The Royal Opera House is home to two of the world’s great artistic companies – The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet.
The Royal Opera House seeks to enrich people’s lives through opera and ballet and is one of the UK’s greatest cultural institutions. Its history stretches back to the early 1700s where it featured the debuts of some of George Frederick Handel’s earliest works.
Despite two catastrophic fires, the Opera House survived both world wars, reopening in 1946, with a gala performance of The Sleeping Beauty starring Margot Fonteyn as Aurora. Late that year, an embryo Covent Garden Opera teamed up with the ballet in a production of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen choreographed by Frederick Ashton; the following January saw the company’s first performance of Carmen.
Today, it is the home to two of the world’s leading companies, and has played host to some of the world’s most famous singers including Joyce DiDonato, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Juan Diego Flórez, Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Anna Netrebko and Bryn Terfel, as well as the late Luciano Pavarotti and Joan Sutherland.