Posted in Great Britain

PHQ Card – Royal Opera House

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This British PHQ card – #43(c) – is from a set of five honoring various London landmarks and pictures the Royal Opera House.  The corresponding stamps, Scott #910-914, were released on 7 May 1980, perforated 14×14½ and printed in photogravure by The House Of Questa.  They were designed by Sir Hugh Casson, the well-known British architect, interior designer, artist, and writer.  He is particularly noted for his role as director of architecture at the Festival Of Britain held in 1951 on London’s South Bank.

The current Royal Opera House building in Covent Garden is the third on the site and dates from 1858 but was extensively reconstructed in the 1990s.  Currently, it seats 2,256 people and consists of four tiers of boxes and balconies and the amphitheatre gallery.  The building was designed by Edward Middleton Barry and remains the nucleus of the present theatre.  It opened on 15 May 1858 with a performance of Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots.  During World War I, it was used as a furniture repository.  It became a dance hall during the Second World War.  It’s the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

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