Monday, 2 March 2009

HOT: Royal Opera House Backstage Tour, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden WC2E 9DD

My first day of unemployment and the possibilities for fun seem endless! On the spur of the moment, I decided to join the 10:30am backstage tour of my favourite London building, the Royal Opera House. For 9 pounds you get a detailed 1.5 hour tour of the auditorium (the only time I'll get to sit in the 200 pound Grand Tier seats and take in the view from the Royal Box), see the dye room where fabric and shoes are dyed for costumes, peek into the mechanics of the backstage sets and scenery, and best of all, salivate in front of the window of the morning warm-up class for the Royal Ballet. I was thrilled to see my favourite dancers, Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nunez, complete their pirouettes in their tshirts and leg warmers, although it must have been weird for the dancers with all of us standing there mesmerised, like we were watching feeding time at the zoo. Our guide was knowledgeable, funny and full of good factoids, so if you love the ballet and opera it's well worth the time.

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