a moving story based on true life.
NT Live 2019: I'm Not Running (31st January)
I'm Not Running is an explosive new play by David Hare, premiering at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinemas. Pauline Gibson has spent her life as a doctor, the inspiring leader of a local health campaign. When she crosses paths with her old boyfriend, a stalwart loyalist in Labour Party politics, she's faced with an agonising decision. What's involved in sacrificing your private life and your piece of mind for something more than a single issue? Does she dare? Hare was recently described by The Washington Post as 'the premiere political dramatist writing in English'. His other work includes Pravda and Skylight, broadcast by National Theatre Live in 2014.