The Royal Opera
The Royal Opera is one of the two principal opera companies in London. Founded in 1946 as Covent Garden Opera Company, it was known by that title until 1968. Since its inception, it has shared the Royal Opera House with the dance company now known as The Royal Ballet.
About The Royal Opera in brief
The Royal Opera is one of the two principal opera companies in London. Founded in 1946 as the Covent Garden Opera Company, it was known by that title until 1968. Since its inception, it has shared the Royal Opera House with the dance company now known as The Royal Ballet. Since the late 1950s most operas have been performed in their original language. Maria Callas, Plácido Domingo, Kirsten Flagstad, Hans Hotter, Birgit Nilsson, Luciano Pavarotti and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf have all been guest performers. The company has had six music directors since its inception: Karl Rankl, Rafael Kubelík, Georg Solti, Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink and Antonio Pappano. The 21st century has seen a stable managerial regime once more in place. The British National Opera is the other principal opera company in London, with a long annual season and consistent management. The English National Opera has a long season and a consistent management regime. The Royal Opera has an annual grant of £60,000 and an annual subsidy of £25,000, enabling him to build the company from scratch. He negotiated with Bruno Walter and Eugene Goossens, but neither of those conductors was willing to consider an opera company with no leading international stars. He was determined to set up a new opera company of his own, and negotiated his first musical director to build it from scratch, The British Opera’s first priority was to assemble and train the principals of a permanent opera company, alongside a chorus and orchestra.
The opera company’s growth under the management of David Webster from modest beginnings to parity with the world’s greatest opera houses was recognised by the grant of the title ‘The Royal opera’ in 1968. It has had a long-running partnership with the Sadler’s Wells Opera Company since the early 1980s. It was widely assumed that this aim would be met by inviting the existing Sadler’s Wells Ballet Company to become resident at the Royalopera House. But it was not until the late 1990s that the company was invited to join forces with the ballet company, and the two opera companies began to perform together in the same season. The two companies have a long history of working together, with the first opening in 1858. After a fire, the new building opened in1858 with The Royal English Opera company, which moved there from the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. From the 1860s until the Second World War, various syndicates or individual impresarios presented short seasons of opera at theRoyal Opera House, sung in the original language, with star singers and conductors. During the war, the owners approached the music publishers Boosey and Hawkes to see if they were interested in taking a lease of the building and staging opera once more. The owners granted a sub-lease at generous terms to a not-for-profit charitable trust established to run the operation.