Our History

Bombay was in its glory days in the 1900's, and its peak of social, artistic and cultural dynamism. An integral part of this movement was the Royal Opera House Mumbai, first inaugurated by King George V in 1911. It still holds relevance and reverence in the cultural fabric of contemporary Mumbai and is in fact India's only surviving opera house till date.

The Royal Opera House, Mumbai is widely touted as the city's Cultural Crown Jewel and India's only surviving Opera House. The original idea for the space was conceived of in 1908 by Maurice Bandmann, a famous entertainer from Calcutta, and Jehangir Framji Karaka, who headed a coal brokers' firm.

This Baroque edifice was inaugurated in 1911 by King George V, and eventually completed in 1916. The design incorporated a blend of European and Indian detailing. Twenty-six rows of boxes behind the stalls were put up for the best view of the stage. The ceiling was constructed to enable even those in the gallery to hear every word uttered by the performers.

By 1917, the Opera House, like many other theatres, became in part a cinema. In 1925 it ceased to be a dramatic theatre when British Pathe rented it for screening their films. Among leading musicians and actors who performed at the theatre were Bal Gandharva, Krishna Master, Bapu Pendharkar, Master Dinanath, Jyotsna Bhole, Londhe, Patwardhan buwa, and Prithviraj Kapoor.

In 1935 Ideal Pictures Ltd. acquired the theatre and completely renovated it in the following year, including new flooring, tiles, doors, window frames and coloured cements. By 1980, video films adversely impacted the popularity of cinema and a number of theatres were closed by the 1990s.

The Maharaja of Gondal, Shri Vikramsinhji, bought the Opera House in 1952. His son, Shri Jyotendrasinhji, commissioned its restoration in 2010 under the leadership of conservation architect, Abha Narain Lambah. The Royal Opera House Mumbai was included on the 2012 World Monuments Watch to raise awareness about its history and significance, and support preservation efforts.

Salient Features

  • Total Seating Capacity: 575 over 3 levels (Royal Stalls, Dress Circle & Grand Balcony)
  • Sunken Orchestra Pit
  • Co-axial Ceiling Speaker System for Foyer, Ticket Lobby & Common Areas
  • Sound Systems from Soundcraft, Crown, JBL, dbx by Harman, AKG
  • High Quality Monitor Speaker for Green Room and Backstage
  • Four Zone Volume Controller Panel
  • Jazz Bar, AL Fresco Restaurant, Wine & Cheese bar and All Day Cafe in the premises

Seating Layout

Royal Stalls
Seating Capacity: 242 Seats
  • Lower level - 232 seats
  • Box seating - 10 seats
  • Good Vision seats - 202 seats
  • Obstructed Vision - 40 seats
Dress Circle
Seating Capacity: 172 Seats
  • Good Vision seats - 140 seats
  • Obstructed Vision - 32 seats
  • On 1st Floor - 37 steps (no elevator available)
  • People with health issues and difficulty with climbing stairs are requested to purchase Royal Stalls (ground level) Tickets
Grand Balcony
Grand Balcony
Seating Capacity: 161 Seats
  • Good Vision seats - 68 seats
  • Obstructed Vision - 92 seats
  • On 2nd Floor - 78 steps (no elevator available)
  • People with health issues and difficulty with climbing stairs are requested to purchase Royal Stalls (ground level) Tickets