The Royal Opera House has bought Opus Arte UK Ltd for £5.7 million, marking the first time an opera house has acquired its own DVD production and distribution arm.
Ownership of the company will allow ROH to record and disseminate the work of the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet more widely and establish a new revenue stream through DVD, broadcast, film and digital media sales.
The acquisition was funded through the use of a special fund of accumulated reserves held by ROH trustees for the purpose of capital and infrastructure projects.
It will be managed at arm’s length by a new board that includes ROH chief executive Tony Hall.
Announcing the acquisition, Hall said: “In acquiring Opus Arte, we have achieved a multiple win. We have over 40 wonderful recordings of productions by the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet available for distribution, and Opus Arte has a catalogue of some 140 titles. This gives us a substantial entry into the global DVD and digital market place.
“As a significant part of our digital strategy, it also hugely increases what we have to offer our audiences both in and beyond the opera house, with new material for our website, and for education purposes. Opus Arte also possesses enviable production and post-production skills that would prove a significant accelerator for our own big digital ambitions.”