Movie house to broadcast operas, ballets

Emerging Pictures inks deal with Opus Arte

Moviegoers better brush up on their Shakespeare -- and Mozart, Verdi and Wagner.

New York-based Emerging Pictures has signed an exclusive deal with Opus Arte, a subsidiary of London's Royal Opera House, to broadcast operas, ballets and plays live in HD to movie theaters in North America.

The season begins Sept. 10 with a live broadcast from Covent Garden of the Royal Opera's opening-night performance of Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte." In addition to opera and ballet, the series also will include Shakespeare productions from the Globe Theatre.

Emerging's "Opera in Cinema" series, in its fourth year, includes live operas from Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. With the additional programming from Opus Arte, Emerging will launch two new series: Ballet in Cinema and Shakespeare in Cinema.

Live opera presentations are proving to be a successful niche play for theaters owners.

NCM Fathom and the Metropolitan Opera, for example, have been beaming "The Met: Live in HD" to theaters since 2006, and its past season it played in more than 500 houses.

The new deal was negotiated by Emerging managing partner Ira Deutchman and Opus Arte head of cinema Isabelle Fauchet.

Under its co-founders Deutchman and Barry Rebo, Emerging offers all-digital specialty film and alternate content to more than 65 venues in the U.S., ranging from traditional art houses to museums, performing arts centers and commercial multiplexes, including Carmike, Harkins and Allen Theatres.

The company also distributes programming worldwide under its Opera in Cinema, Ballet in Cinema and Shakespeare in Cinema brands.
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