Accessibility links


Sign In

Inspiration Days

Tour | Design | Create | Learn | Make | Explore | Team-build

Discover the fascinating world of the artists and craftspeople who make sets and scenery for productions at the world-famous Royal Opera House on an Inspiration Day at the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop in Purfleet.

Generously sponsored by Paul Hamlyn Education Fund and Thurrock Borough Council.

The purpose-built, state-of-the-art Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Production Workshop is home to scenic painters, carpenters and metalworkers. Here they turn our brilliant designers’ visions into reality, creating the many different sets that appear in the ballets and operas performed on the stages of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

Groups, clubs, businesses, schools and colleges can visit the Production Workshop for Inspiration Days, learn about the skills used in stage design and construction, take part in hands-on workshops and enjoy specially planned activities.

In October 2014, for the first time, individuals could book to attend an Inspiration Day and discover for themselves what it takes to create sets and scenery for a world-class theatre.

Due to popular demand, we have added another date for Individuals to book on to an Inspiration Day. This is being held on Friday 12 June and the day will include a tour of the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop and a hands-on workshop focused on costume. There will be limited places available and under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult. You can book tickets here.


The Royal Opera House Learning and Participation Team in Thurrock offers bespoke tours and workshop packages to give a glimpse into the backstage world and teach you new skills. Inspiration Days are also excellent team building experiences.

To book an Inspiration Day, download our booking form. For further information, please contact the Royal Opera House Learning and Participation team in Thurrock by emailing or call 01708 891200.

Inspiration Days

A visit to the Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Production Workshop can last from half an hour to a whole day. You can choose from a short tour of the building to a range of practical workshops.

We are happy to discuss a package of workshops, talks and tours to suit curriculum needs. We can give an in-depth insight into the creative work that goes on, and discuss careers at the Royal Opera House open to young people.

Tours and workshops can be tailored for adult groups, specialist interest groups, primary and secondary school children, students in further and higher education or even business away days.

Inspiration Day Cost*:

£250 – up to 20 participants
£500 – 21 to 40 participants
£750 – 41 to 60 participants

*Discounts apply to all groups and institutions located inside Thurrock due to funding from the Arts Council, Thurrock Borough Council and the Paul Hamlyn Education Fund; contact for more information.

Please inform us when booking an Inspiration Day whether you are bringing packed lunches or wish to pre-order lunch from the onsite café.


Find out more about what goes on at the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop with our backstage films:

Tours: Explore the Building

Led by an experienced tour guide, tour parties visit the scenic paint shop, carpentry workshop and build area to see at firsthand how sets and scenery are constructed. Visitors can also observe from the unique viewing galleries that our craftspeople use to look at their creations from above. You will learn about each area and get a fascinating insight into the making of world class sets and scenery. At busy times, access to certain areas may be restricted.

The Interactive Virtual Tour

Your Inspiration Day can include creating your own set and scenery in our 3D interactive virtual tour. This fun experience follows the journey of sets from the first design ideas to construction in the Workshop and finally on to the stage at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. You can light the stage for an opera or design and paint the set for a ballet. But can you stick to the virtual budget?

There are also many fascinating short films of the different areas of work behind the scenes at the Royal Opera House. We can offer your group a tailor-made programme to show you the whole backstage world.

Workshops: Hands-on Experience

Our practical workshops have been specially devised to offer a greater insight into the skills and expertise of our craftspeople. These include:

  • Making a Model Box
  • Costume Design and Making
  • Textiles
  • Making Props
  • Puppetry
  • Special Effects Make-up
  • Millinery
  • Performance (Dance, Drama orMusic)

All workshops subject to availability

There is also the chance to experience a public tour of the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop where sets and scenery are made for the Opera House productions.