ROH partners with Digital Theatre to distribute filmed shows

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The Royal Opera House and Digital Theatre have joined forces to distribute filmed performances of opera and ballet online.

Pre-recorded shows from the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet companies will be available from today via Digital Theatre’s online archive, which allows users to download films of productions.

A total of six productions will feature in the Royal Opera House Collection, including the Royal Ballet’s 75th anniversary production of Sylvia starring Darcey Bussell and Roberto Bolle, and the Royal Opera’s Eugene Onegin, which marked Kasper Holten’s directorial debut earlier this year.

The films can be accessed on all of Digital Theatre’s platforms including its apps for the iPhone, iPad and Samsung Smart TV as well as being available for streaming from the internet.

Alastair Roberts, managing director of ROH enterprises, said that the new partnership with Digital Theatre complemented the ROH's live broadcasts into cinemas, DVD sales and TV broadcasts.

He said: “This is a nice opportunity where we can take our work to new audiences and generate new income. There are some revenue streams that are under pressure – for example DVDs have for a long time been a major part of our audio visual activity and across the world the physical media industry is under pressure. Perhaps as DVD declines this [online digital distribution] will grow and pick up the slack.”

This is the first time that ballet performances will be included within Digital Theatre’s portfolio.

Tom Shaw, executive producer and co-founder of Digital Theatre, said the collaboration will help to widen access to people who would not normally be able to see ballet or opera.

He said: “There is a perception that there are economic barriers to opera and ballet as well as geographic ones. This new partnership means someone can access these shows online for between £5 and £10, which will give them a taste of what it’s like to be there.”