Accessibility links


Sign In
  • Home
  • News
  • Your reaction: Don Quixote in cinemas

Your reaction: Don Quixote in cinemas

What did you think of the live relay of Carlos Acosta's new Royal Ballet production?

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

16 October 2013 at 10.37pm | 98 Comments

What did you think of Don Quixote in cinemas?

The next live relay of the 2013/14 Royal Opera House Cinema Season will be The Royal Opera's new production of Les Vepres siciliennes, which will be screened around the world on 4 November 2013. Find your nearest cinema.

The Royal Opera House Cinema Season is supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

16 October 2013 at 10.37pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged by Carlos Acosta, Carlos Acosta, cinema, Don Quixote, Elizabeth Harrod, Marianela Nuñez, Production, review, Social Media, twitter

This article has 98 comments

  1. Chris Stevens responded on 16 October 2013 at 10:53pm Reply

    Breathtaking,beguiling, bewitching. Totally overwhelming!

  2. Lucy McCaul responded on 16 October 2013 at 10:54pm Reply

    Thrilling, moving, utterly charming. Thank you so much for a wonderful evening.

  3. Lynn responded on 16 October 2013 at 11:03pm Reply

    Just come back from the cinema with 3 friends - we loved it from start to finish.

  4. genia browning responded on 16 October 2013 at 11:09pm Reply

    I've come out dancing. I was at the Gala Premiere performance which was enjoyable, but I thought tonights was more relaxed and had more verve, especially Marinella who was superb. Carlos Acosta's sense of fun seems to permeate the whole cast and production. Excellent dancing from all those featured, and Acosta continues to deliver the beauty of the line; each movement always followed through - an inspiration. Thank you.

  5. De Brive, Sud-Ouest de la France, un enchantement
    tonique, coloré, joyeux, endiablé qui a ravi les spectateurs . Merci à Carlos pour cette chorégraphie rajeunie et pour sa prestation éblouissante comme celle de sa brillante complice Marianela . Etourdissant ballet des Gipsys . Bravo

  6. Mrs T responded on 16 October 2013 at 11:11pm Reply

    Just for back from watching Don Q at the cinema. This is probably the best ballet I have ever seen :-). My cheeks are aching from smiling the whole way through. It was great to watch a ballet where nobody dies, gets jilted, commits suicide, etc......just pure joyful dancing from the BEST company in the world. Amazing xx

  7. jojo responded on 16 October 2013 at 11:12pm Reply

    Outstanding performance. I wanted to remain in my seat and watch it all over again.Stall seats at an affordable price- what a treat after years of top tier in theatres. Cast managed to project exuberance and joy from the screen into the cinema. Shame there were only 15 people in a large Dudley cinema to experience it. More publicity needed or cinemas might withdraw support! I only found out when I unsuccessfully tried to book tickets for live performance in London.

  8. Anne-Marie Dufranne responded on 16 October 2013 at 11:16pm Reply

    It was just outstanding!!!! Colorful,marvelous costumes,fresh and modern realization.
    I have no words to say how much I like it.

  9. Cathy responded on 16 October 2013 at 11:19pm Reply

    What a fabulous production of Don Quijote. Carlos outstanding and Nunoz just amazing.

  10. lynne brown responded on 16 October 2013 at 11:26pm Reply

    Oh it was superb. Colour, energy and super dancing less of the English style due to the new choreography. Carlos and Marienela were fantastic. Carlos is so laid back but wonderful. The set was wonderful too .loved it

  11. Nicky responded on 16 October 2013 at 11:31pm Reply

    A wonderful evening seeing top class Ballet without a long train journey. Sublime, smooth, flowing, fluid dance with the most amazing sets, lighting, music, costumes and, of course, Carlos's beautiful choreography! Congratulations to everyone involved and a huge Thank You...I would never be able to see this sort of entertainment if it hadn't been screened in my home town. Plus, of course, the added bonus of seeing so much more than if I was in the audience in ROH :-) More please!!

