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Culture

Rolex and the Arts

By Lisa Annor

Rolex has cemented itself in history as one of the world’s premiere luxury watch brands.  For over 100 years it has served as a symbol of achievement and innovation while striving to make the inconceivable conceivable with its timepieces.  

Inherent in its fabric as a brand is exemplary performance, quality and prestige.  Fittingly, its ethos for individual excellence has informed its proud sponsorship of the arts from the Royal Opera House to the prestigious Teatro alla Scala.  Since 2002, it has also helmed the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative giving emerging artists the opportunity to be mentored by artistic heavyweights in dance, film, literature, music, theater, visual arts and architecture.  

Along the thoroughfare of Bow Street in central London, the world-famous Royal Opera House stands as an exquisite reminder of the artful operatic, ballet and orchestral masterpieces performed through three centuries.  Its dramatic history includes three theaters born to the site with the first two being ravaged by fire and the current built against a surviving 19th Century façade.  In its yesteryears, it thrived as a playhouse and was once requisitioned as a dance hall, but now the beautifully reconstructed space serves as home to the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet.  

The Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera is in the top echelon amongst its peers.  A repertoire of brilliantly performed traditional and contemporary compositions coupled with performances alongside preeminent singers including Plácido Domingo, Renee Fleming, Joan Sutherland and the great Luciano Pavarotti have propelled the Royal Opera to great heights.  The Royal Ballet is Britain’s largest ballet company.  It has stood as the resident face of ballet at the Royal Opera House since 1946.  Its execution of heralded performances such as Sleeping Beauty and the award-winning Chroma have garnered it international acclaim and prestige.  The premier status of the Royal Opera as well as the Royal Ballet only amplify the Royal Opera Houses’ distinction as a cultural destination in London.

La Scala

The enchanting Teatro alla Scala or La Scala has been a romantic fixture in the world of opera since the late 18th century.  Situated in Milan, Italy near the Piazza del Duomo, the neoclassic architectural icon is at the pinnacle of prestigious opera houses.  The near mention of ‘opera’ conjures up this highly regarded powerhouse.  Its contemporaries could hardly eclipse its rich history as it is the home of greats Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi.  It is here at La Scala that only the world’s best theater companies perform under the sumptuous interior of lavished silks, gilded stucco, fluted columns and exceptional acoustics.

Mentorship

The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative is an exceptional philanthropic endeavor that seeks to create a platform for the exchange of ideas between the brightest of burgeoning talent and the greatest masters in the world of arts and architecture.  In the tradition of Rolex supporting individual excellence, outstanding protégés are granted one year of unprecedented personal access to mavericks for the time-honored tradition of mentoring.  The program aids these talents in establishing their own voice within their craft, thus one day affirming their own place in history.  

History is where experience and time converge.  Through the years, Rolex has leveraged its own experiences to create one of the most revered luxury brands in the world.  It associates itself with those who mirror its guiding principles of pursuing individual excellence and exceptional performance.  In the world of Rolex, greatness understands greatness.  

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