A night at the opera. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? For generations of Londoners, a visit to the Royal Opera House was the classy way to show your sweetheart a glamorous good time among society’s upper crust. Today, despite an explosion of upscale entertainment options, the opera retains its excitement and sophistication while welcoming fans of all kinds. This means, of course, that if you’re trying to be suave and debonair, this is your spot, so surprise that special someone on your next date night with a pair of tickets and swoon over the romantic music as couples have done since it opened way back in 1732.
Located in Covent Garden, the massive hall is the home of the Royal Opera, Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, but if it’s your first visit, choose a classic opera to get the full experience. The 2014-2015 season is in full swing, with classics like Verdi’s Rigoletto, Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Mozart’s Idomeneo on the schedule, along with new works by contemporary composers such as The Trial by Philip Glass. Whichever you choose, arrive a little early and head to the Paul Hamlyn Hall champagne bar to warm up with a Black Swan Bellini made with Ruinart champagne. To ensure no stomach rumblings disrupt the performance, order a David Mellor supper tray – yes, even the trays are designer items – to share.
When the ten minute announcement is played, head to your plush red velvet seats and give your darling’s hand a squeeze as the curtains part under the royal coat of arms. Pay close attention to the overture as the orchestra warms up so you catch the major themes of the opera, leaving you to watch the drama unfold on stage. When the final bold sweeps of the strings and salvos of timpani have segued into a roaring round of applause and the house lights once again rise, head out to the amphitheater bar with your date to discuss the dramatic saga. You’ve connected with a tradition hundreds of years old, yet it feels more alive and vibrant than ever.