This clip from The House, a 1995 BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary (not available in the ROH shop), is a glimpse into a troubled time in the Royal Opera House's history.
There are angry scenes outside the house as traditionalists protest at the premiere of Birtwistle's Gawain. A Magic Flute production imported from Scottish Opera fails to hit the spot (no surprise - it looks like a school play). The music director Bernard "maybe I'm too old-fashioned" Haitink whinges that if he doesn't understand the new Ring, the audience won't either. (Bernard's audience are the sort who applaud over the last bars of Meistersinger).
"Every rehearsal period is a battlefield between the musical and dramatic elements," concludes general director Nicholas Payne. "That's what opera's about".