Royal Opera House to feed cinemas

LONDON — Digital cinema outfit Arts Alliance Media is partnering with rights holder DigiScreen Corporation, consultancy the Pillar Group and Opus Arte, the Royal Opera House’s TV and DVD production company, to bring ballet, operas and dance to Euro cinemas.

Deal reps the first time cinemagoers have been offered ballet at their local hardtop.

Opera has already proved an alternative content hit in Euro theaters, partly as it allows folk to watch opera that are usually priced out of seeing the real thing live.

Under the deal, pre-recorded and live productions from London’s Royal Opera House and other international performing arts companies will be brought to theaters recorded in high-definition and projected in digital.

Digital cinemas in the U.K., Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and the Nordic countries are set to receive this alternative content fix under the deal.

In the U.K., the leading Odeon circuit and the upmarket Cityscreen Picturehouse chain have initially signed up to exhibit, with others set to join them shortly. Series kicks off with opera “Le nozze di figaro” on April 21 in 13 Odeon cinemas. First ballet to hit theaters is “Sylvia” on May 3 via Odeon.

“I am excited by this pioneering new direction for the Royal Opera House at the start of the 21st century,” commented Tony Hall, chief exec of the Royal Opera House and chairman of Opus Arte. “Being at the forefront of the burgeoning digital platform allows us to bring brilliant ballets and operas from the world renowned Royal Ballet and Royal Opera to cinema screens all over the globe.”

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