Pumping on the dry Ice for the Nutcracker angels (Credit Laurie Lewis)


Every year the Royal Opera House puts on a season of Christmas shows: the Royal Ballet in Nutcracker and Cinderella, the Royal Opera in any piece with a folk tale theme, and either genre if it features snow. How do we cope with all those magic coaches and snow bags? Not to say 17 Sugar Plums, 12 Princes, and the entire Lower Ballet School backstage? This talk takes you into the wings, down the traps and under the stage as our legendary Christmas Tree is moved on to its lift. Based on interviews and live video clips, it is updated every year.



Christmas spectacles, slapstick, and beanstalks have been drawing crowds to Covent Garden since 1737. John Rich, the first manager of what is now the Royal Opera House, was a fine dancer, mime, and special effects man and he (and his successors) developed all the well known features of the London Christmas season. Even now principal boys, fairies, and Harlequin are alive and well on the ROH stage. This whole performing tradition is brought up to date with the latest Christmas offerings at the Royal Opera House.

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