Royal Opera House

Harry Cory Wright
Introduction by Alex Beard CBE

September 2020
120 illustrations | £12.95 paperback

An immersive, compact photo guide to the Royal Opera House, home to The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, presents some of the most accomplished ballet and opera artists in productions of world-renowned quality and remarkable scale. One of the world’s leading performing arts venues, there is often as much interest in the production of performances as in the performances themselves. This fifth title in the Pocket Photo Books series offers an immersive experience of the Royal Opera House via 120 photographs by Harry Cory Wright that capture the charm and the splendour of this London landmark, and an engaging introduction by Chief Executive, Alex Beard CBE.Harry Cory Wright’s atmospheric, detailed photographs explore every aspect of the Royal Opera House, from the red-and-gold auditorium designed by Edward Middleton Barry and the rehearsal spaces of The Royal Ballet to the fascinating behind-the-scenes workshops where props, wigs, costumes, sets and even weaponry are created onsite with extraordinary skill.There have been three theatres on the site. The original theatre opened in December 1732 and served initially as a playhouse. The first ballet was performed there in 1734, and the first opera (by Handel, who wrote many operas and oratorios for Covent Garden) later in the same year. The present building – the third on the Covent Garden site following two disastrous fires – opened in 1858 and has been known as the Royal Opera House since 1892. The Covent Garden complex was extensively transformed in several phases during the late 20th and early 21st centuries.Harry Cory Wright is a leading landscape photographer whose work is concerned with the fundamental sense of place. He has had many solo exhibitions, and in 2013 his work was included in the major exhibition Landmark: The Fields of Landscape Photography at Somerset House, London. In 2017 he featured in the BBC documentary The Man Who Shot Tutankhamun, about photographer Harry Burton, who recorded the Tutankhamun excavation in 1922.Alex Beard CBE has been Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House since 2013. He has previously worked for Arts Council England and Tate. At the end of 2012 Alex was appointed a CBE for his services to the arts, and was made a Fellow of King’s College London in 2016.