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. Access registration helps us ensure that we meet your accessibility requirements.

Register for the Access Scheme

Download the registration form. You can fill in the form digitally with Microsoft Word or print it out and fill it in by hand. Submit it to the Access Box Office by email or post.

Visit 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. 

Large-print information

You can get all information in a large-print format on request. Please email box.office@roh.org.uk to request large print information.

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. 

Visit 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. 

Attend 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

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

E-tickets

E-tickets offer our visitors greater flexibility and security, and is a vital step towards us meeting our environmental obligations. Towards the end of 2021, customers who are unable to receive an e-ticket, and therefore require a paper ticket to be posted to them, will be able to do so for a charge of £2 per UK transaction, or £9.50 if international postage is required. 

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. 

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.

Audio Described Performances

We sometimes offer Audio Described Performances of our productions. Audio description may be useful if you have visual impairment. An audio description of the characters, actions, costumes, and set design is provided through a headset as the story unfolds. To reserve an audio description headset for an Audio Described Performance, please email boxoffice@roh.org.uk.

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

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Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation, a charitable company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales (Company number 480523) Charity Registered (Number 211775)