  12. Phil Cole responded on 16 October 2013 at 11:33pm Reply

    Fantastic performance. Truly inspirational. As a ballet virgin I have to say I'm totally hooked. My wife and I watched from The Luxe cinema in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire and enjoyed a marvelous evening in a packed auditorium. These live feeds open up so much to the country (and the world) that many of us would, ordinarily, have not had access to, or indeed the inclination to attend. Well done to all.

  13. Polly responded on 16 October 2013 at 11:39pm Reply

    Tonights performance was totally amazing. Carlos Acostas' production was inspired. It was a joy to watch.

  14. I'm still on a high, it was so full of energy and the choreography, scenery, dancing, everything was superb. Can't find words to describe the amazing talent of Marianela and Carlos. Well done to everyone involved.

  15. mary responded on 17 October 2013 at 12:01am Reply

    Stunning production, Carlos Acosta's choreography amazing...............more please

  16. Chris responded on 17 October 2013 at 12:07am Reply

    The production was wonderful.The Ballet just superb . Fantastic chance to see it at the cinema in Esher.

  17. Stuart Dixon responded on 17 October 2013 at 12:08am Reply

    Wonderful performance, particularly Marianela and Carlos. I do go to the ROH regularly but it would be nice if some of the "lesser" roles could have the dancer name attributed to it on the cast list that is given out. There were some terrific performances tonight for example from Choe and Stix but they were not given a mention at all. Great idea spreading the gospel.

  18. mary responded on 17 October 2013 at 12:10am Reply

    Best production............Acosta is amazing

  19. Alyson Herbert responded on 17 October 2013 at 12:23am Reply

    Absolutely outstanding production. Nunez is superb, the best Kitri I've seen. The choreography was brilliant, too. Lots of new ideas without losing the best of the old. And the oddity of applauding in the cinema wore off by Act 3! From Braintree, Essex.

  20. The Riley Family responded on 17 October 2013 at 12:46am Reply

    Don Q at Manchester Cinema - WOW ! Simply wonderful. Took our breath away so many times. Please let Carlos Acosta Produce & Choreograph more Ballets. Waited years for something to top the Bolshoi's Spartacus. This came very close. The Dancers appeared to enjoy themselves so much, you could feel they gave something extra in everything they did. We left smiling as much as Marianela did during her wonderful performance. Well done Carlos. One downside - not advertised enough locally so turnout was low. - The Riley Family

    • Barry Bernstein responded on 18 October 2013 at 3:29pm

      Four of us went to the Odeon in Barnet in North London and we all said that this was the finest ballet experience we have ever had and this includes me who saw the Bolshoi's production of Spartacus a number of years ago..
      Everybody on stage looked like they were enjoying themselves..The only downer was the reticence of the cinema audience. It does not stop me clapping or even the odd bravo. Maybe before the performance starts there should be an announcement " Turn off your phones,and feel free to applaud!! "

  21. Tânia Pinto responded on 17 October 2013 at 12:46am Reply

    It was great, great, great! I loved it! Marianela and Acosta are the best! Congratulations to all the artists! I can't sleep thinking on the show! Greeting from Oporto, Portugal!

  22. Val Aldous responded on 17 October 2013 at 12:52am Reply

    It was absolutely amazing, fabulous evening. Carlos and Marianela danced out of this world, and looked so happy and thrilled! Such a privilege to watch them live at the local cinema.

  23. Amazing Don Quixote ,Marianela Nunez and Carlos Acosta are the best dancers in the world! costumes set wonderful! Braviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  24. Paul Blackstock responded on 17 October 2013 at 2:17am Reply

    Seeing Don Quixote right now in Dallas, TX. FABULOUS production.

  25. Ann responded on 17 October 2013 at 4:37am Reply

    It was a wonderful 3 hours of dance. Loved the choreography. Marianela Nunez especially was sparkingly superb.

  26. Loved the broadcast. Grateful it was availed to us in Northern California where we don't have easy access to high quality professional ballet and opera. Thank you, thank you. It was fabulous. Loved the chemistry between Mr. Acosta and Ms. Nunez!

  27. B Shephard responded on 17 October 2013 at 8:26am Reply

    Breathtaking...absolutely amazing...Acosta and Nunez...they will live in my daydreams for a long, long time.

