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  • Watch: Inside the Royal Opera House’s Armoury

Watch: Inside the Royal Opera House’s Armoury

Arming more than seventy opera singers and actors (safely) is all part of a day’s work.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

24 June 2015 at 5.26pm | Comment on this article

You’d expect a theatre such as the Royal Opera House to have costume and prop-making departments, make-up teams and scenery workshops – but an Armoury?!

The Royal Opera House is part of a small company of UK theatres that have their very own arsenal – others in this select group include the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.

The Armoury team makes and maintains on stage weaponry for both The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet, as well as ensuring all artists are fully trained in its safe use.

‘As a member of the Armoury Department you need to be able to turn your hand to a vast number of skills’, says Assistant Head Armourer Zoe Phillips. ‘At the moment the main show we’re working on is Guillaume Tell. Currently I’m creating the crossbows but orchestrating the armoury for the whole performance too. We have over seventy people to kit out with armoury. That will include individual items like belts and holsters, down to guns and rifles. We also have blank firing guns in the performance.’

Watch more films like this on the Royal Opera House YouTube channel:

Discover more about the spectacular multimedia nature of opera in the exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, at the V&A Museum 30 September 2017–25 February 2018.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

24 June 2015 at 5.26pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged Armoury, Backstage, by Damiano Michieletto, Film, Guillaume Tell, Production, YouTube

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