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DateLecture
12 November 2019Christmas at Covent Garden
08 October 2019Tantrums and Tiaras
10 September 2019Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside
09 July 2019Painter of Sunlight: Joaquin Sorolla
11 June 2019Food and Art through the ages
14 May 2019The City of London and its Livery Companies
09 April 2019Timurid Carpets and the Workshop in Uzbekistan
12 March 2019Wind in the Willows through its illustrations
12 February 2019AGM followed by lecture The Queen of Instruments. The Lute with old masters' paintings
11 December 2018Christmas Customs and Traditions
13 November 2018The Hands of Leonardo da Vinci
09 October 2018The architecture of the British Raj is remarkable; let's celebrate it.
11 September 2018Les Parisiennes: how women lived, loved and died in Paris
10 July 2018Underground Cathedrals
12 June 2018Autioneer's Tales; twenty five years in the Art Market
08 May 2018Votes for women, art, suffragettes and female politicians
10 April 2018"O for the wings of a dove" . The life of a cathedral chorister.
13 March 2018Power Propaganda and Men in Tights: English Art under the Tudors
13 February 2018Posters of the Belle Epoque
12 December 2017Viva Las Vegas
14 November 2017Inspired by Stonehenge
10 October 2017The Horse in Modern Art from George Stubbs to Mark Wallinger
12 September 2017The Art of the Joke
11 July 2017Capability Brown and the English Landscape
14 March 2017The Fine Art of Crime: Art Theft and Repatriation
04 February 2017Three Great Families and their Gardens

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Christmas at Covent Garden Sarah Lenton Tuesday 12 November 2019

The London Christmas season was invented at Covent Garden. The first theatre on the site was the home of Harlequin and Columbine and 300 years on Harlequin and Columbine are still dancing in The Nutcracker. Most of what we now consider to be quintessential Pantomime – principal boy, fairy tales, transformation scenes and the dame, can be traced back to the operas and ballets put on at Covent Garden during its first 200 years.

Panto has moved on to the Palladium, but you can still see its basic components in the seasonal operas and ballets the Royal Opera House puts on every year: Rossini’s Cenerentola (Cinderella), for example, or Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty or Ashton’s Cinderella.

Sarah Lenton has spent her working life in the theatre, principally at the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne and English National Opera. She writes programme articles and websites, she gives lectures on the operas and ballets in the rep. and does live opera broadcasts and podcasts for BBC Radios 3 and 4. She has written and directed many shows, including more than 20 for the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio Theatre and for Glyndebourne Touring Opera. She is also a cartoonist.