In the course of our hectic visit to Riga in March, we had a chance to tour around the backstage areas at Latvian National Opera. Like every opera house, it's a rabbit warren, full of things to interest the curious opera and ballet-goer. Here are some of the things that caught our eye: be sure to click on the double-headed arrow to see them at full size.

Photo shoot on the main stage ahead of <i>Swan Lake</i> © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Photo shoot on the main stage ahead of Swan Lake
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

A photography crew was in the house taking promo shots for a forthcoming Swan Lake, with fully lit scenery including projected flying swans.

Keeping stretched in the Dance studio © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Keeping stretched in the Dance studio
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

This ballet rehearsal space looked fabulous: check out the dancer stretched out in the left of the image, who seemed oblivious to our presence.

Ballet rehearsal space © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Ballet rehearsal space
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

Now that's what I call a barre. By the way, the skyline outside is actually behind the photographer: what you're looking at is a giant mirror the full size of the wall.

Dresses for the corps de ballet of <i>At the Blue Danube</i> © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Dresses for the corps de ballet of At the Blue Danube
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Costume for Franziska in the ballet <i>At the Blue Danube</i> © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Costume for Franziska in the ballet At the Blue Danube
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Costume © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Costume
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

The dance costumes are endlessly fascinating. What's particularly impressive is the quality of detail on the black lace in the second picture.

Woodworking tools © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Woodworking tools
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

The wood shop has plenty to excite any one-time woodworkers...

Paint shop © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Paint shop
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

...as, for that matter, does the array of spray cans. Banksy would have a field day...

Model of set by Andris Freibergs for the opera <i>I Played, I Danced</i> (première 26 Sep 2019) © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Model of set by Andris Freibergs for the opera I Played, I Danced (première 26 Sep 2019)
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

And here, is some of what they're making: a gorgeous scale model, about 50cm wide of the whole set of an opera.