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Royal Opera House

16:37 Mon 24th May 2010 |

The Royal Opera House is a magnificent building in the heart of London’s Convent Garden. Closely linked to the famous composer Handel the theatre has a fascinating history. It is possible to go on backstage tours and see how the Opera House runs on a day to day basis. The stage has played host to some of the world’s greatest performers from Pavarotti to Callas, Nureyev and Fonteyn.

The Royal Opera House is actually the third theatre built on the Covent Garden site, where there has been a theatre since 1732. Both the previous theatres were destroyed by fire, a serious hazard in the era before electricity. The current theatre was designed by Edmund Barry and opened in 1858. Many of the rooms still boast the original architectural features from this time.

The Backstage Tours include an introduction to the colourful history of the theatre, an insight into the redevelopment of the Royal Opera House and a look at aspects of current productions. As the Royal Opera House is a fully working theatre, each tour is a unique experience, and may include opportunities to see The Royal Ballet in class, or the magnificent backstage technology in operation.

Times: The tours can run three times per day Mondays to Fridays, at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm, and on Saturdays at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm. All tours last approximately 1 hour 30 minutes and actual times may vary. Tickets can be booked through the box office.

Performances start promptly. To be certain of being seated in good time, arrival is recommended at least 30 minutes before curtain up. There are TV monitors so the production can be viewed from the foyer in the event that the start is missed. When there is a suitable gap in the performance then entry into the auditorium will be allowed, however, this may take as long as 90 minutes.

The Royal Opera House has several venues available for hire:

The Paul Hamlyn Hall
The Crush Room
The Conservatory
The Linbury Theatre & Foyer
The Amphitheatre Bar & Restaurant
The Royal Ballet Studios
The Trust Dining Rooms


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Tickets for performances can be booked online, over the phone or in person at the box office. Contact details onlinebooking@roh.org.uk; or tel: +44 (0) 20 7304 4000.

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