London's premier opera house and home of the Royal Ballet since 1946. It opened in 1732 as a dramatic theatre but was destroyed by fire in 1809 and rebuilt the following year. It became the Royal Italian Opera in 1847 but was again destroyed by fire in 1856. The present opera house was rebuilt in 1858. In 1946, after the Second World War, it became the permanent home of the Royal Opera (then known as the Covent Garden Opera) and the Royal Ballet which, as the Sadler's Wells Ballet, transferred to Covent Garden from its home at Sadler's Wells. In 1997 the Royal Opera House closed for a two-year redevelopment, forcing the Royal Ballet and Opera to tour during the closure period. It reopened in December 1999.