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Opera fans don’t need to be reminded of the role the ROH plays on the world scene, but outsiders might be surprised at how inviting and attractive its terrace and cafe are. The main house, which is shared by the equally prestigious Royal Opera and Royal Ballet, is supplemented with two smaller spaces for chamber opera and studio dance. Happily, 40% of the tickets cost £40 or less—if you move quickly—and surtitles appear on little screens or monitors. There are three daytime tours available, too: backstage; or workshops; or its 2,256-seat, horseshoe-shaped auditorium ([tel] 020/7304-4002; £9–12; sells out 2–3 months ahead, calendar online).