Talk:Royal Opera House

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"most important opera house"? Is this something that is obvious to Brits?? Without further explanation, it seems a bit POV.

Yes, it's so obvious that qualifying it to avoid pov allegations is silly and I'm writing as someone who attends its main rival more frequently as it is cheaper. Wincoote 03:18, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Message for Amandam when she gets here. Check out the Royal Opera House and visit me at User talk:Matthew Stannard

Yes, I agree and I have removed this statement ("the finest opera house") from the article. I have removed something similar on the Metropolitan Opera House's article. --Karljoos (talk) 20:45, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

company or building?[edit]

Slight confusion here. The article called "Ballet" has a list of Companies, including "The Royal Ballet". It leads to this page, which is not a company, but a building. Just to set the record straight. "The Royal Ballet" is based at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (ie this page). Arguably "Birmingham City Ballet" is a better dance company, but their building is not as historically as important as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

I started a stub for the Royal Ballet a few weeks ago, but no one has done much with it. I think I'll do the same for the Royal Opera company and make it explicit that this is for the building. Wincoote 03:18, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

At the risk of starting a contentious thread, as far as I am aware, the building opened as The Theatre Royal, Covent Garden in 1732; and was a playhouse. It was granted the right to become the Royal Italian Opera House in 1847. The article as written has a serious PoV problem, in concentrating on opera and ballet aspects. There is a serious piece of theatre history within this building struggling to get out. Not least the William Charles Macready Shakespeare revival of the 19th c. For over a hundred years it was one of only two places in London where it was legal to perform dramatic works. Kbthompson 11:13, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that the above is at all contentious, and if Kbthompson can verify the above facts, names etc., please go ahead and make changes to the article. I didn't write this intro section to the article, but I suspect that it was less POV than it was lack of knowledge about other functions (e..g theatre), and it would be good to have these included in the body of the article.
Actually, in quickly checking my copy of Beauvert, he notes: "apart from The Beggars' Opera and a few Handel operas, Covent Garden remained a venue dedicated primarily to plays for the next 100 years" (p.248), so I'll go ahead and make some adjustments to the article myself, and see what else I can find out.
Vivaverdi 23:31, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for that, I'll take a look when I'm next awake, and see if there's anything useful I can add. I take the point that opera and ballet sources may not be as forthcoming on the theatre aspects. Kbthompson 23:54, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

One source I see on a website link (but don't know its authenticity) calls the theatre the Theatre Royal at Covent Garden (to distinguish it from the T.R. Drury Lane, I assume). Vivaverdi 00:01, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

I believe all 'patent theatres' were given the epithet Theatre Royal; hence Covent Garden and Drury Lane - in lazy parlance, and any combination thereof as 'formal' title; when provincial examples opened up, they got the same title. (Should actually date the establishment of the market, against the construction of the theatre). The two London theatres seem to have been quite close, with an interchangeable cast and management (of course, that might simply be because there were few other career opportunities). Both were quite major influences on Restoration theatre, and both played their part in the ShakieRevival - without them, we'd probably never have heard of him. Kbthompson 12:37, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

OK, some revision. Mainly to get the names in. Handel's association appears to begin as early as 1719, at Lincoln's Inn. First season 1735. 1734 ballet (as we understand it) performed. Later performances include the fame of Grimaldi in their entertainments. Need to do some more reading before proceeding further. Oh, and at some date it was named the Royal English Opera. Kbthompson 16:03, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the above and the very useful updates to this article. ROH and Drury Lane are indeed about 200 yards from each other, so it's interesting to read the Theatre Royal Drury Lane article in comparison to what went on at Covent Garden. I'm trying to recall the relatively recent film which features the rivalries surrounding performances of Handel at Covent Garden and between the two theatres?????
My copy of Clive Boursnell's Covent Garden Market (I'll add it to the bibliog. section of the covent Garden article) states that the Charles II granted the then Duke of Bedford

a charter to hold a fruit and vegetable market in 1670, so it would have been well established by the time of the Theatre Royal in 1732. Vivaverdi 19:03, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, in my reading, the convent garden was attached to St Peter's Westminster (i.e Westminster Abbey); it was passed to the Duke of Bedford, who 'developed' the area - hence, the 'Duke's Company'. The market buildings, we know, did not appear until well after the theatre (see image:entry to the theatre by Rich). The whole area, including Long Acre was market gardens for the monastry/convent, and continued supplying vegetables to the city until the time of the theatre. The image appears to show stalls around an open area. Kbthompson 00:12, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

number of seats, inside images?[edit]

Could anyone please add how many people can be seated in the opera house, maybe some more technical data too like the measurements? and could someone maybe add some images from the inside? cheers... Gryffindor 11:16, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Management Issues[edit]

Have changed bit about Chris Smith as he did not agree the lottery funding. Also I have added an external link for the damning DCMS report.Piersmasterson 16:11, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Royal Opera[edit]

I have transferred the content about the Royal Opera to the Royal Opera page to make it consistent with the Royal Ballet content and to focus this page more closely on the building and its history. Humansdorpie 09:30, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

  • As one who has contributed to the expansion of the ROH article and Royal Opera after 1945 (and who "queued up" outside the house for days at a time in the late 1950s/60s), this is a good idea. I know that the Wiki opera group policy is generally to combine the house with the company, but in this case, it makes good sense.

Vivaverdi 15:14, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Removal of purely commercial info, links, etc re: restaurants and bars on the site[edit]

I have removed these and propose that others do the same if they appear again.

Consensus please.

Vivaverdi 02:47, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

In re-revertng to your original article, you clearly have nothing to offer on this discussion page as to why you feel it should be included.

Not only is the paragraph filled with typos, no capital letters, etc., but it simply acts as a piece of (self?) promotion for the company/personnel who provide food service at the ROH.

I would be prepared to see this section remain, as long as it is toned down to a FACTUAL presentation of what food & beverage services are available. OPINION (unless supported by a food critic in a worthwhile publication) is not warranted in this or any other article.

Vivaverdi 14:37, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I agree with Vivaverdi, the section is unacceptable as it stands/stood. Perhaps a very brief factual statement about other services available makes sense, but as it is it's a puff piece, and not a very interesting one. Mak (talk) 17:36, 25 July 2006 (UTC)


The Royal Opera House, Bow Street frontage, with the statue of Dame Ninnette de Valois in the foreground

It would be great if this article had more pictures . . . the two interior drawings are rather redundant, and you can't tell what the place actually looks like now, inside or out.--Dmz5 03:32, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I agree there should more pictures, especially images of the current interior Rtcpenguin 05:37, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Are we able to use pictures on [1]. From reading the wikimedia commons documentation, I believe we are. It might be worth including the bridge image for lack of anything better... EAi 12:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
In response to the request for an alternative exterior photograph I have belatedly uploaded an image for possible use on the page, shown here. Russ London (talk) 18:06, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Nice shot! And a nice London blue sky to boot. Let's use it.Viva-Verdi (talk) 18:28, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
and, as a P.S., it would be a better top-of-the-article photo than the one of Floral Hall. Viva-Verdi (talk) 18:31, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the endorsement, Viva-Verdi. On the sole basis of your views I'm going to move the pic to the top of the article. If we're subsequently outvoted, it can always be reverted. Russ London (talk) 17:57, 12 March 2008 (UTC)


Is it possible to start a disambiguation page named "Royal Opera House", since the name may also refer to the Royal Opera House in Valletta, Malta. Perhaps you could let me know what you think is best. Thanks. Marcus1234 08:29, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Added small disambiguation line at the top pointing to this article. Doesn't warrant a full disambiguation page as there are only two articles (that I'm aware of), and this one is by far the most significant. EAi 17:18, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
Agree with AEi on this. Vivaverdi 17:32, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
That's good enough, thanks. Marcus1234 18:25, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

5th Element Trivia removed[edit]

Surely we don't need this. It adds nothing to understanding the history or function of the ROH...

ALSO: removing the specific sections devoted to pointing the way to the ROH's performance history after 1945 doesn't add to anything. In fact, they help separate out the history of the house itself from the performances given in it in modern times.

I hope that there can be a consensus here that these reverts should remain. Viva-Verdi 22:42, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Does ROH have BOTH surtitles and electronic monitors?[edit]

Someone added a sentence which suggested that everyone sees the surtitles, which, when joined to the existing sentence (nowe modified by me), suggested that only some seats have the electronic libretto.

Is this correct? Viva-Verdi 17:16, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

One of the foremost opera houses in the world?[edit]

The ROH is obviously a good opera house with a good opera company. However, saying that it is the “one of the foremost opera houses in the world”, even if such statement is sourced, doesn’t follow the standards of objectivity that should be found in an encyclopedia article. Also, it lacks sources. I question whether this edit have followed WP:NPOV. That is why I removed it. Cheers! --Karljoos (talk) 20:43, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

WP:NPOV means "...representing fairly, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources". The Royal Opera House is not just one of many theaters in the world. It clearly belongs to a limited group of very important operatic venues. Expressing this doesn't violate NPOV. And especially users who are unfamiliar with the subject have the right to know that there is some difference between the Royal Opera House or the MET or the Vienna Staatoper or La Scala, and the Santa Fé Opera for example. --Catgut (talk) 10:56, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

At least source such claims. --Karljoos (talk) 14:07, 13 January 2009 (UTC) Crooks always claim they are the best in the world: no point discussing the subject. If some grant artist takes a few thousand off your grannies pension and justifies it by saying he didn't ask first but - hey! - it's the best opera house in the world you can be pretty sure he's a vanity crook. But if you criticise it you are falling to his level. "I agree", the memorial-seeker would say; "give me your schools and hospitals as well". Veganline (talk) 22:54, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Body discovered in wall?[edit]

What building was that? I remember reading about it a few years ago. It was either in Paris or in London. I don't know if its still standing. When it was being renovated in the mid-1800s a body was discovered inside one of the walls. At that time it was already at least 200 years old. -- (talk) 05:02, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

New file File:Covent Garden Theatre by Henry Brookes.jpg[edit]

Covent Garden Theatre by Henry Brookes.jpg

Recently the file File:Covent Garden Theatre by Henry Brookes.jpg (right) was uploaded and it appears to be relevant to this article and not currently used by it. If you're interested and think it would be a useful addition, please feel free to include it. Dcoetzee 01:07, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

List of post-war chairmen[edit]

This list was produced in discussions at Talk:Royal Opera, London but it was decided it should be here not there

almost-instinct 15:16, 19 February 2012 (UTC)