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Yes, it's already time to reserve your place for Harrods Christmas Grotto.

For its most generous supporters, Royal Opera House winter season booking too is under way.  For the rest of us, it opens shortly: 20 September for Friends and 17 October 2012 for the public.

The scramble will be maddest for Nabucco, which opens on 30 March. That's because up-and-coming baritone Plácido Domingo is taking his first stab at the title role. But he's only in the last four shows, so tickets should be easier to come by for earlier dates with Leo Nucci. The real casting challenge however is the role of Abigaille, upon which Liudmyla Monastyrska brings her mighty lungs to bear.  Marianna Pizzolato makes an overdue return as Fenena, but the one to watch may well be the young Italian tenor Andrea Caré as Ismaele.  Expect anything but adventure from director Daniele Abbado; Nicola Luisotti conducts.

Kasper Holten apparently wanted a chance to get his directorial hands dirty as quickly as possible, so a planned revival of Steven Pimlott's Eugene Onegin has been dropped in favour of a new version by the incoming Director of Opera. Finding the musically distinguished but undeniably mature Simon Keenlyside and Krassimira Stoyanova already cast in the principal roles may have influenced Holten's nostalgic approach. The tight budget stretches to video design - what's the bet that's instead of furniture? Robin Ticciati conducts.

Not to be confused for booking purposes is John Cranko's ballet Onegin, helpfully on at around the same time.

The only real must-see this period is George Benjamin's new opera Written on Skin, greeted as the greatest thing since Mozart balls when it opened this summer in Aix-en-Provence. Even director Katie Mitchell couldn't ruin it. The first-class cast features Barbara Hannigan, Christopher Purves, Bejun Mehta, Victoria Simmonds and Allan Clayton, and the composer conducts. Tickets are extra-cheap for this one, so no excuses. Video clip below.

Finally, interminably, Tosca, which opens on 2 March for a longer run than the average West End musical. Amanda Echalaz and Kristine Opolais, who initially take turns in the title role, are both worth seeing;  Massimo Giordano and Yonghoon Lee as Cavaradossi less so. Michael Volle should prove a reliably nasty Scarpia. Maurizio Benini conducts these shows.

The ROH is optimistically relying on Martina Serafin, Aleksandrs Antonenko and Scott Hendricks to pull in the tourists for the July dates (bookable this period), when Daniel Oren conducts.

To speed up the ticket buying process, you can see all dates on the same page here for Friends and here for public booking.