Brian Wise covers the classical music business for WQXR, including aspects of performance, technology, philanthropy and institutional trends. He produces the Café Concerts series and the podcast/show Conducting Business. He manages the station's homepage and makes sure what you hear on air is what you see online. Follow him on Twitter at @Briancwise.
New York Philharmonic to Beam Stravinsky Production to Movie Theaters
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 11:00 AM
The New York Philharmonic said Wednesday that it will package its season-ending production, "A Dancer's Dream," featuring two Stravinsky ballets, for international cinema distribution this September.
The concerts, which will take place June 27-29, are to feature fantastical stagings of Stravinsky's Petrushka and A Fairy's Kiss with puppets, dancers and video projection. The transmissions will come through a deal with Specticast, a company that distributes scores of concerts, ballets, rock shows and other events to movie theaters and other venues.
This is the New York Philharmonic's second cinema venture, following on a 2011 production of Stephen Sondheim's Company. The orchestra says the screenings will take place in movie theaters, arts venues, retirement homes, libraries and schools across the U.S. Internationally, the concert will be seen in the UK, Canada, Russia, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.
The orchestra said about 100 theaters have signed on, with more expected. Ticket prices are expected to be around $15.
The Stravinsky ballet transmission comes as performing arts organizations are seeking to enhance the visual focus and production values of their video productions. Earlier this month, the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg beamed a performance of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake live and in 3D to hundreds of cinemas internationally. A film version of Mozart's The Magic Flute, directed by Kenneth Branagh, recently arrived in US theaters, seven years after its European debut.
Orchestras have previously tried HD screenings with mixed success. The Berlin Philharmonic regularly offers its concerts on a video-stream subscription. The Philadelphia Orchestra distributed several of its concerts from the Kimmel Center through Specticast this season. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, meanwhile, dropped its ambitious HD series to 460 movie theaters last year, citing high costs.
The Philharmonic's production will feature the full concert performance as well as behind-the-scenes footage and an intermission feature on Stravinsky's history with the orchestra.