The thought of Opera can be a stomach wrenching idea to many people. Throw the word into the name of a building, no matter its worldwide renown and it kind of acts as a poison sign for the common traveler. Throw into consideration that there is a week worth of other activities in the area that you can do, the Royal Opera House starts to become just another pretty building on your way to a more exciting tourist attraction. If this sounds like the kind of reaction you would have to anything connected with opera, be aware that you would be missing out on visiting one of the truly unique and historical centers of British culture. Don’t let the name fool you, the Royal Opera House offers much more than opera. Here’s why the ROH is a must visit.
For opera fans, a visit to the ROH is a no brainer, but for others it can be a tough sell. Let’s get one thing straight, opera at the Royal Opera House isn’t just a bunch of bravado singing. This is a world class theatrical venue. The ROH plays host to England’s most popular opera company, The Royal Opera. Ranked consistently in the top ten companies worldwide, the opera at this venue consistently hosts some of the top operatic singers. If you go to a show just to experience the history and culture but have no idea what you are about to see, check to see the availability of Pre-Performance Talks. Here you can arrive a little early and learn the story and background for the show. Still not sold? Perhaps you will be impressed with the fact that the Royal Opera House often lines up the best in the field. From the late greats Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti to Plácido Domingo and Cecilia Bartoli, the chance to experience superstars of music is always worth the bragging rights. Who knows, you might even find yourself an opera convert! Think opera may be too opulent of an experience for your pocketbook? Cheap seats are available starting at the very frugal price of £5!
The ROH is home to the world class Royal Ballet. This internationally elite company not only stages its productions in the ROH, but also houses its very own ballet academy. On top of being one of the world’s top classical ballet companies, the Royal Ballet is also known as perhaps the world’s most innovative contemporary and modern ballet company. This provides a great deal of variety in the dance productions which means there is probably a show for everyone! As if the in-house talent isn’t enough, the Royal Opera House regularly welcomes travelling productions from the Bolshoi and other renowned dance companies.
What tourist doesn’t love a good tour? This is one of London’s top tours because of the in-depth background and very thorough trek through the entire facility; including the backstage area. From divas to ghosts you will hear stories of the rich and colorful history of the ROH, and if you’re lucky you may even get to see the Royal Ballet in live class sessions!
The front hall contains a changing array of historical theatre items. From ornate opera costumes to detailed exhibits celebrating individual choreographers and composers, there is always something new and unique to the Royal Opera House on display.
Jamie Myers is a writer for Thailand Holidays, an online travel guide with customer reviews, tips, and advice for Thailand travel.