Tag Archives: Royal Opera House London

“Giselle” Live from the Royal Opera House

“Good evening everybody around the world.” It was the first time that I saw a production of the live cinema season 2015/16 of the Royal Opera House in London and I was thrilled. Only 22 visitors brought tickets for this cinema evening in Cassel (Germany) and it was a shame, because the show was fantastic! “Giselle” is a classic romantic ballet and most people know the story about the poor farmer’s girl Giselle, who is falling in love with duke Albrecht. He breaks her heart and in act two the Wilis, vengeful spirits of young brides who died before their wedding day, will try to dance Albrecht to death. But love wins in this powerful story! Peter Wright’s production for The Royal Ballet is based on Marius Petipa’s classic version, which was first staged in St. Petersburg in 1884. What makes a cinema screening of a production of a world famous dance company so special is the technical realization. “Giselle” was directed for the cinema by Ross Macgibbson in an excellent way. I don’t know how many cameras they use, but you can see every single detail on an 18 x 10 meters screen in a multiplex cinema. In fact you can see the facial expressions and the technical work of the dancers much better than form every seat in a performance theater. The price for this of course is that you miss the live atmosphere in an opera house. They try to compensate this with help of a live moderation from backstage before the show starts and with interviews in the intermission live from the foyer of the Royal Opera House. It is a good solution, because the moderator speaks live to the audiences in the cinemas around the world (in this case about 1500 cinemas). In addition they show the visitors in the cinemas produced short films with impressions of the rehearsals. That way one can really learn a lot about the creative process of the company. One other main thing that I missed was the total view of the stage. The cameras determine the point of view of the spectator. I see what the director wants me to see on the screen and I have no chance to focus on a ballerina in the corps de ballet only, like I could in the theater, if I wanted. I talked to a German technical employee in the cinema afterwards and he gave me some more information’s. They hardly have any technical problems with the live screenings any more, but there are only a very few shows that sell very well however. The Rocky Horror Show was a success and the screenings of the concert screenings of the Berliner Philharmoniker do very well. Besides the cinemas have similar problems just as the theaters. People like to stay at home these days and most of them have a huge TV screen anyway. We need to change that again people. It really makes a difference! I switch of my mobile phone, when I go to the theater or the cinema. I spent my time and concentration to enjoy a show with a friend. It’s a special evening and I am full of ideas and thankful afterwards. A TV never made me happy that way and I doubt anyone would disagree with me! What do you think? Share your thoughts about this question and live cinema screenings with me! Leave a comment!