English National Opera and Sky to produce first live 3D opera

People will be able to view Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia, directed by Mike Figgis, in cinemas around the country as well as on TV

New ground will be made in the increasingly competitive field of opera and cinema when the English National Opera's new production of Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia is beamed out live in 3D, it was announced yesterday.

The ENO is collaborating with Sky Arts on something of a broadcasting first. On 23 February those people with a 3D TV will be able to watch the opera live on Sky 3D while those without will be able to see it live in 3D at about 15-20 cinemas.

The broadcast will pip the 3D – but not live – cinematic release of the Royal Opera House's production of Carmen on 5 March, revealed in the Guardian last month.

The move in to 3D by the UK's leading opera houses reflects the runaway success of opera at the pictures which was pioneered by the Met in New York. It is part of a wider ambition of attracting new audiences – the loose message being that you don't have to be old, rich or posh to enjoy opera.

ENO's Lucrezia Borgia will have added interest in that it will be directed by Mike Figgis – his first opera. Figgis made his name in Hollywood with films such as Leaving Las Vegas, which earned him an Oscar nomination, and he has been an increasingly experimental film-maker since then. The new staging will also feature a film that Figgis shot in Rome which will run as a parallel narrative at interludes through the opera on stage.

John Berry, the ENO's artistic director, said working with Sky Arts reflected the company's "ambition to create an exciting future for opera and reach out to a wider audience through innovative collaborations with the wider arts".

For people without 3D technology the production will be broadcast live on Sky Arts 2 (HD) and be shown in 2D at other cinemas at a later date.


Mark Brown, arts correspondent

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Terry Gilliam to direct Faust for English National Opera
The man who defined Monty Python's visual language, and directed such films as Brazil, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, is to try his hand at opera for the first time

Charlotte Higgins, chief arts writer

15, Apr, 2010 @9:04 PM

Article image
English National Opera chief attacks live cinema broadcasts
ENO artistic director John Berry says the 'obsession' about relaying performances is a distraction and does not create new audiences

Matt Trueman

10, May, 2012 @12:53 PM

Article image
English National Opera gets RPS award boost
Company currently in special funding measures wins opera and music theatre category at prestigious awards for ‘consistently outstanding work’

Mark Brown

05, May, 2015 @9:31 PM

Article image
English National Opera tightens reins as 58 groups lose Arts Council funding

England's theatres, orchestras, galleries and museums learn how much Arts Council England will be giving them in 2015-18

Mark Brown and Mark Tran

01, Jul, 2014 @9:45 PM

Article image
English National Opera hopes foyer cafe will help finances match artistic success
Plans to open London Coliseum’s lobby as a cafe-bar are latest effort by ENO to make up for cut in Arts Council funding

Mark Brown

08, Apr, 2015 @4:19 PM

Article image
English National Opera's new season includes controversial Disney story

Fictionalised account of animator's life, one of nine new productions to be staged by the company, will present a 'nightmarish' vision of Walt Disney

Imogen Tilden

24, Apr, 2012 @3:22 PM

Article image
English National Opera to broadcast productions live to cinema
Company to follow Met, Royal Opera House and Glyndebourne in beaming shows from stage to screens, starting with Peter Grimes in February

Mark Brown, arts correspondent

12, Dec, 2013 @4:12 PM

Article image
John Berry steps down from English National Opera
Resignation of controversial artistic director comes at the end of a difficult year for the beleaguered opera company, which faces severe funding problems

Imogen Tilden and Maev Kennedy

10, Jul, 2015 @4:49 PM

Article image
Mike Leigh on board for The Pirates of Penzance opera

Filmmaker to direct English National Opera production of Gilbert and Sullivan classic at Coliseum next year

Mark Brown, arts correspondent

29, Apr, 2014 @7:59 AM

Article image
English National Opera names Martyn Brabbins as music director
Respected conductor takes over from Mark Wigglesworth as company seeks stability after two years of cuts and crises

Hannah Ellis-Petersen

21, Oct, 2016 @2:34 PM