© Robert Moore

Royal Opera House London, United Kingdom

Enhancing a well-loved friend

Royal Opera House




© Robert Moore

Royal Opera House

The major redevelopment of the Royal Opera House completed in 1999 extended and brought the original 1858 Grade I listed opera house into the 21st century with state-of-the-art technical equipment, and provided more comfort and improved front-of-house facilities for patrons. The project introduced greater democracy to every audience area, linking the old and new foyers. Backstage, the integration of the Ballet School and six rehearsal studios with the production offices of the ROH combined its work further.

With architects Dixon Jones BDP, Anne Minors Performance Consultants reviewed and maximized the sightlines within the main house using a family of different seat types. In the stalls, AMPC re-raked the floor so that the dancers’ feet on stage could be seen. AMPC also re-raked the balconies, realigned the box divisions, and re-seated the amphitheatre, adding 100 extra places – 60 of them within the main area of the auditorium providing greater accessibility to a wider audience.

Linbury Studio

Originally intended as an orchestral rehearsal room, the brief was revisited during development and the client requested that a second performance space be designed. This new space would be the antithesis of the main house – a space designed for new, experimental work and use by chamber opera groups, contemporary ballet, pre-performance talks, and study days. Flexibility and speed of turn-around with minimum personnel were an important part of the brief. AMPC fought for a budget which included two orchestra pit lifts to offered maximum flexibility of orchestra pit capacity and stage depth up to 12 metres for dance. It also allowed for the room to be transformed into an orchestra rehearsal hall with minimum difficulty.

AMPC specifically provided a room design and structure to allow future changes to the space as the artistic programme of the company developed. With ROH’s recent OpenUp refurbishments, our foresight was well founded.

Clore Studio

The Clore Studio has provided both a ballet rehearsal studio and a third performance space with its own programme of workshops, events and small-scale performances for audiences of up to 200. AMPC specified integrated retractable seating be installed into the overall room design. It offers a ‘laboratory’ environment in which independent artists, small-scale companies and ROH personnel can experiment and collaborate.

© Robert Moore
© Robert Moore
Linbury Studio - flat stage configuration
Linbury Studio - full orchestra pit configuration © Robert Moore
Linbury Studio orchestra rehearsal configuration © Robert Moore
Linbury Studio plan - full orchestra pit
Linbury Studio section - half orchestra pit configuration
Linbury Studio section - orchestra rehearsal room
Linbury Studio plan - orchestra rehearsal room
Linbury Studio in construction
Clore Dance Studio
Chorus rehearsal room seating and music stands