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Royal Opera House Acquires Opus Arte

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The Royal Opera House has announced that it has acquired Opus Arte UK Ltd, which produces high-end classical music and dance DVD's. (ex: Jewels, the Kupfer/deBilly Ring of the Nibelungen from the Liceu).

From the press release:

Ownership of Opus Arte enables the Royal Opera House to capture and disseminate the work of The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet more widely than ever before; allows, for the first time, easy and affordable international access to Royal Opera House productions and those of other performing companies; provides the Royal Opera House with the skills and capabilities, content and platform for wider industry collaboration, and the creation of a revenue stream through the sales of DVDs, broadcast, theatrical release in cinemas, Video-on-Demand, Pay-per-View and other forms of developing digital media.

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Ownership of Opus Arte enables the Royal Opera House to capture and disseminate the work of The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet more widely than ever before; allows, for the first time, easy and affordable international access to Royal Opera House productions and those of other performing companies ...

Where Paris and the Met have led, the Royal is indeed not far behind. Good for them.

Any chance for the NYCB to enter the 21st century in this kind of endeavor as well? It has the potential to become a world brand just like the others. ... I think.

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I'm not sure that I get this: does this mean that Opus Arte will now release only ROH productions?

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ROH hasn't announced whether it will continue to produce productions outside the House. From what I've been reading, ROH has permanent cameras in the house, to which they add cameras when they are filming for DVD.

It would have been more interesting, in my opinion, if Opus Arte had become a joint venture among the leading opera/ballet houses in Europe. It would have been great to get yearly productions from ROH, Paris Opera, Det Kongelige Teater, La Scala, etc.

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That is what's slightly worrying: while this deal is good, good news (:() for ROH fans, it would be a shame if other companies lost out due to this deal. For example, the only commercially available recording (as far as I know) of Balanchine's Midsummer Night's Dream is on Opus Arte, as well as recordings by the Royal Swedish and Dutch National Ballets. Well, we shall see...

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The PNB A Midsummer Night's Dream video was filmed at Sadler's Wells. I wonder if ROH will produce videos of companies that perform at the Opera House. It would be good business for them to have the incentive to be able to offer to film visiting companies if they perform at the Royal Opera House, where the cameras are set up. Also, once they get the camera angles and lighting down in one venue, the overall quality of the videos should improve with experience.

Another option is to film elsewhere in London, but give a better deal to ROH visitors as incentive.

These are guesses, since none of the details have been announced.

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I've long been sorry that there haven't been more Royal Ballet releases on Opus Arte. I had hoped that Opus Arte would release the RB's telecasts of La Fille mal gardée and Sylvia, but they never materialized. Now perhaps they finally will.

On the other hand, I don't like the idea of any opera house monopolizing a DVD label. I can't imagine the Royal Opera House being eager to release rival productions that could potentially outsell its own. A monopoly like that wouldn't really affect the Paris Opera or La Scala, since they release most of their productions through TDK anyway. But what about other houses? At this point the Royal Danish Ballet and the German companies are largely shut out of the DVD market, and I don't think this acquisition will help them any. On the operatic side, Opus Arte has released many productions from De Nederlandse Opera and Spanish houses. Will this continue?

At present the Opus Arte catalogue of dance productions is tiny: only 19 DVDs, including six slightly older telecasts from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, most of are available in North America from Kultur, and several modern dance performances. Clearly there's lots of room for expansion.

Does anyone know which company will be releasing the POB's Giselle filmed last December? I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that the POB had released its Swan Lake through Opus Arte because the TDK catalogue already included La Scala's Bourmeister version. Since TDK has released La Scala's Giselle, was the POB looking to release its version through Opus Arte also? I'm wondering because one of the glaring absences on the video market is a Royal Ballet Giselle.

It'll be interesting to see whether Opus Arte decides to release multiple versions of ballets. Its opera catalogue includes multiple Don Giovannis, Aidas and Ring Cycles, and its ballet catalogue includes two Swan Lakes, but apart from Kultur, most DVD companies seem reluctant to offer consumers more than one production of any given ballet.

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I've long been sorry that there haven't been more Royal Ballet releases on Opus Arte. I had hoped that Opus Arte would release the RB's telecasts of La Fille mal gardée and Sylvia, but they never materialized. Now perhaps they finally will.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one frustrated by this. You would think that if they have gone to the effort of filming a ballet and screening it on television, then why don't they release it on dvd?

For a while I had both Sylvia and La Fille on the media centre hard drive, but then my other half made it go bang very loudly, and we had to get a new one :angel_not:

I listen to the music in the car, and aside from a few snippets, I haven't been able to watch it :)

Please, Opus Arte/RB, release them :beg:

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Does anyone know which company will be releasing the POB's Giselle filmed last December? I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that the POB had released its Swan Lake through Opus Arte because the TDK catalogue already included La Scala's Bourmeister version. Since TDK has released La Scala's Giselle, was the POB looking to release its version through Opus Arte also? I'm wondering because one of the glaring absences on the video market is a Royal Ballet Giselle.
Interesting question. Anyone have an answer or thoughts?

It seems like ballet companies are begininng to see the dvd-ing as an opportunity to gain new audiences, rather than as competition with their live performances. Good for them. Good for us.

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This has probably been in the pipeline for some time, but Opus Arte's next dance DVD will be a POB performance of Songe de Médée and MC14/22. Of course, I wouldn't exactly describe Angelin Preljocaj's works as ballet, but this release would give the Royal Ballet and the POB three DVDs each in the Opus Arte catalogue. If the acquisition of Opus Arte is supposed to enable "the Royal Opera House to capture and disseminate the work of The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet more widely than ever before," I'd suggest they step on it and get those promised RB DVDs to market.

http://www.opusarte.com/pages/product.asp?ProductID=207

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