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Royal Opera House date for troops

12 January 10 15:08 GMT

The Royal Opera House has announced it is to stage a special free evening of opera and ballet for members of the armed forces.

The venue will be opened to veterans and serving soldiers in support of the new Tickets for Troops charity.

Actress Joanna Lumley will host the event on the 14 February, which will feature excerpts from opera La Boheme and a performance by the Royal Ballet.

Tony Hall, ROH chief executive, said he was "delighted" by the initiative.

The performance of La Boheme will feature internationally acclaimed opera singers Charles Castronovo and Ekaterina Siurina.

New audiences

It will be followed by the Tales of Beatrix Potter danced by The Royal Ballet.

Lumley said she was "thrilled and honoured" to be hosting the event.

Mr Hall added: "Opening our doors to new audiences, and families in particular, is very important for us.

"I'm delighted that we have this opportunity to show our appreciation to the troops in the British Armed Forces and give them the chance to bring their families to enjoy the magic and spectacle of this great building and the productions we put on."

Tickets For Troops is a charity set up to mark the contribution of those who have served or are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan by organising free tickets to big sporting and cultural events.

Lord Marland, chairman of Tickets For Troops, said: "This is a fantastic gesture by the Royal Opera House and the first of several exclusive events which we hope to stage on behalf of Tickets For Troops, which is now beginning to make a real difference to our Armed Forces."

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