Tucked out of sight in the pit of Covent Garden, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House accompanies every world class performance presented on that stage. What does that glittering world look like from down there? Sarah Lenton, using a mixture of archive and new interviews with the musicians, follows the orchestra's fortunes from Handel's time to now.
We find out what it's like never to see a show, how to avoid flying daggers, why old London County Council drainpipes are indispensible to Tosca and where the brass players disappear to in very long breaks.
Supplementing the player's view of life is audio archive from the ROH and the BBC, including Thomas Beecham (who calmly extended one morning rehearsal to midnight,) Darcey Bussell, ("it is this battle between you" on the conductor versus the dancer,) and John Copley (on working on Tosca with Maria Callas.)
Producer: Philippa Ritchie.