Covent Garden

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Covent Garden

(kŭv`ənt), area in London historically containing the city's principal fruit and garden market and the Royal Opera House. The market was established in 1671 by Charles II on the site of the abbot of Westminster's convent garden, from which the area's name is derived. In 1974 the entire market was transferred to a new site at Nine Elms on the South Bank of the Thames near Vauxhall. Since then, Covent Garden has renovated old market buildings and become a popular shopping area, with many individual stores and stalls that sell high-quality goods. The Royal Opera House was erected on the site of the Theatre Royal built in 1732. After being repaired and enlarged in 1787, the theater burned down in 1808 and again in 1856. It was rebuilt in 1858 to house opera and ballet. The Royal BalletRoyal Ballet,
the principal British ballet company, based at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. It is noted for lavish dramatic productions, a superbly disciplined corps de ballet, and brilliant performances from its principals.
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 began performing there in the spring of 1946. The Royal Opera House reopened in Dec., 1999, after an 18-month renovation.

Covent Garden


(full name since the 1890’s, the Royal Opera House of Covent Garden), an opera house in London, founded in 1732. It was named after the region in which it is situated.

Initially, several independent troupes were affiliated with Covent Garden. In addition to the presentation of dramatic performances, musical concerts, and ballets, circuses were exhibited there. However, since 1847 only operas and ballets have been staged. The presently existing theater was opened in 1858 and has a seating capacity of 2,200.

Since the late 18th century, Covent Garden has been reputed to be one of the finest theaters in Europe. The first stagings of G. F. Handel’s operas took place in Covent Garden, between 1734 and 1737. In subsequent years famous European composers wrote works for the theater. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, British operas and ballets occupied a notable place in the theater’s program. The works of several Russian composers, including P. I. Tchaikovsky, M. P. Mussorgsky, N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, and A. P. Borodin, were also staged. In the late 19th century the tradition of performing operas in the original language was established at Covent Garden; the tradition has been preserved to this day.

The world’s most eminent conductors and singers have performed at Covent Garden. In the 1930’s it became a state theater. During World War II (1939–45), Covent Garden was closed; it was reopened in 1946. The theater’s extensive repertoire includes the works of various national schools and ranges from the classical to the contemporary period. Works by the Soviet composers S. S. Prokofiev and D. D. Shostakovich have been performed. The theater’s soloists include the world-famous singers J. Sutherland, M. Collier, G. Jones, J. Carlyle, E. Robson, and H. Harper. Many foreign artists have appeared at Covent Garden on tour, including Soviet singers and conductors. A touring troupe from Covent Garden appeared in the USSR in 1964.


Shawe-Taylor, D. Covent Garden. London, 1948.
Rosenthal, H. Two Centuries of Opera at Covent Garden. London, 1958.

Covent Garden

1. a district of central London: famous for its former fruit, vegetable, and flower market, now a shopping precinct
2. the Royal Opera House (built 1858) in Covent Garden
References in classic literature ?
This market of Covent Garden was quite out of the creature's line of road, but it had the attraction for him which it has for the worst of the solitary members of the drunken tribe.
She had been to the gallery at Covent Garden, but she did not "attend" it, preferring the more expensive seats; still less did she love it.
We passed across Holborn, down Endell Street, and so through a zigzag of slums to Covent Garden Market.
Thus equipped, he was to saunter into the office, as some country fellow from Covent Garden market might be supposed to do for the gratification of his curiousity; and as he was as awkward, ungainly, and raw-boned a fellow as need be, Mr.
As the dawn was just breaking, he found himself close to Covent Garden.
The attorney betook himself to his drawing-room, the clerk to the Magpie and Stump, and Job to Covent Garden Market to spend the night in a vegetable basket.
It happened that while I was going along the street in Covent Garden, there was a great cry of
When I had none, I used to look at a venison shop in Fleet Street; or I have strolled, at such a time, as far as Covent Garden Market, and stared at the pineapples.
He says he takes Digby to be more knave than fool; and old Fluggers, who does the heavy business you know, HE says that when he delivered messages at Covent Garden the season before last, there used to be a pickpocket hovering about the coach- stand who had exactly the face of Digby; though, as he very properly says, Digby may not be the same, but only his brother, or some near relation.
Joseph, followed grinning, in the Collector's rear, and bearing two handsome nosegays of flowers, which the monster had actually had the gallantry to purchase in Covent Garden Market that morning--they were not as big as the haystacks which ladies carry about with them now-a-days, in cones of filigree paper; but the young women were delighted with the gift, as Joseph presented one to each, with an exceedingly solemn bow.
Estate agents Barnard Marcus said the three-bed flat in Covent Garden was one of the most expensive former council properties ever sold in central London despite not achieving its asking price of PS1.
29% of survey recipients highlighted Covent Garden as their favourite place to relax in the city.

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