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London’s Royal Opera House Announces Name Change

By Sara Schabas on May 6, 2024

Royal Opera House, interior view
Royal Opera House, courtesy photo.

After 130 years of being known as the Royal Opera House, the London institution announced this week that it will now be called the Royal Ballet and Opera. Sporting a snazzy new logo, the Covent Garden-based company made the announcement while unveiling their 2024/2025 season.

Driving the news: On April 30th, the Royal Ballet and Opera’s communications team ushered in a new era for the legendary theatre. Oliver Mears and Kevin O’Hare, the two heads of the Royal Opera and Ballet respectively, called the dubbing “long overdue.” They noted that the name change demonstrates the two art forms’ equality within the Covent Garden theatre.

The gossip: Over the years, Mears intimated that the Royal Ballet and Opera companies’ relationships with one another have been a touch adversarial. They’ve at times competed for stage time and programming considerations in the London theatre. However, the two company’s leaders agreed that they now have an exemplary relationship.

The Royal Opera, like many other UK arts organizations, has struggled in recent years, experiencing a 20% loss in income. The new announcement, as well as the company’s bold and ambitious programming for 2024/2025, hopes to bring in new audiences and excite the public about opera once more.

I’d say a good proper English christening is in order, don’t you agree?

Sara Schabas
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