Dots Day was filled to the brim with interactive activities, shows and performances especially curated for under 5s and their accompanying adults. The afternoon proved a fabulous way to introduce our young one to classical music, dance and the wonderful institution that is the Royal Opera House.
First up we were greeted by Victorian characters as we entered the building, offering the children wildflowers in aid of British Flower week. Theyounglondoner’s mini editor was particularly enchanted by the flower lady with her long dress and peeked from behind his mummy, smiling and giggling coyly.
After we picked up our tickets and parked the pram in the downstairs designated area we were free to explore the building to our hearts desire.
Activities were dotted around the whole building with majestic rooms such as the Clore Studio and The Crush room entertaining tots with storytelling adventures and lullabies. We wandered into The Crush Room, a beautifully ornate red carpeted space with opulent chandeliers, and the performance was Snow Queen by The wheels on Debussy, a one-man show written and performed by the cellist and baritone, Matthew Sharp.
After the session, we had a little dress-up in the Dorfman Conservatory in which we tried on tutu’s (because life is always better in a tutu!) and after struttin our stuff in front of the mirror there was no doubt that we were ready for the interactive Ballet Dots dance workshop in the Linbury Theatre Foyer for families with toddlers. Moomie enjoyed twirling and piruoetting around the place and found a toddler friend with whom he shared giggles as they bounced off each other, tripped and fell on their bums and then laughed in utter delight at seeing the other one do the same.
We were also fascinated with the theatrical production Rise and Fall by Page One Theatre involving a lot of balloons (apparently the theme was holding on and letting go).
Up the stairs we go (for the umteenth time) and into Clore Studio for a chilled session of classical music lullabies. This one was for a younger audience and babies and crawlers enjoyed the sensory space but we didn’t last the entire session. The fascination with the harp and the opera singer melted away and excited took over so on we went to another session.
When you think of the Royal Opera House toddlers are not the first image that pops to mind. A singing soprano, a ballroom ballerina or a well dressed and better versed gentleman, (a Pavarotti-esque figure singing to a tuxed audience) these are all memories that Opera brought to the forefront of my mind. But after their Dots Day I have replaced these traditional images with more contemporary ones – tots toddling through the majestic building in Covent Garden, getting messy with chalk art installations and enjoying classical music, ballet and dance.
It was the best family friendly event that we have attended in a while and we’ve already booked in to their next family friendly Sunday.