Nigel Bates has worked as a performer for nearly forty years in and out of London’s Royal Opera House, including seventeen years as Principal Percussion with the Orchestra. In the course of over 6000 performances, broadcasts and recordings he has worked with many of the leading figures in the classical music industry and brings his experience, observations and reflections (both as a player and as a manager) on the unique world of the performing arts and artists.
We discover the way that daily performances and rehearsals of world-class opera and ballet fit into this unique building, London’s Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the flagship of the British arts world and the workplace of more than a thousand people. Includes several performance video clips and additional focus on costume and set design, production values and how the digital age has been embraced by the opera and ballet worlds. Includes delicious lunch!!
- LECTURE ONE : The history and design of the Royal Opera House & its artistic heritage.
The first talk will look at the founding of the first Covent Garden Theatre in 1732 and follow the sometimes troubled history that has led to the wonderful Victorian building and world-class arts venue that exists today. We will examine the detail of the auditorium and explore some of the music that has been performed within its walls along with the way composers, performers and managers have influenced the fortunes of the building for more than 280 years.
- LECTURE TWO : The Royal Ballet & the Orchestra
As a world-class arts venue, the Royal Opera House demands world-class performers and performances to keep audiences engaged, both inside and outside the theatre. The second talk will look at the creation and history of two of the resident companies, the The Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, who together reopened the building in 1946.
- LECTURE THREE : The Royal Opera, modern staging & the future
The final talk will trace the creation and history of The Royal Opera and examine the way that performers approach their craft. We will see how a large and yet invisible backstage team works to meet the high-level demands of modern productions in the digital age – and learn that sometimes things do not always go to plan!
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