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How valuable are co-productions?


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Hi All,

 

I'm interested in understanding how valuable co-productions really are.. and what I have in mind are things like the Royal Ballet's co-production of Obsidian Tear with the Boston Ballet, or its co-production of Winter's Tale with the National Ballet of Canada (not for the premier, but only in stagings in 2017 onwards, I believe).

 

Might anyone be able to shed light on exactly how valuable these co-productions are, or why they are pursued? Off the top of my head, I guess it helps to share the cost of a new production across multiple companies.. but then again, the costs of shipping everything across oceans/reproducing sets or costumes seems astronomical and perhaps not quite worth the money after all.

 

As far as I can tell, it's also not something many other companies do.

 

 

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The last major co-production at the ROH that I can remember was Sylvia in 2004 where the RB shared the cost with ABT.  It was an extremely expensive production, running I believe to over £200,000 for sets and costumes alone.  It premiered in New York not long after London and I suppose it would not have been economically viable without ABT sharing the costs.   Was there a similar arrangement for other new full-length productions like Alice or Winter's Tale?

 

Linda

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16 hours ago, loveclassics said:

The last major co-production at the ROH that I can remember was Sylvia in 2004 where the RB shared the cost with ABT.  It was an extremely expensive production, running I believe to over £200,000 for sets and costumes alone.  It premiered in New York not long after London and I suppose it would not have been economically viable without ABT sharing the costs.   Was there a similar arrangement for other new full-length productions like Alice or Winter's Tale?

 

Linda

Both Alice and Winter's Tale were co-productions with the National Ballet of Canada. and yes, it was for the premier. How can you have a co-pro only for subsequent performances? The whole idea of a co-pro is to pay for building and creating the work.

I heard that the costs for Alice were more like 1.5 million pounds....

The technical department at NBOC told me it costs $125,000 (Cdn dollars) every time the production gets shipped. But you can see that that is nothing compared to building the whole production.

Edited by toursenlair
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6 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

I don't think it would work so well in the UK as we are geographically small.

 

You do see it happening with UK opera companies, but, selfishly, I'm glad that the ballet companies don't tend to.

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6 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

I think a lot of smaller American companies share productions and see it as a way of saving money.

 

I don't think it would work so well in the UK as we are geographically small.

 

Good point.  Say you had a BRB/ENB coproduction, they'd be undermining each other's audiences.  But then Royal Opera coproductions are always shared with another company outside the UK, although to what extent that's because of the companies'/venues' sizes/capabilities I don't know.

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I was trying to think of other recent co-productions not yet flagged up on the thread - Strapless, Yugen, Frankenstein came to mind and I guess there may well be others.  I'd be interested to know what proportion of new productions are co-productions - does anyone know?

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41 minutes ago, JohnS said:

I was trying to think of other recent co-productions not yet flagged up on the thread - Strapless, Yugen, Frankenstein came to mind and I guess there may well be others.  I'd be interested to know what proportion of new productions are co-productions - does anyone know?

 

I hadn't registered that Yugen is a co-production. It's a short ballet with simple sets and costumes so that seems a bit strange.

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Thanks bridiem - I also was a bit surprised.  The ROH website states Yugen is a co-production between The Royal Ballet and Dutch National Ballet and in the longer term it may prove to be one of the more successful co-productions?

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to my knowledge, at least with the NBOC/RB copros, no.  That is, of course NBOC knew that Wheeldon was going to be the choreographer, and had his creative team. But, for instance, apparently the number and type of projections in Alice came as a surprise to the NBOC as they had to invest quite a lot of money into buying projection equipment that they didn't have. There were considerable cost overruns on the budget estimates for Alice, but as the terms of the copro committed the NBOC to a fixed amount rather than a proportion of the costs, those overruns had to be covered by RB. But I expect each copro has different terms. Maybe for Winter's Tale, RB said, "this time you guys are on the hook for 50% of whatever it turns out to be!"

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