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12 Sep 2013

Royal Opera House Announces Digital Theatre

The Royal Opera House has its own DVD arm, Opus Arte, and is developing quite a global following with its cinema broadcasts.

Now a new initiative seems set to make their productions available on a wider basis. On 11 September it was announced that six Royal Opera House productions (four operas and two ballets) will be available on-line as part of Digital Theatre Collections. Digital Theatre ( is an on-line platform which offers good quality theatrical performances in a variety of digital formats, on-line streaming, download, iPhone apps, a dedicated channel on the YouView TalkTalk player and on desktop.

The first four operas available are David McVicar’s production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with Erwin Schrott and Miah Persson conducted by Antonio Pappano, John Copley’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme with Teodor Ilincai and Hibla Gerzmava, Kasper Holten’s 2013 production of Eugene Onegin with Krassimira Stoyanov and Simon Keenlysideand Richard Ayre’s production of Verdi’s La Traviata with Renee Fleming, Joseph Calleja and Thomas Hampson. The ballets are Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia to music by Delibes, with Darcey Bussll and Roberto Bolle, and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake with Thiago Soares and Marianela Nunez.

Further Royal Opera House productions are planned. The initiative is aimed developing Digital Theatre into a global arts and at the launch everyone was keen to point out that Digital Theatre’s platform gives people access regardless of social, economic or geographic factors. It is relatively affordable too, though if your internet connection is poor this means that your have to invest in the full download of the opera rather than just streaming it, which is cheaper. I had a trial of their on-line offering at the launch and was impressed with how easy it was to use.

Robert Hugill

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