The world’s best in ballet, opera and theater coming to a movie screen near you.
Dancers Karl Paquette and Dorothée Gilbert perform in the Paris Opera Ballet’s Don Quixote.
The audience settles into their seats, reading programs and finishing conversations; their voices mingle with the fluttering notes of an oboe and the rich longing of a viola warming up in the pit. The house lights dim, directing all eyes to the dramatic crimson curtain emblazoned with Queen Elizabeth’s initials in gold as the conductor lifts his baton. For a single moment there is a collective holding of breath until the first note signals the magic has begun.
This is a live (or recorded live) performance of the Royal Ballet’s Giselle, a production that epitomizes the Romantic era of 19th-century ballet, and tonight, the ballerina is inhabiting the leading role so perfectly that even a dedicated balletomane may never see a more evocative Giselle in his or her lifetime.
Luckily, ballet-goers don’t have to cross the pond to Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House to share in the experience. This simulcast performance—and others like it by the world’s leading ballet, opera and theater companies—is being screened in hundreds of cinemas across the U.S., including Central Florida. Perhaps you were there, too, earlier this year, watching Giselle at the AMC Altamonte Mall 18, where for $17 you had the best seat in the house.
Says Dan Diamond, senior vice president of Fathom Events, one of the leading producers of such live events: “We’re finding that a growing number of performers and artists relish the opportunity to present their work in the ideal conditions of a movie theater. Even if they can’t hear the roar of the crowd, these artists know that they’re building a new audience and reaching fans who might not otherwise see their work. In turn, people in theaters get the benefit of experiencing these performances with the highest in quality visuals, sound, comfort and convenience. It’s a win for everyone.”
That “win” is happening at movie theaters across Central Florida. Audiences can expect opulent productions by the Royal Opera House (London), the Bolshoi Ballet (Moscow), the Metropolitan Opera (NYC), and the National Theatre (London), among others, to be screened at select AMC and Regal cinemas as well as the Enzian in Winter Park, which dedicates precious Saturday screen time during the summer to a ballet and opera series. Says Enzian programming director Matthew Curtis, “If the audience wants it, we look forward to doing this for years to come.”
Arguably, there has never been a more exciting time for audiences in Orlando as we finally welcome the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Orlando Ballet executive director Jim Mitchell says, “It’s good to see performing arts live on a movie screen and then see it live by professionals; it allows us to compare and contrast. The more informed a community is about any given art form, it can only have a positive impact on that community.”
Find a screen near you For these live events
Events in November and December include Carmen by the Metropolitan Opera, Of Mice and Men by National Theatre Live, and The Nutcracker by the Bolshoi Ballet. Go to fathomevents.com for a full calendar, to find a theater and to buy tickets.
Check out the Enzian’s offerings by clicking “special programs” at enzian.org for periodic screenings of ballet, theater and opera.