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Theatres of the World: Part 2

Fun Facts about the Royal Opera House, London

The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London is home to the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet.   It has a rich and interesting history.

The tradition of opera performance has been continued on site at Covent Garden since 1732. That’s 284 years this year!

Some interesting facts are:

  • The first ballet was performed  in 1734
  • First opera season in 1735
  • 3 theatres have been built on this site. The first two were destroyed in fires in 1808 and 1856.
  • The present theatre was in fact built in 1858 first as a dance hall.  It was not until 1892 when the theatre officially became the Royal Opera House.
  • During the First World War the theatre was used as a furniture repository.
  • In 1946, it was restored to a dance hall during the Second World War
  • In 1997-1999 full redevelopment took place. The auditorium remained whole and today retains its historical beauty and glamour.

Today the Royal Opera House has a stellar reputation and attracts top international guest artists. It continues to celebrate new and modern theatre, opera and dance, while at the same time maintaining a respect for tradition and a sense of deep history.

Well worth the visit next time you are in London!

View from the stage

Waiting for the Royal Ballet’s Don Quixote, December 2014

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