Welcome from Community Chorus for new audiences to the Royal Opera House

The Thurrock Community Chorus will perform at the Royal Opera House on Saturday 1 October as part of this Season’s Welcome Performance: a family day of activity for those new to the opera and ballet generously made possible by Gregory and Regina Annenberg Weingarten through the Annenberg Foundation.

Fifty members of the Thurrock Community Chorus will perform in the Paul Hamlyn Hall as audiences enjoy the pre-show activities.

Welcome Performances are special matinees of opera and ballet for families who have never been to a performance at the Royal Opera House. Before the performance, talks, workshops and hands-on activities help new audiences discover the wonders of the world of opera and ballet. They can make something in drop-in design workshops or try on an original opera or ballet costume. Backstage staff will share the secrets of putting a world class production together offering insights into the costumes, wigs and makeup, set design and hats and jewellery. Free backstage tours will also be available throughout the morning for anyone who wants to see more.

The Welcome Performance will be a one-off double bill showcasing both opera and ballet: Gianni Schicchi and Rubies. Giannia Schicchi is one of three short operas from Il trittico composed by Giaccomo Puccini. It is the amusing tale of a family obsessed with the last will and testament of a recently deceased wealthy aristocrat from Florence. Can they discover the whereabouts of the will or is it already in the hands of the lawyer? Has all the money really been left to a monastery?

Rubies is one of three short ballets by George Balanchine that make up the longer work Jewels. The score by Igor Stravinsky evokes Jazz-age New York. Bold and powerful, the choreography is crisp, witty and modern.

Ticket prices for the Welcome Performance range from £5 to £20. All pre-performances activities are free but some do require booking. For more information, please contact the Royal Opera House Box Office on 020 7304 4000 or go to www.roh.org.uk/discover/education/familyevents/welcome.aspx

A total of 25,000 tickets are being made available at significantly reduced prices through five different initiatives during the 2011/12 Season at the Royal Opera House enabling people to attend performances who otherwise may not have thought it possible for them. It is the first time that this range of opportunities has been offered to such a wide demographic from school children to students to families to older audiences and all made possible by the generosity of individuals. For more information about the initiatives and for full details of the 2011/12 Season, please go to www.rog.org.uk.

For further information about the Thurrock Community Chorus, please email getinvolved@roh.org.uk or phone Shaun Bajnockzy on 01708 892825.

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