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Memories competition - our winner and your entries

A selection of your stories from our recent Royal Opera House Memories competition.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

26 September 2011 at 2.05pm | Comment on this article

To celebrate the recent costume sale, we recently offered the chance to win a piece of Royal Opera House history by telling us your memories of productions past. We had a fantastic response with some wonderful stories from you and selected one winner at random. Thanks for all your entries.

The winner

Our competition winner Jamie Henderson wins our coveted Nymph's costume with his praise for Felicity Lott's Marschallin from Der Rosenkavalier;

"No other singer has made me cry just by stiffening her back as Oktavian kisses her hand goodbye" - Jamie Henderson

A selection of your responses

We also picked out a few of our favourite responses which was tough given the range of fantastic stories you submitted:

"Won £2. Bought a ticket for Tosca (Upper slips). Feared I'd be told opera wasn't for people like me. Loved it" - @Kazbel (Twitter)

"One ROH memory that will stay in my heart forever was when after 3 years of ballet classes my husband and I decided to treat our 6yr old daughter Isabelle to her first ballet. On 23rd December 2008 we went to see The Royal Ballet's 'Nutcracker'.

She was very excited about getting dressed up and travelling to London, although I must confess I was slightley worried as to whether she would manage to stay focused throughout the performance.

Once we had taken our seats Isabelle started to chat to a couple of elderly ladies sat next to her. They asked her if she took ballet classes she answered 'yes and i am going to be a ballerina one day!'.

Once the performance started she sat forward in her seat glued to the spot, eyes fixed on the stage, she stayed like this for the entire performance. The elderly lady who was sat next to her was so mesmerized by Isabelle that she reached for her hand and held it tight until the curtain came down. At the end she turned to Isabelle and said 'I will be back in a few years to see you perform on this stage!' Isabelle is 9 now and still mad about ballet." - Lea Walters

"One of my most powerful memories was seeing Angela Gheorghiu in La Traviata in 1995. Princess Di was in the Royal Box and I didn't know where to aim the binoculars!" - Stuart Wood

"This is my favourite memory of the ROH; the wonderful family performances that were so fantastic at making ballet and opera accessible to families. We were lucky enough to make it through terrible snowy weather to attend a pre-performance workshop, and because we got there early, one of the members of staff let my ballet-dancing daughter try the barre in Clore studio. It was a few years ago now but she still remembers being allowed to use the same barre that the Royal Ballet dancers use - what a dream come true!" - Annabel Cowdrey

"Bringing my 2.5 year old daughter to the La Fille mal Gardeé matinée performance. She participated in a workshop and wondered at the tutus in the bar. But walking into the box of the opera house took her breath away. She gasped and drank the atmosphere in before she could share it with us. She sat reading the programme looking at the audience waiting patiently for the beginning. By the time the orchestra started the theatre was silent. There was a lull in the music and she announced rather loudly – “Where are the chickens?” .

1/2 of the Theatre definitely heard and there were many kind smiles. Luckily the orchestra was loud enough on Lise’s entrance that nobody heard her ask “where’s Colas” later on.

She has since gone on to see Romeo and Juliet at the O2 (with her brother who was 8 months and loved it) and has tickets for this years Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. Henrietta is now 4, still loves ballet, goes to ballet classes herself and still thinks Carlos Acosta’s real name is Colas who is sometimes Romeo." - Rebecca Forth

"The fabulous Sir John Tomlinson driving Bernard Haitink's leaving present scooter onto the stage: one of the funniest/bizarre" - @RMGCat (Twitter)

"Definitely Giselle with Sylvie Guillem! I was a doubting teen but so inspired and motivated to keep dancing after that." - @Inspiringtutus (Twitter)

"My favourite memory at the Opera House is my first experience of Wagner. Having been a balletomane all my life I never thought I could sit through a Wagner opera. In 2005 when the new production of The Ring was being introduced opera by opera I got an upper slip ticket for £11 to see Die Walkure. The cast was incredible - Waltraud Meier, Lisa Gasteen, Bryn Terfel and Domingo. It was thrilling beyond words, one of the most exciting evenings I have ever spent in the Opera House in 40 years of going to performances. I was hooked. Now I understand the total magic of the Ring and the extraordinary and compelling world it evokes." - Linda Hillyer

If you'd like to read a full selection of inspiring entries, take a look on Facebook, Twitter or the original blog post.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

26 September 2011 at 2.05pm

This article has been categorised Ballet, Opera and tagged archive, competition, memories, nostalgia

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