You’ll pay £10 for a streamed UK concert

You’ll pay £10 for a streamed UK concert


norman lebrecht

December 04, 2020

The Liverpool Phil has just rolled out 40 concerts between January and March 2021. The charge is £10 per stream or 5 for £45.

The Halle is charging £96 for 9 concerts.

A Brexit consensus seems to be forming around the £10 mark.

But will there be enough viewers when the Vienna Opera and half of Scandinavia are streaming for free?


UPDATE: The Royal Opera House has just rolled out its offer, with variable pricing:

ROH logo.jpg
4 December 2020


Royal Opera House unveils biggest programme of streamed ballet and opera in its history, just in time for Christmas

The Royal Opera House today announces its biggest ever programme of streaming and digital content, across a range of platforms, brought straight from our house to your house and available throughout the Christmas period.

With free online broadcasts from our archives, live pay per view performances from our beautiful Covent Garden theatre, and an array of cultural highlights across Netflix, Now TV, YouTube, Scala Radio, Sky Arts, Marquee TV and the BBC, it has never been easier for audiences to access the world’s best ballet and opera anywhere, anytime.

Live performances, broadcast directly from our stages, continue apace at the Royal Opera House and we are delighted to present a roster of festive operatic highlights in The Royal Opera Christmas Concert. Presented by Roderick Williams and conducted by Mark Wigglesworth, this live concert features world-class talent in work by composers including Rossini, Puccini and Mozart. With the addition of highlights from Humperdinck’s tuneful Hansel and Gretel and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols, this performance promises to complete your Christmas viewing experience this year.

Our programme of online broadcasts, available via the ROH website, continues throughout December, featuring archive favourites from The Royal Ballet including Frederick Ashton’s Enigma Variations (2019), a showcase for the expressiveness of The Royal Ballet’s dancers, and Christopher Wheeldon’s family favourite Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2017). The Royal Opera also present the 2020 revival of Richard Jones’ 2017 production of Puccini’s La bohème, starring Sonya Yoncheva as Mimì, Charles Castronovo as Rodolfo, Andrzej Filończyk as Marcello and Simona Mihai as Musetta with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera Chorus conducted by Emmanuel Villaume.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without The Nutcracker, and we are excited to present archive productions of this festive favourite in cinemas, in association with Scala Radio, Marquee TV, Sky Arts, Now TV, and on demand through the Royal Opera House’s new partnership with Netflix. Netflix viewers can also experience the very best of opera as we present Richard Jones’ 2017 production of La bohème, starring Nicole Car and Michael Fabiano and conducted by Antonio Pappano.

Royal Opera House productions will also be available to watch and listen to as part of our ongoing partnership with the BBC, with The Royal Opera’s Ariodante in Concert (2020), The Royal Opera Christmas Concert (2020) and Verdi’s Falstaff (2018), starring Bryn Terfel in the title role, all broadcast over the Christmas period on BBC Radio 3. Both The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet’s all-star gala performances from September and October of this year will also be available to watch on BBC Four. The Royal Opera All Star Gala features much-loved classics of the repertory by Bellini, Bizet, Donizetti, Dvořák, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi; and The Royal Ballet All Star Gala shines a light on the acclaimed artistry and virtuosity of our dancers as well as the dazzling breadth of the Company’s repertory.

We’re also delighted to offer two favourites from the Royal Opera House repertory on YouTube for free this Christmas: The Royal Opera’s The Magic Flute (2017) and The Royal Ballet’s Don Quixote (2019) both showcase our resident companies at their musical, choreographic and theatrical best with stunning designs and sets, and world-class performances.

A raft of recent productions from both artistic companies will also be available for audiences to watch on Now TV. From The Royal Ballet will be: The Nutcracker (2016); The Sleeping Beauty (2017); a Frederick Ashton mixed programme including The Dream, Symphonic Variations and Marguerite and Armand (2017); Will Tuckett’s sumptuous presentation of the life and loves of Queen Elizabeth I, in Elizabeth (2016); as well as Kenneth MacMillan’s three-act, full-length work based on story of Anna Anderson, a woman who believed herself to be the daughter of the last Tsar of Russia, in Anastasia (2016). Favourites from The Royal Opera will also be available via the platform, including Verdi’s searing tragic opera Il trovatore (2016); Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (2017); Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann (2016); Mozart’s Così fan tutte (2016) as well as Bellini’s operatic masterpiece Norma (2017).

