The Royal Opera House celebrates ten years in Thurrock  

The Royal Opera House celebrates ten years of working in Thurrock and everyone is invited to the free party. 


It’s ten years since the Royal Opera House began work on its world-class production facilities in Purfleet. From early involvement with the local community on projects such as Sun and Heir, loosely inspired by Das Rheingold and performed at Tilbury docks by 10 professional performers and 50 local people, the Royal Opera House has built a loyal following in Thurrock. It has established a home from home at the High House Production Park from which it now runs a successful community choir, regularly sold-out tours of its impressive facilities and an innovative programme of cultural learning, called Thurrock Trailblazer, that boosts creative learning in schools and aids pupils’ development.


The Royal Opera House came to Essex from Bow to make way for the 2012 London Olympics site. Work with local communities in Thurrock began almost as soon as the site was chosen in 2007, with a small team working on large scale performances: 2008’s Sun and Heir and in 2009, On The Rim of the World.


Building at the High House site started in 2009 and to mark the completion of The Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop in December 2010, a specially commissioned opera, Ludd and Isis: the Purfleet Opera was staged in the building. More than 1000 local people contributed to Ludd and Isis, making costumes, painting sets, helping to research the history of Purfleet or taking part in the performance alongside professionals from the Royal Opera House. From this was born the Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus. Now numbering some 140 members, the Chorus will take part in the celebrations to mark the tenth anniversary in July.


Everyone’s invited to the party

A weekend of free activities is planned to celebrate the tenth anniversary. The free BP Big Screen on Friday 14 July will be Puccini’s final, wonderful opera Turandot.  Screened live from Covent Garden, the Royal Opera’s fabulous production transports the audience to ancient Beijing and features the famous aria ‘Nessun dorma’. The Big Screen will be shown in the High House orchard but will move indoors in the event of bad weather. The performance commences at 7.30pm. Hilary Powell, the Stephen Cripp’s Studio Award,recipient, based at ACME Studios will screen her new work, Ring Cycle prior to the Big Screen.  To find out more and get a free Digital Programme: 


On Saturday 15 July, some familiar characters – in some not-so-familiar guises – from much-loved Royal Opera House productions will be popping up around the Backstage Centre for an exciting afternoon of performances and activities, including magical scenic artistry, singing and dancing! Where will Alice’s adventures take you? Will the Queen of the Night scare you or thrill you? Will Mimi and Rodolfo’s love story end happily? The grand finale features the Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus.


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