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Royal Opera House turns front-of-house space into ballet studio for public rehearsals

The exterior of the Royal Opera House. Photo: Luke Hayes
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The Royal Opera House is transforming its newly refurbished Paul Hamlyn Hall into a ballet studio for a day, when dancers will take part in a series of open rehearsals.

Royal Ballet dancers will take a morning class in the hall – which was formerly known as Floral Hall and is the building’s largest front-of-house space – as well as participate in two rehearsals for current shows.

Members of the public can buy tickets to watch the action in the makeshift studio, which is being set up front of house as part of a new initiative called Ballet Studio Live.

It takes place for the first time on December 6, with a second event scheduled for January.

The Royal Ballet already runs evening events where audiences can buy tickets to watch rehearsals. However, Ballet Studio Live will expand this offering into daytime, giving them insight into the regularly scheduled morning class and rehearsal.

The event runs alongside the existing World Ballet Day, when the Royal Ballet live streams its rehearsals online as part of the annual worldwide event.

It is part of a renewed drive to open up the Royal Opera House, an intention that was at the centre of its recently completed £50 million redevelopment.

Royal Ballet director Kevin O’Hare said: “Ballet Studio Live offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of a Royal Ballet dancer. Experiencing a class and seeing rehearsals support our ethos of openness and inclusivity, and, importantly, showcases the talent and expertise these exceptional performers display. The event forms part of a new suite of free and ticketed events at the Royal Opera House in our newly opened, transformed building.”