We opted to do the back stage tour of the opera house. This means you have to be at the stage door entrance at 6:45 sharp. If you are late, you miss the tour. We were shown through the entire building. The set storage areas [which are VERY crammed in]. Photography in those areas was not allowed due to artistic copyright. The massive lift system used to elevate sets onto the stage, the stage itself and the orchestra pit [which showed how the conductor has to view 2 worlds (the stage and the orchestra at the same time]. We were also told why there was a safety net over the orchestra pit. Apparently it stemmed from a production of Boris Gudenof which included live chickens. One night one chicken fell of the stage into the lap of the 2nd violinist. He threw it back onto the stage but this spooked the other chickens which decided to escape into the audience. Chickens were not used again after that...
Then we were shown the orchestra hall, from the stage, the flight tower where scenery is held in suspense over the actors' heads, the green room [which is not green], etc. The tour lasted about 2 hours and finished with a hearty breakfast.
Overall very recommended.
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