  28. Andy Law responded on 17 October 2013 at 8:46am Reply

    Cultural life is so important, and we are lucky to have to ROH and the work you do. Your cinema series allows a much greater exposure of it to those who may not easily be able to go to Covent Garden.

    I thought this was a bold production, and I liked it. The set design and lighting were very good, and Acosta & Nunez just looked so happy on stage; they were obviously enjoying it. I feel hesitant about the on-stage noise (clapping and music) but on reflection I think it worked for this production. Well done.
    A DVD release would be welcome please.

  29. nice the idea to go to the cinema to see it. I appreciate better colors and costumes. Nice choreo and cast. From Sona Italy.

  30. Richard Simon responded on 17 October 2013 at 9:23am Reply

    What an amazing evening, one of the very best I've ever seen, Nunez was spectacular and looked so happy throughout. Can't wait to see her again at the ROH.

  31. Glynis van Dijk responded on 17 October 2013 at 9:56am Reply

    A spectacular production - I am still on a 'high' after the the magical performances of Carlos & Marianela

  32. My party of 5 were in the Odeon, Swadlincote, Derbys, a grim former mining community. (Yes there are people who are obsessed with classical ballet living north of Kentish Town Tube Station!) We had the most amazingly joyful evening, loving every minute of this fantastic production lead by world class stars Carlos and Marianela. We enjoyed applauding with the rest of the audience and hope to attend all the other live streamed ballets in future. We thought we might possibly dress up in gala clothes another time, just to make the best of a glamorous evening. (One small technical hitch though: the picture was bigger than the screen, so we kept losing sight of the dancers from their ankles down.)

    • lynne brown responded on 17 October 2013 at 7:17pm

      Hi ask for a refund to see another ROH performance live . Love them

    • Hi Louise,

      The picture is transmitted in 16:9 aspect ratio - most cinema material is generally a bit wider (21:9 or so), so the cinema should have zoomed the picture out a bit to get all the height on the screen (this is the case with all of our relays). I'll pass this on to our cinema team to see if this can be sorted for the next one.


      Mark Thackeray
      Broadcast Engineer, Royal Opera House

  33. Absolutely loved it! Fantastic job from all concerned, the cinema presentation was excellent too. Watched and clapped from Germany

  34. Ken Freeman responded on 17 October 2013 at 11:35am Reply

    First time ballet viewer at Swindon cinema ; sometimes I had to pinch myself to remind me this was actually live SENSATIONAL !!!

  35. Jean Johnson responded on 17 October 2013 at 12:06pm Reply

    Wonderful Ballet last night. The sets, costumes music and the exuberance of the company, not to mention the wonderful performances of Acousta and Nunez. Truly outstanding and a wonderful evening. Hope Acousta does some more choreography.Thank You so much.

  36. ANNE responded on 17 October 2013 at 12:36pm Reply

    a most wonderful experience - we were spell bound by all the cast but especially Carlos and Marianela They were absolutely out of this world.
    We loved Don Quixote - he was perfectly cast - everyone else deserves mention and praise too.
    Thank you for the opportunity and here's to the next time. Thank you Carlos.

  37. Federica responded on 17 October 2013 at 12:42pm Reply

    Absolutely wonderful, vibrant production. Carlos and Marianela were super. Loved the Gypsy Camp and the Taverna – full of energy and passion.
    The cinema has its advantages, my highlight was to be able to see what was going on backstage – what an amazing perpective!

  38. Isabell responded on 17 October 2013 at 12:52pm Reply

    First time ballet viewer whilst on holiday in Florida & really appreciated the back stage information before each act. What a wonderful, wonderful production, in every way but the star for me was Marianela. unbelievable! What a pity there were only 5 people in the cinema.

  39. Val Plante responded on 17 October 2013 at 1:08pm Reply

    Our evening at the Assembly Rooms, Ludlow, had all the magic of the live performance, which was exhilarating, colouful and great fun, thanks to Carlos Acosta's superb production and choreography and perfect dancing partnership with Marienela Nunez. All the dancers were superb. A memorable occasion.

