Rimsky-Korsakov’s first folk-opera is a lyrical combination of the farcical, the romantic and the supernatural. Based on a story by Gogol, set in Little Russia in Whitsun-week, Levko and Ganna fall in love to a background of small-town politics and village traditions, with the ambivalent help of the restless spirits of the Unclean World. Royal Academy Opera continues its year ‘on the road’ in a venue a world apart from its traditional home, in spite of being only minutes away from the Academy. Ambika P3, the University of Westminster’s former concrete testing hall, will be the dramatic location for Christopher Cowell’s welcome directorial return to Royal Academy Opera, following his production of Cendrillon in 2013. Gareth Hancock conducted the Walton/Berkeley double bill in summer 2015; he will take over as Director of Opera at the Academy from July 2016.