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Visiting the Great Opera Houses of the UK

Opera in the UK

The UK has a long cultural history. For centuries, people have enjoyed theatre, opera, dance and the arts. This means that there is plenty of culture for visitors to these shores to enjoy. Visiting the theatre, opera or ballet is something that a large percentage of the millions of tourists, who come here each year, do.

In the past, the main attraction was British theatre, but the other arts are catching up. Sales of opera tickets are soaring as more people discover this wonderful form of entertainment.

There are 21 opera houses scattered throughout the United Kingdom, which means that there is plenty of choice. Here we have put together a quick guide to some of the more famous ones to help you to find one that suits your tastes and budget.


Probably the most famous opera venue in the UK is Glyndebourne. This amazing venue was built onto a stately home, and first opened for public performances in 1934, when an audience of just 300 enjoyed a performance of Le nozze di Figaro.

The theatre was extended many times, but in a piecemeal fashion until finally in 1990 it was knocked down and replaced by today’s 1,200-seat building.

Going to the opera at Glyndebourne is a quintessentially British experience. In the summer, outdoor performances are held, but you have to book your tickets as soon as the dates are announced. They sell out fast.

The Royal Opera House Covent Garden

If you want to enjoy a traditional performance, The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is the place to head to. This is a highly regarded venue, which is on most of the top 10 opera house lists. If you cannot get tickets for The Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells is a great alternative.

The Opera House Tunbridge Wells

Another venue few people think of visiting for opera is Tunbridge Wells. This town’s theatre is bigger than you would expect. It seats 1,100 and has a full sized stage. It is a charming place with an old world feel. In addition, Tunbridge Wells is a wonderful place to stay, so we highly recommend that you try this opera house at least once.

Concert hall venues

Occasionally, if you are lucky, you can see opera performed at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. The acoustics of this purpose built concert hall are stunning. It is well worth signing up to be notified of future events, so that you do not miss anything.

Other iconic opera houses

If you find that you enjoy opera in the UK, it is well worth taking the time to visit some of the other European opera houses. One of the nicest is the Vienna Opera House, which first opened in 1869.

This venue is a particularly good place to take those who are new to opera. The company works hard to attract people to the genre, especially children. They adapt operas to better suit modern tastes and simplify. Many of their performances are shorter with a simpler story line that is easy for those who are new to opera to follow.

One Response to Visiting the Great Opera Houses of the UK

  1. Maggie Reply

    May 10, 2016 at 5:04 am

    Great list of Opera Houses in UK. All seems Worth Visiting. Thanks for sharing useful Information

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