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The Royal Opera House

The glorious home to The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet has been transformed into a 21st-century venue with the support of lottery funding

Live at Lunch, 21 September 2018 © ROH, 2018. Photographed by James Bellorini

The Royal Opera House in one of Britain’s finest cultural assets, home to two of the world’s greatest artistic companies – The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet.

The venue in the heart of London’s Covent Garden welcomes more than 670,000 audience members a year, with its work also reaching a national and international audience through initiatives like ROH Live Cinema, BP Big Screens, and online streaming.

The history of the Royal Opera House is almost as dramatic as the performances.

A theatre has stood on the site since 1732 and Handel staged regular seasons during those early days, but the building had to be rebuilt twice in the 19th century due to fire.

The years after the Second World War were a time of great success but by the 1980s, the facilities were outdated and no longer fit for purpose.

Its future looked uncertain until private fundraising and a substantial National Lottery grant enabled an ambitious three-year reconstruction.

New technical and rehearsal facilities were built, a smaller auditorium called the Linbury Studio created for more experimental performances, while the existing auditorium and foyers were fully refurbished.

The virtually derelict Floral Hall was also completely overhauled and turned into a beautiful new day-long space for the public to enjoy.

Since reopening in 1999, the Royal Opera House has gone from strength to strength, with a prolific programme of events and efforts to break down the financial and physical barriers that prevent people from enjoying opera and ballet.

Set design at the Royal Opera House

There were 326 performances in the 2016-17 season, with seven new operas and three new ballets on the main stage.

The Royal Opera House continues to be supported by lottery funding and has been a National Portfolio Organisation since 2015.

For more information about the Royal Opera House visit the website


Royal Opera House
Bow Street,


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