  40. P Tanner responded on 17 October 2013 at 1:12pm Reply

    Wonderful, colourful production with brilliant dancing by Carlos and the whole cast. Sadly, in the cinema version the spectacle of the set designs, the changing streets, a wonderful sunset, a moving windmill.... was largely obscured by excessive use of close ups of the dancing..

  41. Matthew responded on 17 October 2013 at 1:16pm Reply

    Another first time ballet viewer and another who loved it. The onscreen text last night mentioned highlights - will there be some of Espada? Amazing dancing.

  42. Anne responded on 17 October 2013 at 1:22pm Reply

    Not quite the same atmosphere as seeing it live, but was great to see the dancers close up rather than viewed from the amphitheatre. Marianela is so expressive!

  43. Camilla Forti responded on 17 October 2013 at 1:40pm Reply

    I've seen Don Q live and at the cinema last night. What I got from the cinema screening was being able to see the dancers' expressions and costumes so much more clearly. What great actors they are and how much detail there is in small expressive movements - even the wink of an eye. Sure the atmosphere in a cinema is different and it will never replace the live experience but it's an incredible bonus. Well done, not just to Carlos and Marianela (who were astonishing) but to the whole cast. A joy! Thank you.

  44. It was so so beautiful to watch!!!!!So beautiful dansers,costumes,colors,music!!!!Thank you for sharing with us that magical and amazing production!!!

  45. Sue Stuart-Scott responded on 17 October 2013 at 1:49pm Reply

    Last night's performance was just wonderful. Carlos bought light and laughter to the ballet without loosing the skill and definition of a classical ballet. Both he and Marianela were superb but the whole caste was alive and enjoying the performance.

  46. John Graham responded on 17 October 2013 at 4:07pm Reply

    I'm so delighted to have seen this wonderful live relay in Vue cinema, Carlisle last night. I attended the Gala Premiere on 30th September at the ROH, where there were a few 'first night glitches', which led to a some media critics' negative comments, but this performance was superlative - proving the critics to be over-critical!!

    Every performer deserves great praise, as do all the technical staff behind the scenes. Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nunez brimmed with enthusiasm which they conveyed to all the dancers and thereby to us, the audience. An unforgettable occasion. I return to see "Don Quixote" again next week with Kaneko & Soares as Kitri & Basilio on Friday evening, then my final viewing - very sadly! - of Carlos and Marianela on the Saturday evening.

    Finally, much praise to Ryoichi Hirano for an outstanding performance as Espada and to Melissa Hamilton as Queen of the Dryads.

    Please produce a DVD soon!! I wonder if you have an approximate figure at the ROH for the world-wide viewing figures last night? I contacted many friends abroad to spread the word of this great opportunity to see top world class ballet, and all are thrilled to have seen it. WE MUST SPREAD THE WORD!!!

    A sincere thanks to all concerned for an enthralling performance. This Don Quixote is here to stay!!

  47. Kate Aucott responded on 17 October 2013 at 4:09pm Reply

    Just want to add to comments - a brill production; ballet friends couldn't go so hubbie went instead - he was as enthralled as I was! Gasp after gasp at the sheer technical wizadry; brilliant imagery/intensity in dancing/ costumes/lighting/characterisations/scenery/orchestral performance - everything. An amazing evening - so glad to have been a part of it. Lovely to have behind scenes intro - felt so much more part of occasion. THANK YOU EVERYONE!

  48. p vernon responded on 17 October 2013 at 4:23pm Reply

    It was amazing and all in our local cinema down the road, we were all completely overcome, so much better than sitting in the gods as you can really appreciate the skill and drama - could you please try and do repeats in the afternoon sometimes so I can take my very elderly parent - 10 o'clock finish is too late.....

