English National Opera to Sing Out in Cinemas

Francois Durand/Getty Images
Terry Gilliam

The company partners with alternative cinema content provider Altive Media to screen performances, including Hector Berlioz’s "Benvenuto Cellini," directed by Monty Python founder and filmmaker Terry Gilliam.

LONDON – Alternative cinema content provider Altive Media and the English National Opera (ENO) have partnered to launch ENO Screen, which will screen stage productions in up to 300 cinemas across the U.K. and Ireland and in selected cinemas worldwide.

ENO Screen will sing out with live screenings of David Alden’s production of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, starring Stuart Skelton, in February and a new production of Hector Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini directed by Monty Python founding member and filmmaker Terry Gilliam in June.

Starting in fall 2014, live screenings will be expanded to five or six productions a season.

ENO artistic director John Berry said: "ENO's entry into cinemas will be as distinctive as our live work in the theater, creating a truly cinematic experience. Our productions are already seen worldwide in more than 30 cities, and I believe that the cinema broadcasts will enable many more people to enjoy the excitement and passion of ENO’s work and will encourage those visiting London to come to the theater and see an ENO opera firsthand."

The technical and creative team is headed by MTV award-winning director Andy Morahan (JLS: Eyes Wide Open 3D) and producer Dione Orrom (The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall).

Altive Media is distributing all ENO Screen product worldwide for all platforms following the cinema release.

Altive Media managing director Craig Shurn said he felt that "the opera offering in cinemas was incomplete without ENO’s unique take, so we’re delighted to be working with ENO to bring the most innovative and stunning productions of their type to the big screen."

Peter Grimes is billed as a "definitive work" in English National Opera history and described as "the perfect trailblazing production to launch this innovative new program as Britten’s centenary year approaches."