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King Charles Makes A Surprise Appearance At The Opera

By Sara Schabas on May 21, 2024

King Charles at the Royal Opera House
King Charles attends a special gala performance at the Royal Opera House (Video still via the Royal Operas House)

On Thursday night, opera’s biggest stars performed at the Royal Opera House to honour conductor Sir Antonio Pappano’s 22 years at its head. At the end of the performance, King Charles III surprisingly appeared alongside the performers.

What’s up: On May 16th,  leading singers graced the Royal Opera House stage to honour the end of Sir Antonio Pappano’s 22 years as music director. Singers including Ermonela Jaho, Lisette Oropesa, Nadine Sierra, Aigul Akhmetshina, Bryn Terfel, Jonas Kaufmann, and Gerald Finley performed in a gala of arias and ensembles conducted by Pappano. At the performance’s end, King Charles came onstage, taking a bow and shaking Pappano’s hand.

Playing catch-up: King Charles has been a noted supporter of classical music throughout his life. For his coronation, he personally commissioned 12 contemporary works, which were conducted by Pappano. The King’s appearance at the gala was particularly meaningful as he is currently receiving treatment for cancer.

As for the performers…

…They were reportedly informed 20 minutes before going onstage that the King would be in attendance. But, you never know when a king or queen might show up at your show.

Sara Schabas
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