The Teatro Real, RTVE and Hispasat work together to broadcast live opera in Ultra High Definition

April 20, 2016

The first pilot broadcast will take place on Thursday 21 April with the transmission of 'Parsifal' in 4K at Kinépolis cinemas in Madrid.

RTVE will handle the project's production, technical coordination and execution, and Hispasat will transmit the event via satellite.

Thanks to Cellnex, the broadcast signal will be received directly via satellite and DTT in certain areas of Madrid and Barcelona.

Organised with the collaboration of Kinépolis, Hurí, Ovide, EVS, Dolby, Ericsson, Samsung, Abacanto Soluciones, SAPEC, Hewlett Packard, ATEME, ALBALA and the RTVE-UPM Professorship.

The Teatro Real is the first opera house in Spain and the second in Europe to make use of this technology.

The Teatro Real, RTVE and Hispasat have joined together in an ambitious audiovisual project that will make it possible to film and broadcast in 4K (Ultra High Definition / UHD) some of the current theatre productions in Madrid, using four times higher resolution than conventional High Definition. The first live satellite broadcast will take place on Thursday 21 April. The opera ‘Parsifal’, which is currently playing at the Teatro Real, will be screened at Kinépolis cinemas in Madrid. The production, technical coordination and execution will be carried out by RTVE, and it will be transmitted by Hispasat via satellite. Thus, the Teatro Real will become the first opera house in Spain to make use of 4K technology as a tool to spread culture.

In addition to Kinépolis, this transmission will be received directly through the Hispasat 30W-4 satellite, as well as DTT in the DVB-T2 test multiplex, which airs in Madrid (University area, channel 44) and in Barcelona (Collserola Tower, channel 22), as a result of the assistance of Cellnex, which is active in the development of Ultra High Definition and in equipping its entire infrastructure network with the necessary technology.

This project also relies on the indispensable collaboration of Kinépolis, Hurí, Ovide, EVS, Dolby, Ericsson, Samsung, Abacanto Soluciones, SAPEC, Hewlett Packard, ATEME, ALBALA and the Radiotelevisión Española-UPM Professorship.

4K technology offers an image resolution of 4000 pixels, which is four times greater than High Definition. The viewer enjoys higher quality in the perception of colours and textures and is able to better appreciate the details, thus making the experience closer to reality. As for sound, the 4K format allows for immersive technologies which, combined with the hyper-realistic image quality, make it the perfect vehicle for showing performances like opera and dance. This was first demonstrated by the Vienna Opera House, a pioneer in Europe, which last season broadcast six opera programmes in UHD.

This transmission is carried out thanks to the production and execution team of TVE’s Culture and Society Management Department and RTVE’s Media Management Department, as well as on the basis of the experience gained so far by the Technology Management Department of Radiotelevisión Española, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and a wide range of companies who use the latest Ultra High Definition technologies for these productions and live transmissions. This broadcast reinforces the vocation of TVE, always committed to music and culture in general, as recognised by their fans in programmes like ‘Los conciertos de La 2’, and many others, such as ‘El Palco’ and ‘This is Opera’.

From the beginning, HISPASAT has pushed for the development and implementation of UHD to make it available to viewers as soon as possible, and has applied technical innovations and standards that make it possible to stream high-quality content via its satellites. The Spanish company was the first satellite operator to broadcast in Ultra High Definition in Latin America via its Hispasat 30W-3 satellite, and since September 2013 it has been broadcasting its Hispasat 4K TV channel free-to-air in Europe, available to the industry as a means to promote the use of this new technology.



‘Parsifal’, is an opera by Richard Wagner, inspired by the medieval epic poem ‘Parzival’, by Wolfram von Eschenbach, on the life of King Arthur and the knight who goes out in search of the Holy Grail. The plot describes the search by the monk-knights of the Holy Grail for a pure and kind hero who can heal their leader’s wounds. Parsifal, ignorant of his origin and destiny, undertakes the winding and difficult path of soul purification in order to attain salvation.

In the production of the opera that viewers will be able to see in 4K, stage manager Claus Guth transfers the discouragement and helplessness of the knights of the Grail from the castle of Monsalvat to a sanatorium where soldiers shattered by the Great War find shelter in the midst of a devastated, broken and rudderless Europe. Renowned Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov will direct the Official Choir and Orquestra of the Teatro Real and a cast headed by Klaus Florian Vogt in the lead role, along with other veteran Wagner singers who are well known to the Teatro Real’s audiences: Anja Kampe (Kundry), Detlef Roth (Amfortas), baritones Franz-Josef Selig (Gurnemanz) and Evgeny Nikitin (Klingsor), and bass Ante Jerkunica (Titurel).


About HISPASAT Group

HISPASAT Group is comprised of companies that have a presence in Spain as well as in Latin America, where its Brazilian affiliate HISPAMAR is based. The Group is a world leader in the distribution and broadcasting of Spanish and Portuguese content, and its satellite fleet is used by important direct-to-home television (DTH) and high-definition television (HDTV) digital platforms. HISPASAT also provides satellite broadband services and other added value solutions to governments, corporations and telecommunication operators in America, Europe and North Africa. HISPASAT is one of the world's largest companies in its sector in terms of revenue, and the main communications bridge between Europe and the Americas.

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