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Description: Royal Opera House
Date Listed: 9 January 1970
English Heritage Building ID: 208783
OS Grid Reference: TQ3036281019
OS Grid Coordinates: 530362, 181019
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5131, -0.1228
TQ 3080 NW and 3081 SW CITY OF WESTMINSTER BOW STREET, WC2
59/22 ;72/ 5
9.1.70 Royal Opera House,
Opera house. Rebuild of 1857-58 by E.M. Barry. Stucco and stone, slate
roof. Monumental Augustan classicism tinged with Italiante. Front 7 bays
wide. Imposing, pedimented, giant Corinthian hexastyle portico raised on
tall rusticated podium now with foyer doors but originally a porte cochere.
The flanking bays are framed by coupled giant pilasters and contain on
portico level niches with statues of Melpomene and Thalia by Rossi whilst
behind the portico is a long and partially altered bas relief frieze by
Flaxman salvaged from Smirke's theatre of 1808-9. Prominent crowning
cornice and panelled parapet surmounted by urn finials. The balcony level
of portico has had a later C.19 crush bar conservatory inserted. Return
elevations articulated by plain giant pilasters above podium. Very fine
interior and auditorium with few alterations to Barry's scheme, horse-shoe
tiers beneath saucer dome on elliptical arches and pendentives, enriched
proscenium, the sounding board with relief ornament; rich plasterwork etc.
Stage retains most extensive installation of Asphaleria machinery in
London: 1899-1902 by Edwin O. Sachs. Present building the successor of
Theatres Royal and Operas since 1731, still under Royal patent. Stuccoed
extension in same style to west with fly tower, 1980.
Survey of London; Vol. XXXV.
Listing NGR: TQ3036281019
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.