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Go behind the scenes at the Royal Opera House

Bryn Terfel with the flame in his hand from The Royal Opera House's production of Die Walkure. Picture: ROH/Clive Barda Bryn Terfel with the flame in his hand from The Royal Opera House's production of Die Walkure. Picture: ROH/Clive Barda

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
7:00 PM

Interviews with some of the world’s most famous opera stars, a glimpse of the work of a stage manager, and viewing an opera from the point of view of a conductor - all this will be available as the Royal Opera House invites audiences backstage.

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On Monday Royal Opera Live will showcase a full working day for The Royal Opera, and will be streamed live online and available afterwards on YouTube.

Among the insights will be live rehearsals with both the Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

Highlights will include footage of work backstage, and interviews with singers, directors, designers and conductors including Rolando Villazón, John Tomlinson, Stephen Langridge, Simon Keenlyside and Ryan Wigglesworth.

There will also be glimpses of stage rehearsals from The Minotaur, and rehearsals for a new production of Eugene Onegin.

The day will conclude with an exclusive look at all the action that occurs behind the scenes during a live performance.

Viewers will be able to experience Act III from Die Walküre, pre-recorded earlier in the season. Twenty-one cameras positioned in unique locations from above the stage to the trap door to the orchestra put to the wings capture all the action.

Presented by Suzy Klein with commentary from the director of The Royal Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, Keith Warner, there will be three different streams available on the website of The Space, an on-demand digital arts service developed by the Arts Council and the BBC.

Audiences can choose to watch the act from the perspective of backstage, with the stage manager’s calls, technical cues and all the stage technology in action behind the scenes, or choose the conductor camera on Antonio Pappano in the pit, or a wide-angle of the onstage action, marking a first for online opera streaming.

Audiences will be able to switch between live streams, pause, rewind and replay the live performance as well as watch all the action again over the following 48 hours. The full Die Walküre coverage will then be available for a month after the event and extended highlights will be available for six months.

Kasper Holten, director of The Royal Opera, said: “I think people will be amazed by how much goes on in one single day for The Royal Opera, and how many people are involved – not just those in the rehearsal rooms but the hundreds of people behind the scenes whose contribution is equally vital to the finished performance on stage.

“What I love about these days is the possibility for people from all over the world to get involved with us, ask questions and interact with what is going on here in real time through digital technology.”

Royal Opera Live will be streamed on the websites of The Space and the Guardian.

Peter Maniura, curator of The Space, said: “The Space is thrilled to be offering our audiences a unique insight into the working life of one of the world’s great opera houses.

“The Royal Opera has given us unparalleled access to its rehearsals and its artists.

“To be able to glimpse Antonio Pappano, Rolando Villazón, Harrison Birtwistle, Kasper Holten and many others at work will be a unique privilege and the day climaxes with a first for The Space – Act III of Wagner’s Die Walküre with all the mechanics of its wondrous backstage world opened up with 21 cameras and a viewer choice of three separate streams of video during the performance.”

Royal Opera Live will be streamed from 10.30am to 9pm.

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