Accessibility at the Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House is committed to accessibility for everyone. We encourage all customers with access requirements to join our Access Scheme, or to get in touch with us so that we can meet your requirements and preferences. We offer a range of seating options in our performance spaces and access facilities around the building, as well as accessible performances and events.

There is step-free access to the Royal Opera House from the Bow Street entrance at the corner of Floral Street and from the Covent Garden Piazza entrance. All our entrances include a power-assisted door. There is also step-free access to all restaurants, bars, and front of house areas.

Access Scheme

We encourage anyone with access needs to join our free Access Scheme.

This gives you personalised assistance through the booking process, as well as other benefits including free companion tickets if it is essential that you are accompanied during performances.

Please get in touch with us, even if you have not joined our Access Scheme. We can discuss your personal needs and preferences for your visit.

Telephone: 020 7304 4000

Email: boxoffice.access@roh.org.uk

Visiting the Royal Opera House

Entrances

There is step-free access to the Royal Opera House from the Covent Garden Piazza entrance and from the entrances on Bow Street. All our entrances include a power-assisted door. There is also step-free access to all our restaurants, bars, and front of house areas. Once you arrive our Front of House Staff will be happy to assist you.

Lifts

The lift on the left-hand side of the Main Stage auditorium provides access to the Paul Hamlyn Hall, Balcony Restaurant and Crush Room, as well as the Linbury Theatre Foyer.

The lift on the right-hand side of the Main Stage auditorium provides access to the Level 5 Bar, the Piazza Restaurant, Terrace Bar and the Crush Room.

All lifts provide access to the main foyer bar and café.

Restaurants and bars

To reserve a table that is accessible, please speak to our Royal Opera House Restaurants team.

In the Paul Hamlyn Hall and in the Level 5 Bar there is a waiter service available to wheelchair users. Please let a member of staff know on the day if you require this service. You can also pre-order drinks for an interval.

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7212 9254

Email: restaurants@roh.org.uk

Accessible toilets in the building

All accessible toilets are gender neutral and have an alarm pull cord in case of emergency.

  • Ground floor – Next to the lifts on the left-hand side of the Main Stage auditorium., which is straight ahead after entering the Bow Street entrance.
  • Linbury Foyer – Take the corridor behind the Linbury Bar, or by lift from the ground floor (left-hand side of the Main Stage auditorium).
  • Level 5 – Take the lifts on the right-hand side of the Main Stage auditorium to get to Level 5. The toilets can be found by following the corridor to the right of the bar.
Large-print information

You can get all information in a large-print format on request – please speak to a member of staff.

Our restaurant menus are also available in large print.

Hearing Loop

There is a hearing loop at the Box Office Desk on the ground floor.

Visiting with an assistance dog

Assistance dogs are welcome everywhere in the Royal Opera House.

If you are coming to a performance you can leave your assistance dog with a member of staff, or they can stay with you through the performance. Please let us know which you prefer. If you are booking online, please email boxoffice.access@roh.org.uk with details of whether you want to leave your dog with Front of House staff.

What to do in an emergency

There are refuges for customers with limited mobility throughout the Royal Opera House. If the building needs to be evacuated, you will be escorted to the nearest refuge by a member of staff.

If your assistance dog is with Front of House staff, you will be reunited with your dog at the earliest opportunity.

Attending performances and events

We encourage all disabled customers to join our free Access Scheme and read the following info before booking any performances or events. Please check specific venue information to make sure it is accessible to you.

We advise you to arrive early for a performance if you need to use the lift to get to the auditorium – our lifts are often very busy.

Discounted and companion tickets

We offer discounted tickets to anyone who gets a disability-related state benefit.

Free companion tickets are also available if it is essential that you are accompanied during the performance. These are available through our Access Scheme, which you can join here. To reserve tickets straight away before joining, contact our Box Office.

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7304 4000

Email: boxoffice.access@roh.org.uk

Booking a wheelchair space

Online booking for wheelchair users is available through our Access Scheme.

Please contact the Box Office to book a wheelchair space if you have not yet joined our Access Scheme.

