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The Royal Opera House: Arts for all

ARTS FOR ALL: The Royal Opera Houses' new Linbury Theatre (Photo credit: Hufton and Crow)

THE ROYAL Opera House has opened the doors to its transformed new home, following an extensive three-year construction project in a bid to attract wider audiences.

Launching to the public today (Sep 21), the Royal Opera Houses’ inviting new entrances, extended foyers, terraces and the brand new Linbury Theatre are just a few new features to the internationally renowned venue.

The project, designed by award-winning architects Stanton Williams, unites 19th-century grandeur with 21st-century elegance. The new bar and restaurant provide delicious food and drink in beautifully designed spaces, and are open to both performance goers and other members of the public.

Speaking at the press conference on Wednesday (Sep 19) ahead of the launch, Chief executive of the Royal Opera House, Alex Beard, said. “As of Friday 21 September, we will be open to the public for the first time, every day from 10am celebrating the Royal Opera House as a part of our shared cultural fabric since 1732, at the centre of London’s theatreland and available to all.”

Mr Beard spoke on challenging the perceptions towards opera and ballet, and a desire to lose the elitist tag, which is often associated with such art forms.

“We want to invite as wide of an audience as possible to connect with us,” he said: “Whether it’s in our theatres, our buildings or cinemas across the country. I very much hope over time, the perception of this institution and that of our art forms will shift from being elitist. We’ll keep things special and extraordinary and open for a much wider public to connect with.”

Competing in an increasingly digital age where popular culture dominates, the Royal Opera House believe they fill a void for people looking to experience different art forms away from technology.

“There is a need in our society where people are looking for alternatives to compliment their digital experiences,” said Sarah Crabtree, Creative Producer of The Royal Opera. “We really feel a real responsibility to open up our art forms to people across the country and reintroduce it to a new generation.”

Another key objective for ROH is to further engage with younger audiences, allowing them to discover opera and ballet in an accessible way. “We want to give people the chance to discover opera and ballet and to discover this organisation; our past and current story,” said Elaine Kidd, Head of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.

“Importantly, we also want to give people the chance to be creative themselves. Filling these spaces with people taking part is a way of extending the relationship between the Royal Opera House to the people of London and the entire country.”

Following on from the completion of the £50.7m renovation project, the Royal Opera House has also announced an immersive new arts programme, featuring festivals, family Sundays, tea dances, workshops and informal recitals to further engage with different audiences. The exciting programme of new daytime events for people of all ages will begin today and run throughout the season.

Jill Barker, Director of Learning and Participation at the Royal Opera House said: “Theses new events allow audiences to share in the creative journey involved in a Royal Opera House performance. The events programme provides a taste of the many different aspects of the Royal Opera House, from the mastery of backstage theatre crafts to the excitement of guests performances.”

The Royal Opera House will also launch its first under-fives programme, allow children to discover ballet and opera through interactive dance, singing, music and stories in Ballet Dotts and Opera Dotts, beginning on October 1.

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