  49. Sylvia Brown responded on 17 October 2013 at 4:42pm Reply

    Wonderful production last night congratulations to everyone for making this production of Don Quixote so special.Please spread the word! It was fantastic to watch the performance in Wimbledon Odeon.Thank you

  50. miki responded on 17 October 2013 at 4:53pm Reply

    Carlos Acosta fiz otimo trabalho. Dom quixote dele é otimo na minha vida.
    Eu tava ficando com sorriso sem querer,pq Marianela e Carlos dancaram emocionalmente.
    Essa programa faz me muito feliz. Obrigada por tudos dancarinos e equipes.OBRIGADA do aqui no japao.

  51. C H responded on 17 October 2013 at 5:09pm Reply

    A wonderful production - vibrant, colourful, amazing choreography and of course the superb performances of Carlos and Marienela.

  52. glynnis wadham-smith responded on 17 October 2013 at 5:54pm Reply

    The most beautiful and stunning performance of ballet I have ever seen. Totally unforgettable

  53. Susie H responded on 17 October 2013 at 6:14pm Reply

    Watched at Esher Cinema, breath-taking from start to finish. Marienela's infectious smile had us grinning the whole way through. Congratulations to all involved in making a wonderful evening.

  54. alice responded on 17 October 2013 at 6:24pm Reply

    Carlos Acosta is an amazing talent. I would love to see more of him or his productions. Estupendo! Watched in cinema in Aarau, Switzerland.

  55. Helen responded on 17 October 2013 at 6:54pm Reply

    The Ballet was the best.The dancer were so amazing. got to see more.

  56. Hilary Kelly responded on 17 October 2013 at 7:03pm Reply

    What a wonderful evening. Absolutely fantastic ballet. The choreography was amazing and Marianela and Carlos were superb. The whole production was wonderful and being able to see it in our local cinema was great and felt as it we were there at Covent Garden. Thank you to all the brilliant dancers.

  57. Geoff Halfhide responded on 17 October 2013 at 7:39pm Reply

    I have admired Marianela as a dancer for many years but, last night, she was simply stunning; I have never seen her perform so spectacularly well. Carlos was as good as ever and the rest of the cast rose to the occasion too, to make it a wonderful performance; what a pity I could not have got down to London to watch it live. Carlos's choreography lifted a number of the scenes to new heights and made the whole ballet enjoyably watchable throughout (not so sure about some of the comedy bits, though).
    My only negative comment is on the camera work. In common with many TV broadcasts of recent years, there were far too many inappropriate close-up shots which meant that either important dancing by main artists, or ensemble scenes designed by the choreographer to be looked at as a whole, were missed. Can't the director do what we would do in the auditorium and pull back a bit to allow the viewers' eyes to latch onto the bits we want to see?
    I also agree with an earlier comment that the cast list was nowhere near as full as that normally given out at Covent Garden, with a number of key dancers having no credit - Ms Choe for instance.
    My night in Darlington Odeon was really magical throughout, next best thing to being there. Roll on the DVD.

  58. Belinda Arthur responded on 17 October 2013 at 7:45pm Reply

    Marienela Nunez was completely Fantastic, many congrats to her on her truly dazzling performance

  59. susan croft responded on 17 October 2013 at 7:52pm Reply

    Don Quixote in the cinema last night was the very best ballet I have ever seen - and I have seen a lot! Carlos and Marianela were a joy to watch. The whole performance was thrilling - please try and relay it again and I shall take all my friends.

  60. B Shephard responded on 17 October 2013 at 8:34pm Reply

    OH, and the can they capture such feeling...such mood...

  61. Marcella Vigneri responded on 17 October 2013 at 9:31pm Reply

    wonderful dancing, enjoyed thoroughly while eating pop corn despite being end of v long and diff day!

    All corps de ballet were amazing!!!

  62. Angela responded on 17 October 2013 at 9:51pm Reply

    Please, please, please release a DVD of this magnificent performance as soon as possible so that we can all re-live this wonderful night. Such exuberant happiness, such talent and skill, such vision and dedication - we were on a cloud all the way home. Carlos and company you are just superb!

  63. Fabulous production. Great dancing notwithstanding the best bit has to be the fish!

  64. Solveig Theodórsdóttir responded on 18 October 2013 at 12:39am Reply

    I was watching Don Quixote last nigth in Reykjavík. What fabulous choreography! Truly beautiful. they where amazing, both Carlos and Marienela.

