Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Covent Garden


Thanks for calling in. Great to see you.

The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is actually the third opera house on the site, the previous two were sadly destroyed by fire.  It was designed by E.M. Barry and building started in 1857.  We went to visit recently courtesy of a kind Christmas treat from Mr CK, the younger.

The ROH is currently undergoing some work to open up the building and create more of a presence on Covent Garden itself, expanding the foyer and creating a new entrance, whilst retaining the the main stage as it is.  Covent Garden itself is always bustling with street entertainment and the market stalls. This time areas were bedecked in silk flowers.

The ROH Bow Street entrance was the only one open.  The large Floral Hall used to be used as a flower market but is now a meeting place with bars providing interval drinks. It was completely rebuilt in the 1990s and is a beautiful space.

The auditorium itself is striking with it's pale blue and gold ceiling, abundant red lampshades, angels by the lamps and tiers of red velvet seats.

L'elisir d'amore by Donizetti is an enchanting tale of love giving the audience romance, comedy, beautiful music and wonderful sets.  How did they transform the stage from a huge straw bale haystack to an Italian village without a single squeak? Or get a large lorry, tractor and motorbikes on to the stage? There's no need to worry that you won't understand what's going on as there is a small screen above the stage translating the Italian to English .  Excellent performances all round.

Curtain adorned with the wonders achieved by the love potion sold by a rather dodgy character!

Photo from the website.
To top off our treat, dinner at Hawksmoor in Art Deco surroundings courtesy of both the younger Mr CKs was the icing on the cake - perhaps the gravy on the Sunday roast would be more apt!

Thanks you two.



  1. Aren't children wonderful. I bet you had a great time. It's good to have the English subtitles. B x

    1. It was fabulous and so thoughtful, really appreciated by us both. x

  2. Have always enjoyed the Covent Garden area, but have never been to the opera there. What a nice gift.

    1. The area is very exciting and always so busy. I made a mistake one year and took the stairs to get out of the tube, snoop many steps, I won't do that again, 😊

  3. I've just been reading some of the amusing adverts for the love potion printed on the curtain! A light opera with entertaining stage set changes in a beautiful building must have been a wonderful treat. That window in the restaurant is stunning.

    1. Ha ha! The opera was great fun, I don't know how the performers can sing so loudly and fill such a large space.