OF THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
The Covent Garden Orchestra was founded
in 1946 on the reopening of the Royal Opera House
after the Second World War. Since then many of the
finest British orchestral musicians have been members
of the Orchestra and the World's greatest conductors,
including Karl Rankl, Erich Kleiber, Sir George
Solti, Sir Colin Davis and Bernard Haitink have
been associated with the Orchestra.
The Orchestra was incorporated in
the Royal Charter granted to the Covent Garden Company
(now the Royal Opera) in 1968 and its title changed
to the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.
Sir George Solti became Music Director
in 1961 and remained for ten years during which
time he took the Company on its first major overseas
tour to Munich and former West Berlin. Solti was
succeeded by Sir Colin Davis who continued to develop
the fine Orchestra he inherited. This period was
notable for some widely acclaimed recordings including
Cosi fan tutte, Les Troyens and Peter Grimes and
first performances of Tippett's The Knot Garden
and Ice Break; and the British premiere of Lulu
by Alban Berg.
The Orchestra continues to enjoy
high critical acclaim both in the Opera House and
on the concert platform. Bernard Haitink will soon
complete 10 years as Music Director. The Orchestra
serves both the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet.
The Orchestra records regularly with
the Company and also in its own right on the Royal
Opera House Label (BMG/Conifer), and with EMI. Future
recordings are planned with Sony Classical and Philips.
Plans are underway for tours in Europe and in the
With 124 members the Orchestra of
the Royal Opera House is the largest orchestral
establishment in the United Kingdom.