Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Royal Opera House Covent Garden

Today I went with my friend Judy to see the Royal Ballet perform Delibes' "Sylvia" at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Here is extensive information about the building and its history. This is the main entrance, and there is an alternate entrance from the Covent Garden side.

A view of the glass Floral Market, which was annexed to the opera house during extensive remodeling in the 1990s.

An interior view of the Floral Market glass canopy.

Here's a shot of the ceiling of the theatre itself. Clever hinged panels, closed here, hide the spots and are are opened during the performance.

Here's a view of the seating along the right side of the auditorium. These are not very good seats as you have obstructed views of one side of the stage. (In those days it was more important to be seen than to see). The top section, however, can be bought at a bargain price. We, however, had perfect seats, dead center in the Amphitheatre on the third row. The production was lavish to say the least though the story was rather obtuse. It dealt with gods and goddesses interacting with humans with the usual misunderstandings and hurt feelings, a rather complex and confounding story to be expected to be conveyed without words, but it hardly mattered considering the degree of splendor that met one's eyes and ears. When a fanciful Arcadian ship glided into dock carrying a bevy of ballerinas, it took the cake, a six layer one, with thick and delicous icing. As with all the ballets I've seen at the Royal Opera, the performances were first rate.

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