Opera hooks into cinema market overseas

As Opera Australia prepares to open its fifth Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour with Turandot on 24 March, it is also busy finalising its event cinema deals around the world.

Opera hooks into cinema market overseas


The UK market, which is the largest event cinema market in the world, is its most successful. In this market, last year’sAida has been Opera Australia’s most successful release to date, according to Rentrak, the international agency that measures audiences of movies, television, video etc.

It was the highest grossing recorded Aida in the UK and Ireland on record and the sixth highest grossing opera screened in 2015.

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour (HOSH) recordings are now screened in over 20 countries around the world, with more territories being added each year.

Three years ago La Traviata was released on 81 screens in the UK and Ireland; in 2015Aidascreened on 262 screens around the world; andTurandot has so far secured 320 screens in UK/Ireland alone.

The global cinema audience for Madama Butterfly was 26k and this grew by 40 per cent in 2015 to 37k for Aida.

‘Being able to access the cinema market overseas expands the audience not just for our operas, but for the whole art form,’ Craig Hassall, Chief Executive of Opera Australia, said.

‘It also gives people around the world the opportunity to experience this incredible event.

‘Last year Opera Australia won Best Content Provider in Australasia at the Event Cinema Awards forMadama Butterfly, which was a great thrill for us. Clearly, we’re getting it right,’ he said.

As well as accessing the event cinema market, Opera Australia recordings of Handa Opera are licensed to broadcasters both domestically and internationally.

In Australia the company partners with the ABC for free-to-air broadcasts and in 2015 initiated a new arrangement with Foxtel for the subscription TV broadcast ofAida.

In 2015 an ABC audience of 89k watched Madama Butterfly, with the free-to-air premiere broadcast ofAida scheduled for July 2016.

Opera Australia partners with ABC Commercial to distribute HOSH recordings to international audiences, and with ABC Music to distribute HOSH recordings physically and digitally.


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