7 November 2012 at 1.22pm | Comment on this article
Steven McRae as The Prince and Miyako Yoshida as The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker ©Johan Persson/ROH 2010
With Christmas on the way, many are beginning present shopping in earnest. One option is the gift of Royal Opera House Membership: Becoming a Friend of Covent Garden. While winter jumpers will most likely be cast to the back of the cupboard by March and food hampers won't survive much past New Year, a membership will last an entire 12 months and offer some amazing balletic and operatic memories.
We asked Steffie Lambert about how she’s used her Insiders (Young Friends) membership over the past year, as given to her by her aunt, Kristina Rogge. Kristina decided to give all her eligible nieces, nephews and godchildren memberships as she wanted to share the experience of coming to Covent Garden with her wider family, enabling them not just to see what goes on stage, but get glimpses behind the scenes too.
Steffie told us:
“It’s been a great gift as it enables younger people to be active at Royal Opera House. There's something for everyone too. I’ve found the priority booking is a massive bonus, which has given me a real incentive to see more. It means I can book ahead for less expensive tickets, or just for things that might otherwise sell out - I am seeing Plácido Domingo in Nabucco next year, for example.
It’s also been great to attend the talks, rehearsals and events that have been hosted through the Insiders’ scheme. My favourites so far have to be Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and the brilliant evening hearing Wayne McGregor and Mark Ronson talk about Carbon Life."
Upcoming Insiders events include pre-performance drinks at performances of The Royal Ballet Viscera/Infra/Fool's Paradise Mixed bill and The Minotaur. Young Friends will also be able to attend an Insight event for a new production at the beginning of May, two years ahead of its opening night giving an exclusive glimpse into the production process. They will be encouraged to input their ideas and share responses to this work.
If you’re a Friend, what great experiences have you had through your membership? We’d like to hear your stories.