Performing Arts

It boasts of world-class theaters, opera and ballet, orchestras, music festivals, and church concerts. The London performing arts are truly the ones to beat. London is a center of cultural entertainment.

Theaters

London holds the distinction as the world’s most important theater city, with New York as its only real competition. Fringe theaters and tricycle-theaterthe West End combine to produce around 600 new productions every year. Favorite venues include the Tricycle Theater, the Donmar Warehouse, and the Bush Theatre.

The intimate Tricycle Theatre is well-known for raising some questions about humanity, while the Donmar Warehouse stages revolutionary new productions. The Bush Theatre is one of the city’s most consistently appealing fringe theaters;

Opera and ballet
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Opera and ballet companies in the city survive on small funds, but they still manage top-class productions. The best operas are performed in the Royal Opera House. Great performances plus breathtaking architecture equals an unforgettable opera experience. The premier dance venue in London is Sadler’s Wells. It hosts contemporary dance and ballet performances, as well as major theatrical works.

Orchestras

Your experience of London performing arts will not be complete without hearing the city’s wealth of classical London music. With chilling orchestras and numerous choral and chamber ensembles,

London is the perfect place to fine tune your ears. Kensington’s Royal Albert Hall is where the famous “proms” happen – the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts. The city’s top-class orchestras also perform at the Barbican Centre and the Royal Festival Hall.

Music festivals
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London has cutting-edge world-music festivals. The Royal Festival Hall is home to the Meltdown festival that happens every August. The repertoire at the Barbican Centre ranges from world music, pop, and rock to experimental and electronic music events. The annual Bite festival features multimedia artists like Cirque Eloize, Sasha Waltz, and Laurie Anderson.

Church concerts
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The city has a very strong tradition of church concerts. St. Paul’s Cathedral is known for organ recitals and choir, while St. John’s Smith Square and St. Martin-in-the-Fields offer full classical music programs all year round. The richly ornate Wigmore Hall is host to outstanding chamber groups. The lunchtime concert season at Banqueting House is certainly worth checking out.

For an overview of London performing arts, check Time Out, a weekly magazine available at most newsstands.