BEHIND THE SEAMS - THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
The Royal Opera House © ROH 2012
The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is one of the world’s leading opera houses. Home to The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera House is an iconic British institution and one of the most stunning theatres in the world. The current building is the third theatre to stand on that site after the first two were destroyed in fires in 1808 and 1856.
Illustrations of the first and second theatres
The first building, known as Theatre Royal, opened on the 7th December 1732 and was one of two theatres granted exclusive rights to present spoken drama in London. The first ballet was presented in 1734.
The building was destroyed in 1808, and work began on the new theatre the following year which would become known as the Covent Garden. It opened on the 18th September 1809 with a performance of Macbeth. During this time, the theatre did not exclusively present opera and ballet but would often host pantomimes, satires and tragedies. It was the first theatre to use ‘limelight’ to light its actors - created by forcing a mix of hydrogen and oxygen through a pipe to produce a flame and adding quicklime to create a bright light. It was used by the theatre manager in 1837 to spotlight particular players on the stage, which was the first time the technique had been used indoors. Of course, electric lighting took over so the use of limelight was no longer necessary, but the term has been used ever since.
Following a second fire, the third and current building was opened in May 1858. In 1892 the theatre officially became the Royal Opera House. During the Second World War the theatre was used as a dance hall, and afterwards, thanks to music publishers acquiring the lease, the Opera House re-opened. It was established as the permanent home of the opera and ballet companies now known as The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet after they were both given a royal charter.
The auditorium of the Royal Opera House © ROH 2016
Now, The Royal Opera performs approximately 20 operas a year, nearly half of which are new productions. The Royal Ballet is the largest ballet company in Great Britain and one of the world’s most famous ballet companies, renowned for classical ballet and conducting its own international tours.
The Magic Flute © ROH 2017 and Swan Lake © ROH 2015
The Royal Opera House is synonymous with elegance, grace and quality, so we provide contemporary, high-quality garments which reflect the ROH brand. The Royal Opera House crest is front-and-centre on each garment, with its respective brand underneath.
The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera House are easily distinguishable by the garment colours and ink/thread choice. For instance, the Royal Ballet colour pallet consists of subtle grey, silver and purple tones. We use a variety of customisation methods and applications, as you can see here - black tote bag is adorned with reflective silver print; grey children’s hoodies use purple embroidery and the relaxed-fit off the shoulder tops are customised with glittered silver inks.
The Royal Opera House uses bold, contrasting colours, such as these black t-shirts with reflective gold print, and the hoodies embroidered with gold stitching. Their signature iconic crest is perfect for our screen printers, which when combined with the special effect inks make a bold, beautiful statement garment.
Detail is integral to The Royal Opera House, so we relabel all of their garments in-house. They are then tagged and packaged in their bespoke wraps, which can be unpacked directly onto the shelves and are immediately ready for purchase. We do all of this in-house, ensuring the whole process is smooth and hassle-free from start to finish!