Melissa gave a me list of cool activities and for Tuesday we picked the behind the scenes tour of the Royal Opera House. After dropping Michael at school (and stopping for a sausage roll at the local bakery) we caught the train to London (70 minutes.) Melissa had gotten me an “oyster” card, which is like a smart trip card for the metro, and I was able to be a cool local as I tapped it on the entry point, and only got my purse stuck in the gate once.
At the Opera House, our guide (“my name is Simon,” he said. “Of course it is,” I thought, because he really looked and sounded like a Simon,) cautioned us about not taking pictures in the backstage area, and warned us that we might not be able to go in huge theater, because the ballet school was rehearsing. Melissa, at this wanted to break down the door and storm said rehearsal, because she loves ballet. We controlled ourselves, however, and after telling us a little about the history of the building (way old, fully renovated in 1995) we were allowed to go backstage and see the set design office, with its miniature sets, and then, lo and behold, when we were walking in there gallery above the stage, we got to see one of those very same sets, full size! Simon pointed out the heavy red door that divided the backstage area from the stage itself, and as if hearing our every wish, the door began to rise, and the stage was revealed. Because it was a break while they were changing sets, we did get to go into the theater and he told us more (pointed out the royal box, but said you see Charles there more than the Queen, she’s not so much into Opera. “She likes horses, doesn’t she,” Simon said.). Just to put icing on the cake, two dancers came out and began to work though something, while the set change went on behind them.
After our tour, we went and enjoyed the atmosphere and lunch in Covent Garden, before the train ride home. It’s great to get to see Chris and Michael at the end of the day. Michael is very busy with school work. Even though it is the last few days of the school year, he is working on an online US government class. Next week though, he will be done, and able to join us on some of the adventures.