Audiences around the world got the chance last week to watch Kenneth MacMillian’s ballet masterpiece Romeo and Juliet, as part of the Royal Opera House’s Live Cinema Season.
The 2015/16 series of live cinema relays kicked off on Tuesday night, when the ballet, performed at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden was streamed live to participating venues across the globe, including to a rather rain-drenched audience in Trafalgar Square. The season will continue into June next year, with a programme that includes Royal Ballet classics The Nutcracker and Giselle, and operas La Triviata and Le Nozze de Figaro.
The live relay offered audiences an immersive experience of Shakespeare’s emotive love story, directed by former ballet dancer Ross McGibbon, whose deep understanding of the art form was reflected on screen. The ROH boasts its own in-house technical suite and broadcast team which managed the capture and live relay of Romeo and Juliet and will oversee the upcoming productions.
There are approximately six to eight cameras in the auditorium on the night of a cinema relay, and freelance multi-camera directors coordinate the action. The ROH’s technical suite features 5.1 surround sound studio and its own subtitling equipment that enables the team to subtitle in nine languages. Its kit is supplemented with hires from companies including Presteigne and The Camera Store.
From Presteigne the ROH will hire around eight Sony 2500s. Two cameras are remotely operated with six cameras rigged in the auditorium seating. The ROH uses a combination of 95:1 and 22:1 box lenses, and for its ENG Remote Heads a 14:1 lens. The kit and the lenses will be specially selected depending on the performance and the type of cameras which are being used.
The ROH Live Cinema Season continues next week, with screenings of Mozart’s comic opera Le Nozze di Figaro. Participating venues can be found via the ROH’s website.