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Thames & Hudson partners with The Royal Opera House for a behind-the-scenes look at the world-famous venue

Thames & Hudson has partnered with The Royal Opera House and Lauren O’Hara, illustrator of Sophie Dahl’s children’s book Madame Badobedah, to publish Curtain Up!: Behind the Scenes at the Royal Opera House. The concept for Curtain Up! was originated by Thames & Hudson to provide insight into the creation of some of the most iconic ballets and operas staged at the venue.

Lauren O’Hara has been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal twice and shortlisted for the Children’s Books Ireland Award twice. With her sister Natalia O’Hara as author, she illustrated Hortense and the Shadow, The Bandit Queen and Frindleswylde. Her collaboration with Sophie Dahl, Madame Badobedah, was a Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Year. Curtain Up! is her first book with Thames & Hudson.

Darcey Bussell, former principal ballerina of The Royal Ballet, said “There really is no other theatre like it! The Royal Opera House brings so many creative artists under one roof, working hard towards wonderful new productions and performances. When you step into the building, you step into a treasure trove of sights, sounds and senses, from the music of the orchestra, the sweat of the dancers to the heat from the lights on the stage. Lauren’s wonderful illustrations bring all this to life and bring back so many memories for me. This is your very own tour to see everything that goes on in every room of this exciting opera house. Enjoy every page!”

Anna Ridley, Commissioning & Managing Editor for Children’s Publishing at Thames & Hudson: “Curtain Up! reflects the unique partnership we enjoyed with The Royal Opera House, who were generous with their expertise and provided us with full access not only to the ROH building but also to staff in every department and to a wealth of archival material. Combined with Lauren's beautiful illustrations, the book is also a celebration of how the performing arts can inspire us creatively and make our lives richer.”

Jane Storie, Head of Enterprises at The Royal Opera House: “Curtain Up! offers readers around the world the opportunity to learn about the craft and magic that goes into making a production and ensuring the curtain goes up on time every night. We are delighted to collaborate again with Thames & Hudson and extend our heartfelt thanks to Lauren for her exquisite illustrations.”

Curtain Up! will be published in September 2022 and will be supported by an extensive promotional campaign. Thames & Hudson holds worldwide rights, with co-editions sold in Dutch, Greek, Italian and Korean. Rights in the illustrations were acquired by Anna Ridley from Angharad Kowal Stannus at Kowal Stannus Agency.

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