b'THE CARNEGIE CLUBThis page: the historic exterior of the Royal Opera House. Next;S T A T E O F page: Royal Opera House CEO, Alex Beardthe Linbury Theatre T H E A R TFrom school programmes to live broadcasts, Alex Beard, CEO of the Royal Opera House, is committed to making the institution accessible to allWORDS Katie WyarttOWe wanted it to be a brilliant place to visit outside of6 7 nce seen as the preserve of a privileged few, a trip to the opera or ballet was, historically,performance times, says Beard. A space in which we beyond the means of many people. But thiscan showcase our creativity. Now open from 10am every is 2019, and a pledge made almost 10 years ago by Artsday, the Royal Opera House has welcomed more than Council England to provide great art and culture for300,000 daytime visitors over the past year. Many are everyone has seen considerable investment in initiativesvisiting to participate in the new daytime activities to make opera and ballet more accessible. now on offer, most of which are either free or heavily Nowhere is this more evident than at the Royalsubsidised. These include backstage tours and creative Opera House, the Covent Garden-based institution thatsworkshops, Live at Lunch pop-up performances every home to The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet, and hasFriday and the hugely popular Opera Dots and Ballet been here, in one form or another, since 1732. TheatreDots programmes for under-ves. land is one of the things that denes London, and theKeen to engage with future audiences at a young Royal Opera House is, I think, the most beautiful theatreage, the Royal Opera House has also invested in reaching in the world, says its CEO Alex Beard. It should thereforeschool-age children all over the country with its Schools be part of the shared cultural fabric of the city. Matinee programme. Tickets for these performances are Last September, the results of an ambitious 50mpriced at just 7.50, and Beard is keen to highlight that (privately funded) development project were revealed.this is no second-class performance. Earlier this year, for Called Open Up, the project has done exactly that example, school children got to see the eminent soprano both physically and metaphorically. As well as replacingErmonela Jaho perform in La Traviata. an outdated studio theatre with a second, 400-seatAlongside this, the organisation is reaching directly auditoriumthe Linbury Theatrethe project hasinto communities with its popular live cinema screening signicantly improved the daytime offering at theprogramme, which sees 12 Royal Opera House Royal Opera House, making the foyer area moreperformancessix opera and six balletper season welcoming and installing a huge window onto Bowrelayed live in more than 1,500 cinemas around the Street that allows people to see into the magnicentworld. In March 2020, the Royal Opera House welcomes building from the outside, opening up what hadrenowned tenor Jonas Kaufmann in a run of six previously been considered, for many, a closed world.performances of Fidelio, conducted by acclaimed music'