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SW_Royal Opera House_Covent Garden_Linbury Theatre ©Hufton+Crow_007_

Black History Month 2020

The Royal Opera House shares a range of activities with audiences and staff to celebrate Black History Month.

By Alex Beard (Chief Executive)
Friday 2 October 2020, 4.19pm

This month we celebrate Black artistry and artistic diversity. We believe that opera and music, ballet and dance should belong to everyone and we are working to make the Royal Opera House a more inclusive environment in which everyone – artists, visitors, staff – can thrive.

We are proud to highlight the events and activities that we have planned, both for our audiences and for our staff (on the initiative of our internal Diversity and Inclusion Network).

We hope you will celebrate Black History Month with us.

Alex Beard

Chief Executive

Black History Month Insight

We are presenting a special event during October to celebrate Black artists working in our art forms, drawing upon their personal histories to discuss where we are today, and where we need to be in the future.

Kenneth Tharp, who has in the course of his career been director of the Africa Centre, a dance artist and Chief Executive of The Place, has kindly agreed to host this event in the Linbury Theatre, at which some of The Royal Ballet's dancers talk about the artists of African or Caribbean heritage who have influenced them.

Watch the Insight via our YouTube channel.

Instagram Takeover

Stay tuned to our social media channels to learn more about the Black artists and creatives that we are celebrating this month. Our Instagram takeover is the initiative of The Royal Ballet Inclusivity Focus Group.

Watch Joseph Sissens' Instagram Takeover now.

The Knife of Dawn

On Saturday 24 October The Royal Opera presents Hannah Kendall’s one-act chamber opera The Knife of Dawn as part of the New Dark Age programme. The Knife of Dawn tells the gripping story of Guyanese political activist and poet Martin Carter. Widely regarded as the greatest of Guyanese poets and one of the most influential voices in Caribbean literature, Carter was imprisoned in 1953 for his protest against British rule in Guyana. Kendall and librettist Tessa McWatt, who share their Guyanese heritage with Carter, have created a chamber opera of great beauty and intricacy for small Orchestra and break-through director Ola Ince has created a visionary, total theatre production for the Royal Opera House stage.

Watch The Knife of Dawn via our streaming service.