  65. Marvelous! Equally good or even better than in Lonndon. I much enjpyed their face expression. I love it! I'll never fail to check it!!!

  66. Who was cast as Cupid? She was brilliant!!!

  67. Peter Erdos responded on 18 October 2013 at 9:31am Reply

    What a delightful evening! Thank you Covent Garden , at last you proved that you can do it! After all the recent failed production, this really provided the feel good factor.. Both Marienala and Carlos were superb, I also found the dancers for the secondary parts also extremely good. An evening full of smiles, sun and Spain. EXCELLENT! Many more like this please.

  68. jonathan clift responded on 18 October 2013 at 4:30pm Reply

    what could have been a marvellous evening of ballet in cold wet Yorkshire was ruined by the terrible camera work. We really don't want to see motley members of the corps when there's something much more important going on elsewhere on the stage. And what apity we couldn't see the sets moving which got such bad reviews but I thought were lovely (unlike the dreadful women's costumes - can the Opera House not afford better than old net curtains?) And if you're going to show a close up of a lighting fixture FOH you might dust it first.

  69. Maria responded on 18 October 2013 at 10:39pm Reply

    Magnifique performance! Marianela a séduit le public avec son art et charisme extraordinaires. J'aurais préféré des danseurs et des danseuses de type hispanique -quoique le "toreador" a magnifiquement dansé-. Des métis et des asiatiques dans l'Espagne de Don Quixote...? Le gitan et ses danseurs fabuleux!

  70. Liz Tebbutt responded on 19 October 2013 at 3:31pm Reply

    I saw Don Q at the ROH a week ago with Carlos and Marianela: what a wonderful, bright and enchanting ballet! I just love Carlos's wonderful idea to bring Don Q into the 21st century, but at the same time maintaining the essence of the original version.
    Carlos and Marianela (what a superb and beautiful dancer and what fantastic chemistry between her and Carlos) were amazing, as were Laura Morera and Ryo Hirano and actually ALL the dancers. I loved everything about this ballet and had to watch it again in the cinema yesterday! Bravo to all!!

  71. Wonderful, Not as good as being there, as i was lucky enough to be able to do for many years but now i´ve moved away. Thank you all.

  72. Congratulations Carlos on your Don Quixote. Watched in cinema on Isle of Wight to a full house. Carlos and Marianela were stunning and Carlos was so right in his comments that Marianela was made for this role - amazing performance. Carlos's Don Q is very atmospheric, colourful and fun. Can't wait to see it again on Saturday 26th at ROH. Bravo.

  73. The Riley Family responded on 20 October 2013 at 5:38am Reply

    Wonderful to see all these well deserved enthusiastic comments. You have a winner in Don Q . Is it possible to use this for schools? Maybe a matinee screening (can I go again too) or if you are making a DVD (which I truly hope you are) can they be sent to schools. A school ballet day would be wonderful using this production of Don Q. It was a school visit to see Giselle 50 years ago that got me & my school chums hooked onto ballet. Chris Riley

  74. Penny Grierson responded on 21 October 2013 at 11:32am Reply

    Breathtaking - everything about it was so beautiful. Congratulations to all.

  75. Tony Bell responded on 21 October 2013 at 12:11pm Reply

    An absolutely wonderful production and such a fantastic opportunity to be able to see the performance live in the comfort of CineWorld at Llandudno Junction in N. Wales. There's nothing more that my wife & I could say to enhance the wonderful accolades made by your many contributors to your request for comments. The choreography, enthusiasm & obvious enjoyment of the dancers along with the marvelous costumes, scenery & lighting were absolutely superb.

    On a technical note I felt a little disappointed with the production which , in no way spoilt a fantastic evening. The live broadcast producers often over concentrated on one dancer at the expense of two or more others where a more wider view would have been more appropriate. I'm not sure but the modern cameras should be easily able to cope with such high speed dancing and to be able to reproduce it faithfully on the screen. On many wide view shots the effect on the dancers legs and rapid arm movements gave a very jerky impression. Was it just one camera or the technical limitations of signal compression, transmission & decoding of such advanced live, mass viewing technology?

