Sydney Opera House

The Mikado rolls out in cinemas across Australia


The Mikado in cinemas across Australia

Opera Australia (OA) is having a busy winter in cinemas across the world. This month, [August] Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, starring Mitchell Butel, rolls out in cinemas across Australia and New Zealand, and from July, OA screenings have been running in the USA, UK, Canada, Spain and Russia.

Due to popular demand, the Company’s opera films also had a second run in an expanded cinema network across Australia and New Zealand this winter. The Marriage of Figaro screened at the end of May, Rigoletto in July and Der Rosenkavalier will be coming in September. Says Lyndon Terracini, OA’s Artistic Director: “These are glossy, glamorous, romantic films. If you haven’t yet seen one, grab a newspaper and find a session near you!”

Part of the films’ success is due to the high quality of filming – OA shoots on nine cameras with high definition and 5.1 surround sound.

Bass David Parkin, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, says knowing that his performance was being filmed definitely upped the ante for him. “You were acutely aware that it would be a permanent record, and whilst in every performance you try to give the best that you can, on the nights that they were filming, every small decision began to reach biblical proportions.”

The first time Parkin watched his own performance, he was overly critical. “But my wife kept telling me that it was wonderful,” he laughs. He has subsequently watched the film three more times on Blu-ray. “It’s an excellent document of a great opera,” he says. “I am very proud of my involvement in it, and very aware of how privileged I am to have been part of it.”

Through its digital broadcast strategy, OA aims to put its best within reach of as wide a public as possible, without the barriers of geography or price.

Adrian Collette, Chief Executive of OA says: “Now, for the cost of a movie ticket or a DVD, people can enjoy the best of Opera Australia’s performances wherever they are – from Devonport to Darwin. Or indeed, Moscow!”

The Mikado runs in cinemas from August 12-17. It will be released on DVD and Blu-ray just before Christmas and screened on ABC TV and online early in 2012.