The fifty million pound revamp of The Royal Opera House has been in the news lately. So what exactly has happened?
The world-famous opera house wants to open up and rid the venue of the elitist reputation it has acquired over the years.
The Royal Opera House’s building, whose patron is HRH The Prince of Wales, is situated in Bow-street London with the public entrance in Covent Garden. Its original construction goes back to 1732 and has gone through many changes over the years, including the latest work which has taken three years to complete.
The revamp includes space for more accessible and intimate performances, bigger terraces and newer and more extensive public areas.
The Linbury Studio Theatre, a 400-seat performing space that is below street level, has been enhanced to offer visitors performances by the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet. Additionally it will also host visiting companies.
Other elements of the revamp include a cafe, bar, restaurant and better shopping experience for the thousands that attend each year.
A new events programme has been unveiled that consists of a performance by one of Covent Garden’s performers of either singers, musicians or dancers and a plan designed to engage young children.
The Royal Opera House time for change is now
The Royal Opera House is making itself and their world famous performances of opera and ballet more accessible to the masses. The chief executive of the Royal Opera House, Alex Beard CBE, former deputy director of the Tate, said ” I very much hope that over time, the perception of this institution and of our performance will shift from being elitist, but we will keep a sense of being special, of it being extraordinary, engaging and all-consuming … but open for a much wider public to connect with. ”
The chief executive said the idea behind the project, which first surfaced back in 2011, was to get as many people to visit as possible ” one of the world’s most beautiful theatres, to experience our art forms and to get a taste of the remarkable creativity at play here “.
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