It’s opening night of The Nutcracker ballet, and the performers at the Royal Opera House in London are busy getting ready to step out onto the stage. Meanwhile, Figaro—the opera house’s resident cat—is poised to take readers on a behind-the-scenes tour to meet the many people working to make tonight’s performance a resounding success.
This backstage tour of the Royal Opera House takes readers from department to department—from the costume closet to the orchestra pit and the stage—to discover what’s involved in putting on a performance such as The Nutcracker. Featuring examples from key works of opera and ballet, highlights of the tour include trying on the Mad Hatter’s wig from Alice in Wonderland; practicing for a fighting scene from Romeo and Juliet; putting the finishing touches on the Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutu; and creating explosions onstage.
Part backstage museum tour, part astonishing ballet performance, this book combines real-life details with the magical atmosphere of the theater. Including an introduction to a classical orchestra, key ballet terms, and basic stage directions, Curtain Up! encourages young readers to explore the many ways they can get involved.
Royal Opera House
Lauren O’Hara lives in Dublin. She is the illustrator of Sophie Dahl’s children’s book Madame Badobedah, which was a Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Year. With her sister Natalia O’Hara as author, she illustrated Hortense and the Shadow and The Bandit Queen.