Live opera and ballet shown in cinemas

Live opera and ballet will be shown in cinemas nationwide

Live ballet and opera performances are to be shown in cinemas across Britain from later this year for just £12 a ticket.

Live and recorded performances from Covent Garden are being brought to the masses in a bid to rid the ‘elitist’ image of those visiting the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet.

As many as 60 cinemas will feature the live performances after Covent Garden signed contracts with two cinema chains, Odeon – with 106 cinemas – and Cityscreen Picturehouse – with 16 cinemas.

Independent cinemas are also expected to sign the deal and separate deals have been struck to show productions in Europe and America.

The Royal Opera House intends to record 14 productions a year, promising the highest quality HD technology. The first will be a recording of The Marriage of Figaro, followed by the ballet, Sylvia, starring Darcey Bussell. Live transmissions will hit cinemas this autumn.

Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House said: ‘I think it’s going to be big. I want to get opera out there. For people who can’t come here it’s a good thing. They are paying their taxes (to us) in part.’

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