Written by: Colin Anderson
“10 productions, 40 countries, over 1000 cinemas”.
17 September 2013 – The May Fair Hotel, Stratton Street, London W1
We gathered at the above address for a reception to launch “Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season 2013/14”. Chatting, drinking and eating canapés was part of the fun. Sir Antonio Pappano (Music Director, Royal Opera House) made a welcoming speech; and, as he said, there is nothing to match being in the theatre itself. In a nutshell, one can hear everything naturally and look at whatever you wish. In the cinema the eye is at the dictate of the director but compensations include close-ups of the singers and their facial expressions. However, live relays to movie-houses are a terrific option for those many miles away or on a budget.
This season’s ROH Cinema fare consists of ten events, five operas and five ballets – an even-handed fest of music-drama and terpsichorean twists that travels globally to anyone keen on these art forms, or who is curious about them and wants to dip in the water. All you need to be is near a participating cinema. Turandot opened the season and had its “one night only” showing as part of this launch evening, live from just a few miles away. (Hopefully, this Hotel cinema’s very loud and edgy sound that reported one of Puccini’s masterpieces is not typical of the other 999 outlets!) Certainly original director Andrei Serban’s spectacular setting came alive on the big screen, the viewer made part of the action; not better just different to the in-House experience and a cost-effective way of keeping up with Royal Opera’s enterprising productions.
The remaining nine productions are as follows (there is of course much more happening in the Royal Opera House itself), beginning – strictly alphabetically – with Ballet:
Wherever you may be in the World on these dates, be it song or dance (Sicilian Vespers is both), have a great time.