On Friday 23 April at 7pm GMT we are excited to unveil ROH Unmasked, a free, 30-minute, ROH-produced short film, that gets under the skin of one of the world’s most famous theatres, reflecting on the experience of its community of musicians, singers, technicians, craftspeople, staff and producers. From the day theatres were forced to close their doors in March 2020 to now, this film goes behind the scenes as we prepare to welcome audiences back to our stunning Covent Garden home.
Narrated by technicians and craftspeople from across the Royal Opera House, ushers from the front of house team, and The Royal Opera’s Director of Opera, Oliver Mears, the film captures the unique challenges of the pandemic year, with insights and personal experiences set alongside poignant and timely segments from some of the best-loved pieces in the opera repertory.
Rachel Walsh, an ROH Lighting manager and one of key voices in ROH Unlocked, said: “When lockdown hit, it was heartbreaking. Not being in the theatre was the hardest thing, these spaces are so magical. We’ve had to innovate and adapt to survive but nothing compares to seeing a full orchestra, full chorus and an amazing cast on the stage. I cannot wait for us to open our doors again and see the life return to our beautiful theatre.”
Featuring pieces from Britten, Mozart, Wagner, Puccini, Gounod and Verdi, The Jette Parker Young Artists, the Royal Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House breathe life into spaces across the Royal Opera House that have remained empty for the past year. Go behind the scenes to discover the costume workshop, the Fly Tower and the individuals who make the ROH what it is. These bespoke films present Filipe Manu, Alexandra Lowe, Blaise Malaba, Kiandra Howarth and Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, as they herald the beginning of a welcome and emotional return to live performances at the Royal Opera House.
Director of Opera, Oliver Mears, said: “ROH Unmasked will take you behind the scenes of our home in Covent Garden and will show you the ROH as you have never seen it before. Through the contributions of everyone in the film, including operatic highlights from some of the finest singers in the Company and the Chorus, this film is a moment to reflect on our most challenging year as we prepare to once again welcome you back in person”.
Other titles currently available to view on-demand via stream.roh.org.uk include: The Royal Ballet’s Concerto (2019) Symphonic Variations (The Royal Ballet, 2017), and The Royal Opera’s The Seven Deadly Sins and Mahagonny Songspiel (The Royal Opera, 2021).