Thursday, 8 September 2011

Taking a royal dump

This last weekend was another weekend of diss work and culture. The Saturday was spent holed up in the British Library working hard. I am getting ever closer to the finish line. Hurray!

The Sunday in contrast was spent at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. My bf had got some tickets for an all day event. Before we hit that we went out for brunch. We went into a hotel because we wanted to avoid the tourists that usually walk around the Covent Garden area. Gosh, the brunch was sooo nice. Came with real bread, eggs, ham, smoked bacon, cheeses, as much coffee and juice as we liked. I went for the carrot juice, and they actually made it fresh everytime I asked for a new one (I might have turned a bit orange at the end of the meal).

After we headed over to the opera. The event was a bit weird. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect since I didn't look it up. It ended up being a lot of installations. The room we spend most time in was showing recorded interviews with artist from around the world (and by that I mean mainly the US). They could talk about whatever they wanted it some were really hilarious. Then there was a live discussion in another room. Mainly about the internet and technological revolution. The organiser kept talking about how technology forces so many artists to work for free nowadays and how the old model of patronage is coming back. He kept banging on and on about that. It's not that I don't agree with him, but what he should have realised (since he was the organiser) is that this whole event was free and sponsored by a big company. Made everyone hide in their seats and I secretly thought that you couldn't get me to pay to see this. Know your audience, man!

So we kinda left them to rumble on by themselves. Next we headed up to the balcony. We had a really nice view over London. The Royal Opera House is right on the corner of Covent Garden Market. The weather was really bad, it kept raining hard. But luckily the balcony was completely covered with a roof.

Peeking down on London.

 Covent Garden Market

 Hardly anyone there because the rain was coming down hard. You can't really see it though. But on the left people are crossing the plaza with their umbrellas up.

On the left you can see the London Eye.
At 2pm we moved on to the best part of the day: A backstage tour of the opera. We weren't allowed to take a lot of pictures in most areas because they are moving in the costumes and stage parts for the new productions. We started off just outside the main rooms. Looking at old stage models. Then we moved on to the royal room. It's where the royal family waits and can go directly to their own box in the main area. The room itself was not very big. But looked grand. This is the only place where I was allowed to take photos:

Nice little chandelier anyone?

 The royal loo! Kid you not, this is their private toilet leading off through a 'hidden' door in their waiting room.

 Nice old clock.

View from the loo. It was very dark. They had heavy curtains in front of the windows.

After this we took a peak at the stage from the royal box. And then headed down into the many corridors running under the opera. Honestly you could get lost down their and never see the sun again. So glad we had a guide with us.

She led us to the back of the stage. That area is huge. The whole stage can be moved around, up and down. Apparently they are storing up to 16 productions there at the same time. The whole stage can be lowered or moved to the side. It's one huge lift.

Then we went up to the top floor to see the rooms where the ballet company practices. And we went by the rooms where the costumes are made. We couldn't go in though, which was a real shame. They had little windows in the doors, so we could take a peak, but that was about it.

That sadly concluded our tour. We decided to skip the rest of the art stuff and just head home. Walking around made us tired. So that was my exciting weekend. Really enjoyed it. Now not looking forward to this one because it's all gonna be work. Urgh.


  1. Sounds like fun. Love the royal loo, hahaha


  2. I know. Reminded me of the time you took me through Parliament. But this time we were allowed to go in!!

  3. Ooh jealous, I'd love to get a behind the scenes look like that! Thanks for sharing :)