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Royal Opera House  Covent Garden, London. Official account of both The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet. Twitter: @RoyalOperaHouse

http://www.roh.org.uk/

Pointe of no return

With not long to go until the start of The Royal Ballet's new Season, the Company return to Covent Garden this week to begin rehearsals for the months ahead after a well-deserved summer break.

First up is the return of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which opens on 27 September and will be live in cinemas around the world on 23 October. The hard work starts here.

Hair apparent

The Royal Opera House’s Wigs and Make-up team work on thousands of headpieces each Season.

More than a year before a production is due on-stage, designers meet with the team to discuss their vision and time-period in question and work begins on the wigs. This gives the team enough time to ensure that the headpieces are historically accurate, and seamlessly integrated with the rest of the production.

Save the date!

Join us for a day of livestreamed ballet on 5 October 2017, where we'll be partnering once more with four of the world's top ballet companies: The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet will be giving you a window on life behind the scenes as a dancer. You can watch interviews, rehearsals (like the one pictured here, with @marianelanunezofficial) and of course the ever-popular morning class, all streamed live on Facebook Live.

Details will be announced nearer the time, so make sure you like our Facebook page to be kept up to date with our announcements!

Facing the music

A rather nightmarish sight in our props department - these masks were created for a recent Royal Opera's production of Parsifal.

Our dedicated prop-making team are not just artists, but sculptors, engineers and welders, tasked with making bespoke items to complete the magical world we see on stage.
To make these masks, the props team created a clay model of the principal singer's face, based on a photograph. They were then able to create a mould, which was then filled again and again with a special expanding foam, from which the identical faces emerged over a three-week period.

Time to reflect

During the Season, members of The Royal Ballet Company have a busy rehearsal schedule, with the studios throughout the building playing host to daily ballet class, smaller group rehearsals, or pairs of dancers rehearsing pas de deux. But at the moment, as the dancers enjoy a well-earned break from the Royal Opera House stage, the building is far from empty: members of the Mariinsky Ballet have taken over the rehearsal spaces for a three-week run of performances until 12 August.

Have you joined us for any of their performances so far? Let us know what you think!

Take a seat!

There are 2,256 red velvet seats in the Royal Opera House auditorium.

With around 750,000 visitors a year, it's important they're kept in tip top condition. Every August, the rows of chairs are removed from the auditorium for cleaning and repairs to keep them looking as regal as ever.

If you've watched a performance at the Royal Opera House, do you have a favourite place to sit?

Surprise!

Did you see our free outdoor screening of La traviata? Presented by @therealgokwan and Dominic Peckham, thousands of viewers across the UK enjoyed a picnic accompanied by Verdi's tragic opera.

Here's Gok surprising the ladies of The Royal Opera Chorus backstage in the interval.

If you missed out, don't worry - we're doing it all again tomorrow (Friday 14 July), where you can catch Puccini's Turandot wherever you are in the world, streamed live on YouTube - check the link in the bio for details.

Golden ticket

The Royal Ballet are currently working hard on tour in Brisbane, Australia, performing until 9 July 2017 as part of the QPAC International series. Sets, shoes, costumes, and of course, dancers, have been transported to the southern hemisphere to share the productions of #ROHwoolf and #ROHtale with our international fans. Pictured here are the shimmering futuristic costumes from Wayne McGregor's ballet, hanging on the rail at the end of the run. Now it's time for The Winter's Tale, which opened last night @atQPAC.

Love Happens Here!

We'll be flying the rainbow flag at the front of the Royal Opera House once again this year in celebration of #Pride2017, from 24 June until 9 July, honouring the many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who have helped make the Royal Opera House the institution it is today. (We couldn't resist a little rainbow show of ballet shoes ahead of time...)

Fix up, look sharp

When opera or ballet productions call for on-stage swashbuckling, the Royal Opera House Armoury is always on hand to ensure that fight sequences are conducted safely.
The Royal Opera House is in small company among UK theatres with their very own arsenal - others in this select group include @nationaltheatre and @thersc.

As well as safety briefings and overseeing rehearsals and performances, the team makes and maintains the weaponry too. As well as swords and shields, their work also sees them look after crossbows and blank-firing rifles.

Pictured here are actors from The Royal Opera's new production of Otello, which is live in cinemas around the world on 28 June

Super sub
Romanian tenor Ioan Hotea takes a bow after last night's performance of The Royal Opera's L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love). Sadly due to illness, Roberto Alagna had to withdraw mid-performance.
Ioan (pictured here being congratulated on a job well done by conductor Bertrand de Billy) stepped in to cover the lead role of the starry-eyed lover, Nemorino. The 27 year-old gave a stunning performance which went down a storm with the audience.
Considered a rising star in the opera world and having won the coveted Operalia Award in 2015, we are very excited to see Ioan next steps!

Kaufmania!

Tenors Jonas Kaufmann and Gregory Kunde are gearing up for their performances in the Royal Opera’s hotly-anticipated new production of Verdi’s late, great opera, Otello. 'Otello is the perfect Verdi opera,’ Kaufmann explains. ‘It starts, the curtain opens and you’re thrown right into it. A lot of actors are very jealous of opera singers in operas like Otello because we have this carpet of emotions. You don’t have to do it from scratch. The audience is already captivated – you just have to go and harvest.' Read the full interview - link in bio.

If you’d like to be captivated too, the production will be relayed live to cinemas across the world on 28 June.

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