The Royal Opera House is getting a new name (kind of)

What do we think of when we think of the Royal Opera House? It’s a big, regal-looking building, yes – but it’s also a historical British institution, showcasing some of the best art the UK has to offer. 

There are two main types of art on showcase at the ROH. There’s opera: loud, bellowing singing, that goes on for hours. And of course the ballet, which conjures up images of dancers in pointe shoes prancing around. It’s clear the Royal Opera House hasn’t been a one trick pony for years, and is now equally known for both opera and ballet. 

And now, both arts are being recognised in a new name for the organisation, which will be called Royal Ballet and Opera. While the building’s iconic name is not changing, remaining as the Royal Opera House, the bosses of both opera and ballet in the building hope this name change will make the ground more level for the two disciplines. 

Oliver Mears, head of the Royal Opera said the change was ‘long overdue’. His ballet boss counterpart Kevin O’Hare said: ‘We’re equals in this building, we always have been, so this is a moment saying that.’

Ballet and opera at the Royal Opera House once had to fight (not literally) for schedule time when their seasons clashed. Mears said that thankfully that relationship has now come a long way and that the name change is ‘a good way of acknowledging that’.

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