Opening up the Royal Opera House.
The Royal Opera House (ROH) have recently embarked on an ambitious redevelopment project. Due to complete in 2018, the ‘Open Up Project’ involves the refurbishment of the main entrance and construction of new foyers and dining areas, as well as a program of events to occupy these spaces.
Through the Open Up Project, ROH aims for greater public engagement and new audiences. Their goal is to provide experiences that enrich, entertain, inform and inspire a range of visitors and audiences through its new spaces and services, and celebrate the theatre and its craft in every contact.
We were asked to design a programme to entice new audiences, specifically city dwelling young professionals termed ‘Experience Seekers’. This audience aims to make the most of city life and has a high appetite for social experiences.
With this in mind we designed OFFSTAGE, a service within the Open Up project that informs and inspires new audiences about opera, ballet and the Royal Opera House. Driving them to return for more ROH experiences and ultimately leading to the main auditorium experience.
On the last Friday of the month, OFFSTAGE serves as a main platform where the new spaces, digital facilities and the attendees of main auditorium become unique touch points for new audiences.
Our research lead us to examine the ‘Lates’ phenomenon successfully adopted by other cultural institutions to draw in just such an audience. We quickly realised this would be a fantastic opportunity for the ROH and accepted the challenge of designing around the Main Auditorium programme, so as not to corrupt the experience of premium paying customers.