On Sky Arts, audiences can watch The Royal Ballet in: The Nutcracker (2016); Giselle (2016); Frederick Ashton mixed programme including The Dream, Symphonic Variations and Marguerite and Armand (2017); Anastasia (2016); The Sleeping Beauty (2017) and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2017).

World-class productions from The Royal Ballet including The Nutcracker (2016), The Sleeping Beauty (2017) and Rhapsody (2016) also continue to be permanently available via Marquee TV.

For more details of all ROH broadcasts, creative activities and unique content, follow #OurHouseToYourHouse or visit our website.



Notes to Editors

At a glance:

From the Royal Opera House

Stream The Royal Opera Christmas Concert

Broadcast live on Friday 18 December at 7pm GMT, available for 30 days
£10 per online ticket
Images available here.
Enigma Variations (2019)

Available for 30 days via from 7pm on Friday 4 December
£3 per ticket
Images available here.
The Nutcracker (2016)

Available to see in cinemas from Thursday 10 December.
Selection of The Nutcracker images here.
La bohème (2020)

Available for 30 days via from 7pm on Friday 11 December
£3 per ticket
Images available here.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2017)

Available for 30 days via from 7pm Friday 1 January
£3 per ticket
Images available here.


  • pianoguy says:

    The LPO’s streamed concerts are free for a period on Marquee TV – some of the best around

  • Allen says:

    We need to remember that the Vienna Opera is almost certainly in a more secure financial position than our orchestras.

    However, it strikes me that this would be a good opportunity to attract new listeners, but £10 will I think discourage the casually curious, even if it does represent good value.

  • Gerald says:

    I think the general situation in the UK is for orchestras to play to half empty halls while charging established and often older concert goers high prices. Charging high prices for streamed concerts just continues a business model that is not sustainable. Why not have free streams to large audiences and hit them with adverts between movements. That’s what the general public is used to.

    • Margie O. says:

      maybe charge 40-125$ tickets+handling costs, plus 20-45$ parking fees, like the us empire does? then the us-ians can scratch their heads and wonder why the only people in the audience are wealthy geriatric trustfunders, hand -me down monies, and CEOs who can appear “cultured.”

  • Emil says:

    I’d think that if you care about cultural institutions – especially about your local ones – you should be happy to pay under 10£ to support your local institution. That is also part of pushing back against the culture of classical superstars that is (rightly) often denounced on this blog. We don’t want a classical ecosystem where 3 opera houses, 5 orchestras and 2-3 agents/record labels beam mass market music all over the world (or rather, we don’t want only that – I’ll enjoy a stream from the Wiener Staatsoper once in a while!). And to ensure that doesn’t happen, we have to be willing to pay for local music. And the quality’s well worth it!

    Incidentally, I’m just listening to the Royal Northern Sinfonia’s stream from yesterday – 8£ – which contains a symphony by Louise Farrenc and has excellent sound and image quality. And the Festival Bach Montréal has been producing some outstanding chamber and small ensemble concerts, often for the equivalent of 5£ apiece (They have a Mass in B Minor with YNS and the Orchestre Métropolitain coming up for ca. 10£, and they had a charity donate-what-you-can Deutsches Requiem with Karina Gauvin and Russell Braun which is still available.)

  • John says:

    Where is that CBSO online season that the Chief Exec promised us was forthcoming? Still only three concerts on the website with one more in the pipeline

    Lots of comments, but yet to be backed up by actual actions.

    • Stephen Maddock says:

      John we have now recorded four orchestral films and two chamber ones, with another two orchestral ones to be filmed this month. Two more of these will be released before Christmas, the others in January.

      We are also releasing a new short film each day in December as an Advent Calendar.

  • christopher storey says:

    I have despondent feelings about streaming. The whole point about attendance at a live concert is the immersion in the atmosphere , the interplay between performers and audience, and not least the actual acoustic. None of these are present in what is effectively a film of a concert, and for these reasons I regard streaming as a very very poor substitute for the real thing

  • Douglas Cairns says:

    I find I have far less of a problem with paying for streaming now, whereas I may have felt differently a year ago. Musicians’ (ditto actors’) livelihoods are at stake. And I think there is a difference between watching a free past performance that may already be on DVD from an opera house and paying for a future subscription of live concerts by orchestra (in an empty hall) whose members have bills to pay and families to keep.