One of Covent Garden’s well known theatrical structures, the Royal Opera House has gone through various iterations, the building’s current structure it’s third outing. Founded in 1732, the venue was initially known as the Theatre Royal, operating mainly as a playhouse within its first century. Destroyed twice within its history – 1808 and 1856 due to disastrous fire incidents, what we now know as an operatic and ballet-led venue has gone through centuries of reshaping. Offering 45 minute tours of the elaborate venue, the Royal Opera House present the Velvet, Gilt and Glamour Tour!
An entertaining experience chronicling the venue’s rich history, we learn of the auditorium’s defining qualities – horseshoe shaped, consisting of a stage 15ft by 15ft, of which there are multiple replica revolving sets, already setting an impressive precedent. Sat up in the highest tier – the Amphitheatre, it’s great to observe the creatives behind the scenes who ensure all is up and running for prospective theatre goers. The auditorium’s visually striking decor, consisting of genuine gold leaf astounds. The nautical pastel blue, gold scaled ceiling astounds not only for its structure but how it supports the venue’s sound element!
We wind through the venue’s labyrinthine corridors where we hear more of the 18th century’s original structure – a central point more so for guests to socialise than watch art, resulting in half the number of seats we’re currently familiar with. We also walk through an elaborate dining area for anyone considering a pre-theatre meal option and the Royal Box – once occupied by Queen Victoria and now by the current royal family.
Prior to the experience, we’re given a headphone set to aid with accessibility which is very easy to use, are guided by a very friendly and accommodating member of the ROH team and free to ask any questions throughout if they arise. The tour is a lovely way of discovering more about our UK theatre history and therefore a recommended theatrical experience to take part in!
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
The Velvet, Gilt and Glamour Tour is currently sold out, but to find out more about the experience, visit here…