The BBC is to double the amount of opera and ballet it screens from the Royal Opera House. The corporation today announced a new deal which will increase its commitment to opera and ballet from eight to 16 performances over the next four years.
The increased coverage for the arts comes during the process of BBC charter review due for completion in 2006. BBC bosses want to prove their commitment to public service broadcasting for the corporation-form.
Documentaries will also be made as part of the deal, including a BBC1 programme on the music director of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano, in the autumn.
Tony Hall, executive director of the Royal Opera House, said: "Through this new deal we can substantially increase the number of free Royal Opera and Royal Ballet performances available to television viewers and radio listeners."
Jana Bennett, BBC director of television, said: "I'm delighted that we are building on the partnership with the Royal Opera House, bringing great works to the public. The BBC will bring viewers an exciting range of both original works and traditional masterpieces."
BBC Radio 3 will also increase its broadcasts from the ROH to 12 a year.
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