The Royal Opera House is an iconic part of Covent Garden. A centre for world-class opera and ballet, it has been home to theatre, music and momentous performances for over 250 years. However as well as on stage performances, it is also available for private hire and every year the magnificent Paul Hamlyn Hall, a towering glass atrium that overlooks Bow Street, hosts two weddings.
Dean Drury, from the Royal Opera House Commercial Department, said:
Unlike many venues, which have round the clock availability, our weddings are truly unique. Only on a Sunday when there are no scheduled performances could you hang 18,000 flowers from the ceiling of the Paul Hamlyn Hall!
Over the course of last season alone, there were some 428 performances at the Royal Opera House. Given the packed performance schedule, the venue is high in demand and only hosts two or three weddings a year.
The Paul Hamlyn Hall dates back to 1860 when manager Frederick Gye envisaged building “the Crystal Palace of Covent Garden”. He, somewhat ambitiously, wanted to create a hall that would stretch from Bank to Trafalgar Square. However, he settled for eleven arcades of glass joining Bow Street with the Piazza – what is now the Paul Hamlyn Hall and Link Box Office.
The Floral Hall, as it was then called, was used as an exotic flower market by day and a glamorous ballroom or concert hall by night. It has since become the Paul Hamlyn Hall, and was fully restored and refurbished in 1997. It is now a luxurious champagne bar and restaurant during Royal Opera House performances, and a prized venue for award ceremonies, fundraising dinners, parties and weddings.
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