A group of members visited the Royal Opera House premises in Thurrock on Friday, 3 February 2017. It is here that the apprentices who enter our Norah Lambourne Design Award competition are trained.
We were given a tour of the premises by Graham, who was assisted by Chris and Guy. There are three new buildings on the complex, each housing various aspects of opera staging from large sets to small items of costume.
The largest building is where the stage sets are built and then dismantled before being transported to Covent Garden. We saw some of the stage sets for Turandot and Die Meistersinger.
The costume archive contains items worn by Dame Margot Fonteyn, Dame Joan Sutherland and Rudolf Nureyev as well as a large workshop where costumes are prepared for upcoming shows.
The original site was a set of farm buildings, with the farmhouse dating back to the 17th Century.
The tour gave us an insight into the hours of hard work that go into staging events at Covent Garden.