    At Llandudno Junction we had two technical glitches, the first being less than half a second in the first act when signal loss was experienced, possibly an aircraft flying through & breaking the satellite signal?

    The second, very major one was the loss of the complete transmission during the first interval...major consternation by our hosts at CineWorld until it was announced that there was a weather caused fault in the transmission from the ROH which must have affected all the cinema viewers equally & worldwide. Congratulations to the technical & production teams in their ability to transmit the second half without the majority of viewers realising there was a delay on the live performance of about 5 minutes. It was a shame that we were not given the very interesting & informative scene prologue as this must have been cut out to help catch up with the live performance. Did the second interval end up being shortened in order to return to live transmissions?

    Do you have links or information on the technology used for this superb & very memorable production? I would love to find out more. Could we possibly have a few minutes allocated at the pre-performance advertising & information about future events to this area in general terms for the benefit of your word wide audiences?

    • Hi Tony,

      Sorry you appear to have had a rather jerky picture. I can give you a rough lowdown of how it all works.

      The cameras we use are filming at 1920x1080, 50 interlaced (50i) fields per second (similar to UK HD TV broadcasts). We've found this to be the best compromise - we'd love to be able to do 50 full frames per second (50p) but, at present, this is not practical. This is encoded to an MPEG-2 video stream, at approximately 15MBits/sec - we have to use MPEG-2 rather than MPEG-4 (as used for HD freeview for example, which gives a better picture quality for the same bitrate) to retain the greatest compatibility with receivers, as there are quite a lot of different ones out there. Since pretty much all other cinema material is 24 frames per second (24p), it is possible that your cinema had a processor in between the receiver and the projector converting the frame-rate, which would perhaps explain the jerkiness - most projectors should happily accept 50i input, but it is possible that they have to convert it. We've tried capturing at both 24 and 25 frames per second and it doesn't work that well for ballet, which has a large amount of motion.

      Audio is mixed in 5.1, then encoded to Dolby Digital. There is also a separate stereo downmix transmitted, suitable for pro-logic decoders, for the few cinemas that cannot receive a Dolby Digital signal.

      There are also subtitles, although you (hopefully) didn't see them - we transmit 6 languages for the various countries that our broadcasts go to. The cinema can turn them on or off on their receiver, and select which language they use.

      All of the above is multiplexed together as one stream and sent out over satellite (actually 2 satellites, cinemas have a dish facing one or the other). As you have sadly found, we are rather at the mercy of the weather when dealing with satellite transmission, both here at the ROH and locally at CInemas. The satellites are over 22,000 miles above the equator, so the signal has quite a long way to travel! We are monitoring the stream off the satellite on a local receiver here, so we can spot if there are any problems. The stream is recorded by the satellite transmission company, and then rebroadcast at a later point for the USA and Japan, so it is at a more convenient broadcast time for them.

      Please feel free to ask any further questions - I will try and answer them.


      Mark Thackeray
      Broadcast Engineer, Royal Opera House

  76. Isabel responded on 21 October 2013 at 2:32pm Reply

    I wanted to see this sooo much but unfortunelly it doesn't screen nowhere here in Brazil :(( I wonder if one day I would be able to watch it as a fan of the ROH....

  77. MARGARET COULTRUP responded on 21 October 2013 at 3:22pm Reply

    Having visited the ROH for several occasions, now being able to watch ballet or opera at a cinema, live when they are sell outs. Don Quxiote with Carlos Acosta in the lead was just a joy to watch, regrettably Romeo and Juliet is not available in the cinema. Looking forward to future productions.

  78. Manon1753 responded on 22 October 2013 at 10:48pm Reply

    Loved the show, despite two techincal hiccups (sound but no image). But...there was no cast list. Could you make one available on-line please?

