UK – London – Royal Opera House

Dates: 1858 – present  

Official website:

What’s On:

Backstage Tour

Take a tour of the Royal Opera House

Exhibits from this venue in the Backstage Heritage Collection

  • Arri Image
  • Lightboard
  • System C/AE FOH Control (1964)
  • Links to information about equipment at Royal Opera House over the years

  • Lightboard (Strand)
  • C-AE - System C-AE (Strand)
  • Sitralux B40 (Siemens)
  • Image (Arri)
  • Documents

    Royal Opera House - Arthur Lloyd 
    [External Website]
    From Arthur Lloyd website
    M219 Covent Garden Opera Control
    M219 Covent Garden Opera Control (1908)
    Click on thumbnail to enlarge
    [1.63Mb  JPEG]
    From Strand Slide Archive

    Covent Garden Report by Fred Bentham (1964)
    [2.22Mb PDF]
    From David Bertenshaw Collection

    LSI: Siemens in the Garden (March 1987)
    [292kb PDF]
    From Lighting & Sound International

    LSI: Royal Opera House (August 1995)
    [2.09Mb PDF]
    From Lighting & Sound International

    LSI: Royal Opera House (January 2000)
    [7.44Mb PDF]
    From Lighting & Sound International

    Sound on Sound - Mixing & Broadcasting from ROH (February 2017)
    [External Website]

    Mentions of Royal Opera House in indexed journals




    View in Google Maps


    From The Stage Guide, 1971
    Electrics: Strand board in FOH control room. Dimmers – 240 (238 x 5kW and 2 x 10kW): 14 presets; groups – 40 memories. 
    Circuits – FOH 44; Flies 20; Stage dips 40; and 4 patch
    Socket type – 15A BESA and 30A Reyrolle
    Patching system: all battens and cycs; 28 FOH side spots and outlets, 40 on grid, 8 on bridges, 4 on stage. 
    Total capacity available – 1200A on 3 phases.
    Special effects supply – 480A on 3 phases and 900A on 1 phase, and 2 x 3 phase supplies at 100A per phase. 
    Follow spots – 4 Xenon in dome
    Footlights installed and cannot be covered.
    Sound: Console in basement. Amplifiers: 6 x 100W, 4 x 50W, 3 tape decks, 1 turntable. 
    Mic sockets – 40 (Reslo), 16 live inputs. 
    Loudspeaker sockets – 40 (including 2 in dome)

    Seen on Film

    Parts of the exterior of the building, as it was in 1948, can be seen in The Red Shoes, including Mart Street, which defined the edge of the Opera House at that point, before Covent Garden redevelopments removed it. The Bow Street (public) and Floral Street (stage door) entrances are shown clearly. More details.

    Automated Stage

    Information about the phenomenal automation system at the Royal Opera House by Stage Technologies:

    Changeover from afternoon rehearsals to evening show: