Royal Opera House
Royal Opera House London Reviews
The Royal Opera House Sep 13, 2010
The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden is one of the best known opera and ballet venues in the UK, and possibly in the world. It’s gorgeous.
Right in the heart of Covent Garden, the Royal Opera House is home to some incredible opera and ballet. The quality of the acoustics is great, and the whole opera house is beautiful. With an international reputation to maintain, they have amazing quality of performances and stunning productions. I am running out of adjectives, but the whole experience is pretty magical. The staff are friendly even if you are obviously heading for the cheapest seats, and there are lots of people to help you if you can’t find where you are meant to be going. The box office is efficient and there is a cloakroom. At interval, there is a bar and you can pre order your drinks if you like, but I still prefer getting a tub of ice cream and reading the programme if I’m on my own. There
are usually interesting displays to look at.
Of course, you are really there for the music or the dance. For opera, the cheap seats are fine; it might not be so great for dance. The website makes booking (and finding the seats that don’t cost a fortune) easy. There is a wonderful programme through the year, with various classic operas (Sarah ducks whilst people who know what they are talking about explain why Cosi fan Tutti is really baroque or something…) and some rarer or more contemporary stuff.
Now, I know some of you will be wondering what bank I robbed to afford the tickets, especially as I ticked the “average” box above. The Royal Opera House is undoubtedly associated with rich, high society people in posh clothes, and yeah, some tickets do sell for hundreds of pounds. But actually, you can get midweek restricted view seats in the slips for less than £15, and there are deals for students too. That’s about the price of any live music in the capital, and a lot less than going to the West End. Even with restricted view tickets, you can see most of the stage, and frankly, with opera, you are there for the music anyway. You can definitely see the supertitles (the bits that translate whatever’s going on into English for you) from anywhere in the house.
And although people do dress up, you wouldn’t be the only person there in jeans if you went, and you certainly wouldn’t be out of place in smart casual clothes – there is no need to splash out for a ballgown!
It is also a lesser known fact that some opera is very funny (the production of Cosi Fan Tutti I saw was hilarious in places) and that some of it is very easy to follow (Carmen falls for the wrong man, cheats on him, gets drunk, falls for a different wrong man, and gets stabbed – pretty much a soap opera with better songs!). I would really recommend the Royal Opera House even if you aren’t a big classical music fan, as it’s a really special night out.
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