Each year I always try to treat myself to a night at the opera. One of my particular favourites is the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. And so it was that I found myself with a ticket for Verdi’s Il Trovatore last week.
The Royal Opera House is one of the finest theatres in the world. It is the third theatre on the Covent Garden site and the first music played here was by Handel. Apparently he had close links with Covent Garden around 1735 and many of his works were first performed here. The latest building was opened in 2000 after a multi million pound transformation. To me it is a building that captures the history of the past and blends it with opening up space, and letting in light. One minute you can wander down a narrow passage to get to the seats and the next be sipping a glass of wine in the modern dining area.
Just off the bar area is an exhibition about the apprentices who work on the stage sets, costumes, and other aspects of the Royal Opera House. I read a quote from one who described how the hairs on the back of his neck stood up as he heard the chorus singing Nessun Dorma and realised how privileged he was to work there. I resonated with that . quote, thinking of the times I have been there and the air has been filled with rich, powerful voices singing some of the most famous music in the world. And when I heard the Anvil Chorus the hairs stood up on the back of my neck too.
I’ll always try to find time to visit the ROH each year. One of my all time favourite places.