Royal Opera to stage Anna Nicole story

The former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith will become the latest operatic heroine to meet a tragic end at the Royal Opera House when the musical version of her life story opens there on 17 February next year.

Dance 3, Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London

Dance 3 promotes new choreographers. The aim is to get the next generation of dancemakers seen around the country, while developing the small-scale touring circuit for dance. For this tour, programmers and promoters of the National Dance Network have picked their rising talent, presenting nine works across three triple bills. The programme I saw had varied approaches and strong dancing.

David Lister: Covent Garden does the decent thing

It was the one cast change that the Royal Opera didn't want to happen.

The Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, London

A dim view of humanity

The Gambler, Royal Opera House, London<br/>Andris Nelsons/CBSO, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Richard Jones's lavish new production of Prokofiev can't disguise the opera's lack of subtlety

Prokofiev, The Gambler, Royal Opera House, London

Like some kind of cosmic roulette wheel Prokofiev’s mighty orchestra starts whirring as the word “Casino” appears, writ large in dozens of flashing bulbs.

Romeo and Juliet, Royal Opera House, London

Casting, casting. The Royal Ballet's revival of Romeo and Juliet opened with a switch of leading dancers. With Carlos Acosta injured, Tamara Rojo's ardent Juliet was partnered by Rupert Pennefather. They don't quite make a pair. Juliet is one of Rojo's best roles, but on this evidence, Romeo isn't Pennefather's.

La Boh&egrave;me, Royal Opera House, London<br/>Melvyn Tan, Wigmore Hall, London

This dusty, busty dowager is only propped up by tradition

La boheme, Royal Opera House, London

This was to have been Piotr Beczala's night – his chance to show off his vibrant top notes and ardent timbre as the romantic lead, Rodolfo, in Puccini's La bohème. But a severe cold, causing him to sound more fuzzy than focused and dulling the gleam of his upper register, forced him to withdraw after a couple of acts.

Strauss Der Rosenkavalier, Royal Opera House, London

John Schlesinger’s venerable 1984 staging of Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier slips ever more ungraciously into the realms of regional pantomime.

The Tsarina's Slippers, Royal Opera House, London <br/>Cecilia Bartoli/Il Giardino Armonico, Barbican Hall, London

A family show fails to live up to its sparkly promise at the Royal Opera House, but Bartoli is brilliant

Observations: Thomas Arne is due a revival after 166 years

"Rule, Britannia!" is one of the most familiar tunes in Britain, but whatever happened to its composer? This season marks the tricentenary of Thomas Arne, the compositional superstar of 18th-century Britain, yet now virtually forgotten beyond that one aria. To celebrate, the Royal Opera House is presenting his opera Artaxerxes which was premiered in the same spot in 1762, but has not been heard there (or in many other places) since 1843.

The Sleeping Beauty, Royal Opera House, London

The Royal Ballet's Sleeping Beauty is almost a fairy tale. Following two costly and unfortunate versions, artistic director Monica Mason returned to the company's iconic 1946 production. It's handsomely traditional, with fantasy designs and a decent text. Good, but not as good as it could be. There are plenty of virtues here, but the production is just a step away from being magical.

The Truth About Love, Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House

Four talented Jette Parker Young Artists, three song cycles, one very familiar canvas – life, love, loss. The devisor and director of this somewhat overcooked confection, Jose Dario Innella, subtitled it "Dramatic ruminations over Schumann, Britten, and Ebel song cycles" and therein lay the problem: too much rumination. Directed to within an inch of its life, the title – The Truth About Love - is drawn from the most familiar of Britten’s Cabaret Songs whose stanzas are scattered like discarded one-liners throughout the evening

The Truth About Love, Royal Opera House, London

Four talented Jette Parker Young Artists, three song cycles, one very familiar canvas – life, love, loss. The devisor and director of this somewhat overcooked confection, Jose Dario Innella, subtitled it “Dramatic ruminations over Schumann, Britten, and Ebel song cycles” and therein lay the problem: too much rumination. Directed to within an inch of its life, the title – The Truth About Love - is drawn from the most familiar of Britten’s Cabaret Songs whose stanzas are scattered like discarded one-liners throughout the evening.

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