Has Rigoletto taken his jesting too far?
The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in the London district of Covent Garden. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Originally called the Theatre Royal, it served primarily as a playhouse for the first hundred years of its history. In 1734, the first ballet was presented. A year later Handel's first season of operas began. Many of his operas and oratorios were specifically written for Covent Garden and had their premieres there.
The current building is the third theatre on the site following disastrous fires in 1808 and 1857. The façade, foyer and auditorium date from 1858, but almost every other element of the present complex dates from an extensive reconstruction in the 1990s. The Royal Opera House seats 2,268 people and consists of four tiers of boxes and balconies and the amphitheatre gallery. The proscenium is 12.20 m wide and 14.80 m high. The main auditorium is a Grade 1 listed building.