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A look back at Royal Opera LIVE

Highlights and where to catch up if you missed an exclusive day of backstage broadcasting.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

9 January 2013 at 10.32am | 2 Comments

On 7 January, Royal Opera LIVE offered 10 hours of uninterrupted broadcasting from behind the scenes with The Royal Opera, providing an unprecedented insight into the workings of the Company.

The day saw cameras spread across the eight floors of the opera house, shadowing The Royal Opera through rehearsals, workshops and a model showing for upcoming productions.

The full day’s streaming can be seen for a limited time on demand at The Space.

Highlights included stage rehearsals for Kasper Holten's Royal Opera directorial debut of Eugene Onegin, chorus rehearsals for Nabucco, a fight workshop and vocal masterclass with the Jette Parker Young Artists, the model showing for John Fulljames's new production of La Donna del lago, the Minotaur Sitzprobe (the first rehearsal featuring both the Principal cast and the Orchestra), conductor Mark Elder's preparation for La bohème and exclusive interviews with key members of casts and creative teams. Mark Elder and Tony Pappano also gave masterclasses to singers on camera.

Watch Antonio Pappano's vocal masterclass:

Watch the stage rehearsal for The Minotaur:

A first for an opera company, the live stream was watched by viewers around the world, and featured comments and contributions from as far away as Mongolia, Korea, South Africa, Australia, the USA and Brazil.

Between the main features, presenter Kirsty Wark interviewed Director of Opera Kasper Holten and Music Director Antonio Pappano, as well as opera aficionados David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, and Michael Portillo, former Conservative minister who, united in their views on opera, commented respectively that "the great thing about opera is the storytelling – it is the ability to transcend where you’re from" and "the thing that is bewitching about opera is the totality of it".

The day culminated in a pre-recorded broadcast of Act III of Die Walküre. Filmed using 21 Big Brother-style cameras, the audience were able to choose between camera angles for a unique glimpse at goings on backstage.

We also invited members of the public to submit videos of themselves singing Va Pensiero, the famous Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Verdi’s Nabucco, and received a host of submissions from across the globe. A selection of the videos will be incorporated into a new work by composer Elspeth Brooke, which will premiere later this year.  Watch an edited compilation of entries:

Royal Opera Live is available to view on demand now at The Space until Thursday 10 January. Highlights will be available on YouTube after this date.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

9 January 2013 at 10.32am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged broadcast, by Kasper Holten, Daniele Abbado, Kasper Holten, Nabucco, Production, Royal Opera Live, The Guardian, The Space, Va Pensiero

This article has 2 comments

  1. Anne responded on 10 January 2013 at 9:30am Reply

    i was unable to watch the streaming live (partly because on Monday we came up London to attend David Butt Phillip's great lunchtime recital in the Crush Room at ROH!) Since then we have been trying to catch up with the On Demand stream. It seems such a pity that it will not be available at the weekend when most working people and youngsters would be able to watch. It has been fascinating to eavesdrop on the amazing and persistent attention to detail that goes on in the working sessions and putting "highlights" on Youtube later will be not the same. For many people and schoolchildren finding 10 hours to watch during the working week is difficult, surely something that does so much to illuminate the world of Opera should have been extended to at least part of the weekend.

  2. Antonia responded on 12 January 2013 at 4:49pm Reply

    I am kicking myself for missing both the Royal Opera live day *and* the 72 hour window when the full streaming was available (I knew about the live-stream but didn't realize it would still be available for a limited time after Monday). The highlights posted so far are wonderful and clearly lots of us are VERY grateful for these.

    It would be wonderful if many more portions of the day can gradually be made available in these bite-size chunks - it would make a phenomenal archive of information, and a brilliant way to involve people still further in what the ROH is up to. I would be particularly interested in more segments of vocal coaching, orchestral coaching, language coaching, etc. Fascinating stuff!

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