Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
The current building is the third on the site and dates from 1858, but was extensively renovated in the 1990s. The Royal Opera House (Covent Garden, London) seats 2268 people. More information on the history of the house here.
Kasper Holten is intendant of the Royal Opera from 2011. Antonio Pappano is musical director.
New productions are generally modern, though only moderately inventive (generally speaking) and quite a few dusty traditional productions are still around (e.g Lohengrin, Fanciulla del West).
Outstanding directors such as David McVicar (Salome, Nozze di Figaro, Magic Flute, Faust) and Graham Vick (Falstaff) have created excellent new productions for the Royal Opera House.
Virtually all major singers/conductors appear/have appeared here. Those regularly appearing include Rolando Villazón, Simon Keenlyside, Bryn Terfel, Karita Mattila and Anna Netrebko.
Royal Opera website, including season schedule, on-line ticket sale etc.
Ticket prices and overview of the auditorium may be accessed here.
Tickets are incredibly expensive, and though the Royal Opera claim ticket prizes to be lowered this season, the calculations behind that argument must require fairly advanced mathemathical skills, as the price of identical seats have increased this year compared to last year.
The organization of the Royal Opera website leaves much to be desired, such as the presentation of a complete season overview, which may only be displayed to those with well-developed internet detetctive skills. Ticket bookings come in "seasons" - e.t. autumn, winter, spring, summer. Standing room spaces are sold in advance like all other tickets. A limited number of seats are reserved for sale on the day of the performance. The cheap tickets are located in the upper ranges of the theatre, some of them requiring rather strong binoculars to get a glimpse of the stage.
The Royal Opera is located in the middle of London, next to the Covent Garden market.