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Just in: Pirates beats Met to steal cinema record for live opera

May 21, 2015 by norman lebrecht

2 comments.


Tuesday’s live broadcast from English National Opera of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance has just blown a big hole in the opera streaming business.

Pirates, in Mike Leigh’s production, took £600,000 at the UK box office at a single screening, reaching an audience of over 40,000 people.

The previous UK best was the Metropolitan Opera’s broadcast of Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow, which grossed £504,000 in total, including repeat screenings.

pirates eno

That’s impressive. Wonder if the Arts Council gets the point? Doubt it: their website crashed today, presumably for want of visitors.


Comments (2)

  1. Halldor says:

    What d’y’ know? Big audience for operetta! Well, well…
    I counted 9 people, meanwhile, at our local showing of the ROH “Mahagonny”.

  2. Una says:

    Mahagonny? That’s no surprise. Not everyone’s cup of tea, and the cost of the ticket too – it’s expensive, and more so in the north of England where wages are much lower than London. You can get in to Opera North for £15 and see some of the best opera and some fine productions, and it’s on stage not on a screen. £19 was okay until they put it up to £26 this past year, and London prices. Now there are fewer people going up here and the Met is not getting any more money as a result. Tickets are too costly.


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