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Geoff

The "new" Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

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22 minutes ago, toursenlair said:

"vulgarism"? give me a break! do we really need this snobbish, gratuitous anti (North) American attitude on balletcoforum?

 

I have no problem with the word being used by North American but do find it a bit weird from a British speaker, so maybe that's what was meant. (Just as a North American might find certain primarily British words or pronunciations pretentious coming from a fellow Canadian or American.)

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2 hours ago, capybara said:

I'm sorry to report some very negative comments from friends who have been sitting in the Amphi for The Ring Cycle:

  • toilet areas not cleaned/tidied before performance time, with wastepaper baskets overflowing, paper towels on the floor and some toilets blocked
  • general mess from eating not cleared away from tables
  • nowhere to sit/stand comfortably before curtain up or  in the intervals because non-ticket holders are occupying all the spaces
  • audible signals re. the end of an interval not clear out on the terrace (and visual signals missing as most occupants are not attending the opera)
  • more audience members than usual opting to stay in their seats during intervals because of the above issues.

I have also heard many expressions of concern about safety and security and that the toilets seem to have become the 'public' ones for the whole Covent Garden area.

 

But, a nice touch..................... Dancers using the foyer as a place to join up with friends/family and have business meetings.

 

 

 

Does this refer to the downstairs new foyer? I thought we had been reassured that the amphi bar - and all the other bars -were for ticket holders only in the intervals?

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There were no bag checks at all for the Clore event yesterday, and tickets only had to be shown on entry to the studio itself. Is more public access is going to mean less security, and less comfort for paying customers outside the auditorium? The reports from opera goers are troubling.

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1 hour ago, Mary said:

Does this refer to the downstairs new foyer? I thought we had been reassured that the amphi bar - and all the other bars -were for ticket holders only in the intervals?

 

Not according to my friends. They have been telling me how it was for them in the Amphi area. Apparently, the terraces and other areas were occupied before, during and after the interval(s) by groups of drinkers.

 

Come 8th October, all of us ballet-goers will be able to see how it works for us. Fingers crossed.

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looks as though my concerns about ordering drinks and snacks during the intervals of The Ring are well founded. Being told they are ' takeaways ' seems like a warning. Surely those attending performances should have some priority?

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I was there both last night ( for the Clore event) and today and didn't  experience any problems as described above.

However in my longer exploratory day time visit today after a lovely drink up in the "new" Amphi terrace area.....I really like it I have to say....I did have a chat there with one of the "ushers" ...not sure what to call the staff on duty in the day time now....and I did ask what would happen if there was a performance on in the evening....would the Amphi area close to non ticket holders and he didn't think it would and said to me " well that's a good question....maybe they will ask people to move to the new downstairs bar area at performance times" But he wasn't that convinced that this would happen! He seemed keen to point out that there were not that many computer plug in points to discourage people from sitting there all day on their computers though.

Im sure someone has thought about all the extra work required to check the toilets etc once it's open all the time ....it was certainly fine on Thursday evening and this afternoon ....perhaps just a blip the other day then? 

On the whole I really like the new set up. I'd probably never eat there still but it's really nice being able to pop in and sit up in the Amphi area just for a cuppa if passing by. 

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Just to add I was surprised too that there seemed to be no bag checks on Thursday evening as such a lot has been made of this recently....with warnings not to bring big bags etc but absolutely nothing at all now!! 

I did only have a handbag though a bit of a luxury for me but in fact nobody wanted to even glance in this!! 

But then it's the same at the National Theatre and Festival Hall it seems .....are theatres everywhere relaxing a bit at the moment? 

 

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9 hours ago, Richard LH said:

There were no bag checks at all for the Clore event yesterday, and tickets only had to be shown on entry to the studio itself. Is more public access is going to mean less security, and less comfort for paying customers outside the auditorium? The reports from opera goers are troubling.

 

I had my bag checked (entering through the foyer doors of the main theatre) and had to show my ticket to get up the stairs from the “new” foyer.

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2 hours ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

I had my bag checked (entering through the foyer doors of the main theatre) and had to show my ticket to get up the stairs from the “new” foyer.

 

We entered through the new door off Bow Street, into the new foyer/cafe area under the PH Hall. From what we could see, there were no bag checks from the Covent Garden piazza entrance either. It seems daft  to check bags at one entrance but not another.

We went up the stairs from the foyer/cafe area to the escalator and up to Level 5 and the Amphi terrace, display area etc. with no checks of tickets (or bags).  

