Yesterday, we went on a fantastic adventure! We went to Central London to step into the world of 'Kaspar Prince of Cats'.
First, on our arrival in Central London, we walked around Covent Garden Market. We imagined Johnny walking through the market with Countess Kandinsky and looked for clues about the original use of the market:
Next, we arrived at the spectacular Royal Opera House. We were met by David who kindly looked after us for the morning.
We were incredibly lucky to be shown around behind the scenes at the Royal Opera House. We saw the technical areas on the side of the stage, which was a huge space with sets and scenery ready to go on stage for the upcoming performance of an opera called 'La Traviata'.
We were even greeted by one of the opera singers, in full costume!
Following that, we went upstairs and had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch part of a class in which the men of the ballet company were rehearsing. We were all astonished by the dancing we saw and were particularly impressed by their wonderful pirouetting. The class was held in a beautiful light room, with a sprung dance floor and a pianist was playing the music for them. David told us about the incredible commitment and hard work that goes into becoming a world class dancer and we were able to ask him lots of questions. We saw dancers from countries all around the world, including the world famous Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta! Wow!
After that wonderful experience, we were able to peek into the studios of the costume department, where they were hard at work making some of the beautiful costumes for the ballet dancers and opera singers.
Next, we walked through some of the areas that guests to the Royal Opera House would visit. We arrived at the famous Floral Hall. David told us that the Floral Hall had that name because it used to house the Covent Garden flower market, where Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist met the Artful Dodger!
We visited The Crush Room next to the auditorium and admired the beautiful chandeliers and fancy decoration. We imagined Countess Kandinsky in this very grand room and wondered whether her home might have had similar decoration!
During a break in the day's rehearsals, David was able to quickly take us into the auditorium to sit in the best seats in the house! This was where Countess Kandinsky found a seat for Johnny to watch her sing in 'The Magic Flute'.
We were able to see the team changing the sets on the stage and we saw where the Queen sat when she recently attended the opera!
After saying goodbye and thank you to David, we were off to the next stage of our adventure! We walked to Victoria Embankment Gardens, where Johnny used to take Kaspar for his daily walks.
Next, we went to the very smart restaurant 'Simpsons on the Strand' and sat in a lovely room upstairs, while we waited to meet our next guide, Dustin.
Dustin arrived and told us about the Savoy's relationship with Kaspar. He told us about the real Kaspar the cat, who had inspired Michael Morpurgo's story. We found out that Kaspar was a cat who lived in the Savoy, then a statue was crafted to remember him, over 100 years ago. Today, if 13 people come to eat at the Savoy, Kaspar joins them as the 14th guest. The statue is brought to the table and a napkin is wrapped around him, then he is served the same food as all of the other guests!
Finally, we split into groups of 10 and Dustin took us into the Savoy! We saw the marvellous front entrance, met a very kind doorman and then entered the beautiful front hall.
The front hall was very beautiful. Dustin told us that it has not changed much in the last 100 years, so would have looked similar when Johnny was working there!
We were all delighted to meet Kaspar! We could look at the statue, but we could not touch him because he is over 100 years old and made from one piece of wood!
What a wonderful day! I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did! What was your highlight of the day?