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Curtain Up!

Behind the Scenes at the Royal Opera House

Lauren O'Hara


A behind-the-scenes tour of the magnificent Royal Opera House in London, thirty minutes before curtain up, led by Figaro the cat

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It’s opening night of The Nutcracker, and the performers at the Royal Opera House in London are busy getting ready to step out onto the stage. Meanwhile, Figaro – the opera house’s resident cat – is poised to take readers on a behind-the-scenes tour to meet the many people working to make tonight’s performance a resounding success.

This backstage tour of the Royal Opera House takes readers from department to department to discover what’s involved in putting on a performance such as The Nutcracker. Featuring examples from key works of opera and ballet, highlights of the tour include trying on the Mad Hatter’s wig from Alice in Wonderland; practising for a fighting scene from Romeo and Juliet; putting the finishing touches on the Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutu; learning to ‘play dead’; and creating explosions on stage.

Including an introduction to a classical orchestra, key ballet terms and basic stage directions, the book encourages readers to explore the many ways they can get involved.

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'Lauren’s wonderful illustrations bring back so many memories for me. This is your very own tour to see everything that goes on in every room of the Royal Opera House'
Darcey Bussell, former Principal Ballerina with The Royal Ballet

'A delightful peek behind the curtain at the true magic of the Royal Opera House – O’Hara’s illustrations dance across the page'
Kiran Millwood-Hargrave

'Beautifully produced … opens up those usually hidden sights and sounds of the theatre in a wonderfully accessible, friendly way. O’Hara’s wonderful illustrations bring everything to life'

'Hugely entertaining … a real eye-opener'

'Delightful … enchanting illustrations'
Dance Europe

'Full of fascinating facts, funny puns and a hint of mischief! ... the illustrations here are sublime, perfectly capturing the magic and majesty of the Royal Opera House. Prepare to want to visit after reading this one'
The Little Literary Society

SLOAN! Magazine

'Packed with fascinating facts … the lovely art and approachable text make it read like a wonderful storybook'
Storytime Magazine

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 29.5 x 24.5 cm

Extent: 40 pp

Illustrations: 40

Publication date: 1 September 2022

ISBN: 9780500652510

About the Author

Lauren O’Hara lives in Dublin. She is the illustrator of Sophie Dahl’s children’s book Madame Badobedah, which was a Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Year and has sold over 12,000 copies in hardback. Lauren has been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal twice and shortlisted for the Children’s Books Ireland Award. With her sister Natalia O’Hara as author, she illustrated Hortense and the Shadow and The Bandit Queen.

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