To clarify, the place where our tickets were  checked was at the door from the Level 5 area leading to the stairs (two flights) up to the Clore studio, not the  actual studio door. Did you have your ticket checked there as well BBB?

 

But thinking back, all the new publicly accessible areas we saw (ground floor foyer/cafe and shop, lower ground floor next to Linbury, and Level 5 ) were very sparsely populated on Thursday evening, so it is surprising to hear that opera goers have found nowhere to sit/stand comfortably before curtain up or  in the intervals, because non-ticket holders were  occupying all the spaces. Are we sure these people were all non-ticket holders?

Edited by Richard LH

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2 hours ago, Richard LH said:

But thinking back, all the new publicly accessible areas we saw (ground floor foyer/cafe and shop, lower ground floor next to Linbury, and Level 5 ) were very sparsely populated on Thursday evening, so it is surprising to hear that opera goers have found nowhere to sit/stand comfortably before curtain up or  in the intervals, because non-ticket holders were  occupying all the spaces. Are we sure these people were all non-ticket holders?

 

On Thursday evening I arrived early at the ROH (around 5:30 pm) The outdoor terrace was almost full when I arrived but had thinned out by 7 pm. 

This might possibly explain the problems during Die Walküre as the performance will have started mid-afternoon. I sincerely hope this is the case as the amphitheatre bar and terraces were crowded enough during intervals before the House was opened up  to the general public.

Re Capybara's earlier post, the overflowing wastepaper baskets in the toilets were very much in evidence Thursday evening.  I visited the amphitheatre toilets just before the Insight was due to start and the baskets had not yet been emptied.

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19 minutes ago, John Mallinson said:

Is anyone feeding these problems back to ROH? They should.

 

Yes - in person to staff on duty and in writing - all in the spirit of helping the ROH to 'get it right'. 

Maybe it would help if more of us used the comments option  on the ROH news page?

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I got a rather nicely produced booklet through the post today, 'Linbury Theatre + Daytime OPEN'. It features all that's occurring in the new spaces for the season (with the photos that are already online in the 'What's On' listing), plus Insights and joining in type events. Nice 🙂

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9 hours ago, Richard LH said:

But thinking back, all the new publicly accessible areas we saw (ground floor foyer/cafe and shop, lower ground floor next to Linbury, and Level 5 ) were very sparsely populated on Thursday evening, 

 

I don’t think there was anything on in the main auditorium on Thursday so those of us at the Insight saw the ROH without the opera audience of around 2000 being in the building 🙂 

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5 hours ago, zxDaveM said:

I got a rather nicely produced booklet through the post today, 'Linbury Theatre + Daytime OPEN'. It features all that's occurring in the new spaces for the season (with the photos that are already online in the 'What's On' listing), plus Insights and joining in type events. Nice 🙂

 

So did I.  It was the one I'd picked up a couple of days earlier on the assumption that they'd stopped doing mail-outs :) 

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I went to the loo in the downstairs area from the new cafe not up in the Amphi so perhaps it was just the latter area that had the problem in the loos.

I must say though that if you've paid £60 plus for a ticket I think after 6.30pm ticket holders should get priority for seats etc though usually up in the Amphi area at performance times it was nearly impossible to get a seat anyway unless you got there really early!! 

 

I definitely didnt have my bag checked at any point on either Thursday evening or Friday afternoon! Though I agree there were not that many people around on the Thursday evening generally but I didn't get there till about quarter to seven so don't know what it was like earlier.

on the Friday afternoon there was a public singing event as part of the open up which looked fun in the Paul Hamlyn Hall area. There seemed to be a good number of people there....60-80 at a guess. 

I asked the duty people what had happened to,the central bar that is usually there in performances and they said oh it can be moved around now! So I said that's good a bit like like magic you just press a button and it appears and disappears!

oh no they said WE have to PUSH it backwards and forwards into place!! 

Damn it I was hoping to see the magically roving bar.

But these public events must bring in a fair bit for the ROH so a good idea.

They will have to keep on top of the loos though when inviting people in like this.....no Tescos loos please!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, capybara said:

 

I don’t think there was anything on in the main auditorium on Thursday so those of us at the Insight saw the ROH without the opera audience of around 2000 being in the building 🙂 

Yes that was my point really...the small number of people around when there was no main performance, would tend to suggest that the crowding, when there was an opera on, was mainly ticket holders rather than casual visitors. Of course this is only speculation....

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Staff very helpful directing us to toilets for disabled, towel containers also overflowing there. As usual we were taken to backstage lift to reach Clore by delightful, helpful staff. Unfortunately my seat and my companions seats were numbered but there was confusion where to put us. I hate being conspicuous but we were clearly a problem. All was sorted and I enjoyed the evening. 

