Glittering world premiere marks opening of Royal Opera in Purfleet

CULTURE Secretary Jeremy Hunt paid tribute to Thurrock, as he opened the Royal Opera House technical facility in Purfleet last night.

Flanked by leader of Thurrock Council, John Kent, Chief executive of Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation (DC), Will McKee CBE, Chief exec of Royal Opera House, Tony Hall and Mayor of Thurrock, Ann Cheale, all the leaders referred to the huge significance of the opening of a technical facility means to the borough.

Hundreds of VIP’s including Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle Price and Thurrock Council’s chief executive Graham Farrant were then entertained by the world premiere of Ludd and Isis.

Ludd and Isis Review

By Sally Casey

Watching an opera in the middle of a technical facility is quite an avant-garde experience, something more akin to performances at the Edinburgh festival but Lidd and Isis’ emphasis on the history of Purfleet helped give the opera credibility and substance. From historical references to the Thames, Bram Stoker, Royal Hotel, the Purfleet Battery and on to the production park, the audience is able to immerse themselves in an operatic Bayeux Tapestry.

The opera also manages to interweave the local community and the professionals seamlessly and both “teams” performed wonderfully. If one had to choose a highlight it was the performance of the two dancers at the beginning of Part Two. Richard Taylor’s composition moved into Aaron Copland territory which in a general sense was somewhat fitting as much of Copland’s music symbolised a brave new world; so we are sure Ludd and Isis will come to symbolise the brave new world of Thurrock that the opening of the Royal Opera House has come to symbolise.

Finally, praise to all concerned. YourThurrock has followed the RoH story through the years. They could easily have built the technical facility then bought some red ribbon, a ceremony, a few photos and got on with it. Instead, their tireless work throughout the borough has been, well, it has been, simply world class.

The old technical facility had to move out of East London due to 2012 but it is the Royal Opera House who should be awarded gold medals and garlands for an olympian effort.

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