More people will watch Royal Opera House performances on a cinema screen next year than will see the real thing in Covent Garden, as remote viewing outstrips live attendance for the first time. A night at the opera or ballet no longer entails dressing up and spending up to £200 for the best seat in the house. Eleven productions will be screened in 400 cinemas across the UK – up from just 45 cinemas when the scheme launched in 2009. A further 1,100 cinemas will participate abroad in 41 other countries.

The Royal Opera House announced today that audiences for its 2014/15 Live Cinema Season are expected to exceed the 670,000 who visit Covent Garden annually.