I had a duplicate ticket ticket for Mayerling rehearsal with a note to destroy  The original. This was because the ticket  told the wheelchair to go in through one door and the companion through another. Difficult as my companion has to push my chair! Full marks for somebody in the box office spotting this error. Now praying to be well enough to make a rehearsal, but I can be very determined!

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jillykins
Siri misheard!
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I too received this booklet about the Linbury season.  It was a bit late as booking had already opened several days before, so not able to send the information to the friends I book for.  Still, better late than never!

 

Margaret

 

 

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I went into the Foyer for a coffee yesterday between ENB at Sadlers Wells and NEBT at The Peacock and was present during the long second interval in Siegfried.

 

There was strong competition for the seats there, not least because several people had come fully armed for a self-help feast. Sandwiches purchased elsewhere were again much in evidence and, in some case, plates, cutlery, beakers and wine were being unloaded from carrier bags along with a full cold meal. But sandwiches were available and many people were buying them (at around £12 for 8 quarters, I think).

 

The atmosphere was good and the ladies' toilets downstairs seemed very clean and tidy. However, people without a ticket are not allowed to access them via  the lift on the left of the auditorium as that would enable them to go straight into the auditorium at various levels. All this must be very difficult to 'police'.

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I agree about this.

There luckily do seem to be plenty of really helpful staff on duty in the daytime etc but that time in the early eve when people will be arriving for ballet and opera performances is going to be a little difficult I think.

 

Regarding the Amphi maybe they are going to just see how it goes regards ticket holders and idling public on performance days. Perhaps they think that by 6.30pm there won't be that many non ticket holders still around. I'm sure there is room for at least just another couple of tables up there but if it does turn out to be a problem then presumably they will have to take action.

I don't see why the new open up has to be ALL day long anyway ......surely 6.30 pm or maybe even 7pm at the latest is enough time for passing visitors to get what they need from the ROH.

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I was at the Royal Festival Hall today, and noticed that there are signs up at various places round the building to say that "this area will be open until 5 pm [or something], and then will close and re-open to ticket-holders only at 6.15".  If they are finding it necessary to do that, after years of being fully open, I suspect the ROH will have to follow suit in due course.

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8 hours ago, alison said:

I was at the Royal Festival Hall today, and noticed that there are signs up at various places round the building to say that "this area will be open until 5 pm [or something], and then will close and re-open to ticket-holders only at 6.15".  If they are finding it necessary to do that, after years of being fully open, I suspect the ROH will have to follow suit in due course.

 

That's interesting, Alison. Did that apply to the whole ground floor area? That would be a huge change.

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I don't remember it being on the ground floor, Bridie, but it was certainly various areas upstairs - can't remember exactly where, but I think it included Level 5, where the riverside balcony is.

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11 hours ago, alison said:

I was at the Royal Festival Hall today, and noticed that there are signs up at various places round the building to say that "this area will be open until 5 pm [or something], and then will close and re-open to ticket-holders only at 6.15".  If they are finding it necessary to do that, after years of being fully open, I suspect the ROH will have to follow suit in due course.

There are also loudspeaker announcements at the National Theatre asking people sitting at tables to vacate them so people attending performances can get somewhere to sit and have a drink or snack. I suppose that's the problem with making anywhere a cafe with theatre attached!

 

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There is finally a reply on the ROH news page to some of the comments raised on the "new" ROH. It confirms 

 

"We'll still be sharing information and updates via our News section, but the bulk of our content offer will move to our hugely popular social media channels including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

We're also shifting our focus towards more filmed behind the scenes content, which I'm sure will be of interest, so will be ramping up the amount of Facebook Live films and rehearsal clips, as well as artist features.

In doing this, we'll be able to reach millions more each week with the magic of opera and ballet."

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Many thanks Lynette - I was just about to make a similar post.  I'd been expecting my Royal Opera House post to have gone through moderation and was pleased to see that my post was there  (Simon Smith), together with a reply, although I do wonder if 'News' may rather wither - sadly.  I've added the link in case people wish to see the various comments and full reply.

 

http://www.roh.org.uk/news/royal-opera-house-open-up

 

I do wonder how the Royal Opera House will be able to use links to Facebook etc rather than to its own website in drawing attention to past news items/features which may well be of interest to audiences for forthcoming productions.

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As a Facebook 'refusnik', I do hope that information about performances etc. will continue to be available to those of us who don't use social media.

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