Opera Comique

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This article is about the London opera house. For the Paris opera house associated with the premieres of operettas by Berlioz and Debussy, see Opéra-Comique.

The Opera Comique was a 19th-century opera house located in London, on the Strand. It opened in 1871 and was demolished in 1899.

The principal front of the "Opera Comique" is in the Strand, and observant passengers who know the narrowness of the area between the Strand and Holywell Street will find it difficult to imagine how, even in London, where now-a-days theatres are edged in among houses anyhow, an "Opera Comique" can have been formed there. This frontage, however, is, in truth, nothing but the entrance to a passage which leads across Holywell Street to a theatre that has been built between that and Wych Street. The building, which is, very small, backs on the "Globe" [not Shakespeare's Globe, which was demolished in 1644, but a different theatre entirely –Ed.], and is to a considerable extent underground, as will be understood when we mention that a long flight of stairs in Wych Street leads down to the stage level, and that the pit, of course, is lower than that again. The theatre was opened in 1870, and has seen several changes of lessees. It is nicely decorated, and commodiously arranged. Its greatest prosperity has been in the production of those comic operas with which the names of Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan are popularly associated, notably "H. M. S. Pinafore" and "The Pirates of Penzance".
Excerpt from Old And New London, 1897, as quoted in [1] (http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/OperaComique.htm)

The Opera Comique saw the premieres of not only HMS Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance, but also The Sorcerer and Patience.

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