  79. Loretta LaRusso responded on 23 October 2013 at 7:39pm Reply

    Was loving the performance here in New York City (Acosta and Nunez were fabulous), until the transmission was lost. We never saw the Third Act. the tape was restarted and ended in the same spot - after the second interval. Here in NYC we should have received the entire transmission since obviously we were getting a delayed relay (Our screening began 7PM New York time which was midnight in London.) Don't know if I can risk booking another screening. Very disappointed.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 24 October 2013 at 10:20am

      Hi Loretta,

      Sorry you experienced this technical issue. Could you let us know which cinema in New York City you were at? We'll liase with the cinema in question to ensure this doesn't happen again.


      ROH Content Producer

  80. KathE responded on 23 October 2013 at 9:48pm Reply

    Wonderful dancing and acting from the whole company... but more details of the secondary dancers would be welcome. I watched the live relay with friends after seeing the live performance twice, and on reflection, it seems as if Carlos has made a ballet about Spain in the best 'English' tradition, witty, charming, and maybe touches of Ashton in the 'shawl' pas de deux in the gypsy camp?... As others have commented his choreography provided opportunities for individuals to show their skill - I loved the dancer who leaped onto a cart and did mid-air splits, for example, also the street urchins - but who were they? I think I saw Paul Kay and Michael Stojko behind the make up, but would have liked a fuller cast listing, maybe in future you could provide more information. One further comment - it would be nice to have a photo for each member of the company on the website (maybe I didn't look in the right place).

    • Rachel Beaumont (Product Manager) responded on 30 October 2013 at 3:06pm

      Hi Kathy,
      Thanks for your query. The dancers who played the urchins were Luca Acri, Paul Kay, Kenta Kura and Michael Stojko, and it was Marcelino Sambé who leapt off the cart.
      We hope to be able to provide photos of all the dancers in the Company on the website in the very near future.
      ROH Content Producer

  81. Tony Bell responded on 3 November 2013 at 7:25pm Reply

    Hello Mark, many thanks indeed for that excellent reply to my technical questions.

    I wonder whether you might be able to contact me on the e-mail as there is the possibility of a presentation to the IET (ex IEE) if you are interested? I'm certain the technical aspects of your work would be of great interest to many of our members,

    Thanks again Tony Bell

  82. Wendy Bolingbroke responded on 24 November 2013 at 7:18am Reply

    I saw Don Quixote in the Rialto Theatre, Limassol, Cyprus last night, it was utterly sublime. My first experience watching on a big screen instead of in the flesh and if anything it is better as the filming was perfect, you get so much closer to the dancers and can see many more details. This production with Carlos and Marianela dancing is so exciting, full of energy and colour, quite brilliant, thank you!

  83. Penny Rookes responded on 26 December 2013 at 6:46pm Reply

    Very good and I have seen it again Christmas Day. We saw the Encore and several of us passed comment that the colours were very dull, so much so that one person went to ask if it could be lightened. (It couldn't.) A friend had been to the 'live' performance and said it was perfect colour. Also I saw the Encore of the Nutcracker and the colour was again muted. The Christmas Day performance of Don Quixote was as I was expecting it to be with vibrant colours. . I did wonder if this could be rectified in any way for future Encore showings.. A stunning ballet nevertheless.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 26 December 2013 at 6:58pm

      Dear Penny

      We will pass your comments on to the cinema team.

      Many thanks


  84. Marta responded on 27 December 2013 at 2:20am Reply

    Just saw Don q at the cinema here in São Paulo ,Brasil ...absolutelly marvelous ,specially Mariângela nunez ,gracefull and wonderfull ,congrats

  85. John Graham responded on 2 March 2014 at 12:06pm Reply

    I have just read that the DVD of Don Quixote and also Blu-ray version will be released on 31st March!! This is wonderful news!! I'm sure many people who saw this at the Royal Opera House or in Cinema live relay will be delighted to know that they can now purchase this superlative performance to watch over and over again. I am ecstatic!!

  86. Maya Kirk responded on 27 March 2015 at 11:52am Reply

    I absolutely adore Don Quixote and it was the first ballet I saw and Carlos inspired me so much and even more I want to be a ballet dancer with the Royal Ballet I am gratefull for all the wonderfull dancers in the Royal Ballet. I am 9

Comment on this article

Your email will not be published

Website URL is optional