If you will be transferring from your own wheelchair to a standard seat please also contact the Box Office. You can also borrow a wheelchair when visiting. Please contact us in advance to arrange this.

Telephone: 020 7304 4000

Email: boxoffice.access@roh.org.uk

Assisted-hearing facility

To use the assisted hearing facility in the Main Stage auditorium or Linbury Theatre, borrow a free transmission receiver and headphones from the Front of House Duty Manager in the main entrance foyer. This will amplify the performance sound.

Reserve this equipment in advance by emailing boxoffice.access@roh.org.uk.

Sign-language-interpreted performances and surtitles

BSL users can get reduced-price designated seating for our British Sign Language interpreted performances.

Please register for Access Scheme Membership and we will send you a booking form for each BSL-interpreted performance.

Surtitle translations of what is being sung are supplied for all opera performances, including those sung in English. The surtitles are displayed on a screen above the stage, or on a monitor close to your seat.

For the Main Stage, please see our surtitles seat plan to ensure your seat has suitable access.

Performance audio introductions and audio Season guides

We produce audio introductions for all Royal Opera House Main Stage productions.

You can listen to these on headsets from the Duty House Manager’s desk in the main entrance foyer. Please reserve these in advance by emailing boxoffice.access@roh.org.uk.

The audio introduction is broadcast 15 minutes before the start of the performance and five minutes before the end of each interval. You can also listen before your visit on the Royal Opera House SoundCloud where you can set alerts to notify you of new audio introductions for upcoming performances.

We send out audio Season Guides to Access Scheme Members who have asked for them.

The audio introductions and audio Season Guides are produced for the Royal Opera House by the company Sightlines. Find out more about Sightlines here.

Relaxed Performances

We sometimes offer Relaxed Performances of our productions. These performances have been modified to be more accessible for audience members with neurodiverse needs – including autism or learning disabilities.

Changes could include:

  • audience members being allowed to move more freely during the performance
  • introductions to characters at the start of performances, or a visual story guide (sent out a week before and available on the website), to prevent surprises or shocks during the show
  • adjustments to the lighting and sound
  • removal of pyrotechnics or other stage effects that can be startling
  • other changes made in consultation with audiences

There may be more noise and movement from audience members, as well as opportunities to take time out from the performance.

Call the Box Office to find out more on +44 (0)20 7304 4000 or see performance listings for Relaxed Performances.

Access details for specific venues

Main Stage

There is lift access and step-free seating to most levels of the Main Stage auditorium, except the Orchestra Stalls, which are reached by a minimum of nine steps.

There are more than 100 seats in the Stalls Circle, Balcony and Amphitheatre which are accessible without needing to use steps. Many seats in these areas and in the Donald Gordon Grand Tier and Orchestra Stalls are accessible by ten steps or fewer.

There are up to 19 wheelchair spaces in the Main Stage auditorium. Plans showing wheelchair spaces in the auditorium, the number of steps to your seat and the different seat types are below.

Accessible toilets are on each level within the auditorium.

The lifts at auditorium left provide easy access to the Paul Hamlyn Hall and Crush Room.

The lifts at auditorium right provide easy access to the Level 5 Bar, Piazza Restaurant, Piazza Terrace Bar and to the Crush Room.

Linbury Theatre

There is lift access from the main foyer to the Linbury Theatre Foyer.

The entrances to the Linbury Theatre are from the Upper Circle level, and customers must descend to their seating area via stairs or a lift.

Lift access to seating in the Linbury Theatre is from auditorium right only (right-hand entrance and on your right-hand side as you face the stage). We recommend selecting seating on the right-hand side of the auditorium for those who need level access or minimal stairs.

The left-hand side of the auditorium can involve many stairs.

There are six wheelchair spaces in the Linbury Theatre. See a plan of the steps, lifts, exits and wheelchair spaces.

Here you can download a general visual story guide about watching a performance in the Linbury Theatre.

Clore Studio

There are two wheelchair spaces and a section of level access seats available in Row A only.

If you require step-free access to the Clore Studio please call the Box Office at boxoffice.access@roh.org.uk