Unitel GmbH & Co.KG
UNITEL CLASSICA comprises UNITEL, one of the world's leading producers and distributors of classical music for audiovisual media (TV, DVD, cinema, new media), and CLASSICA, the TV station for classical music that can be seen on Pay TV in Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Japan.
True to its motto "Music to Watch," UNITEL produces operas, concerts, operettas and ballets with acclaimed artists and in the highest technical quality. Currently boasting a film stock of 1,100 productions, UNITEL was one of the first companies to produce music films in color and stereo, and records today exclusively on HDTV and in Dolby Surround sound quality. UNITEL arose in 1966 from Cosmotel, the firm which Leo Kirch founded with Herbert von Karajan in 1964 to produce classical music for film and television. The company has been part of Jan Mojto's corporate group since 2004.
UNITEL has since realized widely noted productions such as the celebrated Salzburg Festival production of Verdi's "La Traviata" with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón; the sensational "M22" project of the 2006 Salzburg Festival, which entailed the recording of all 22 stage works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for TV, DVD and new media; the theatrical film "La Bohème" with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón (director: Robert Dornhelm); and "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" from the Wiener Staatsoper under the baton of Christian Thielemann. Among the ongoing projects are Thielemann's Bruckner cycle with the Münchner Philharmoniker; "Beethoven 9," the recording of the complete symphonic works of Ludwig van Beethoven with the Wiener Philharmoniker, again under Christian Thielemann; and the "Ring des Nibelungen" (musical direction: Zubin Mehta) in the production of La Fura dels Baus from the Valencia Opera.
UNITEL has been working for over 40 years now with the world's leading artists in order to capture on film great musical interpretations in landmark productions. Legendary conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein and Carlos Kleiber were exclusive partners of the production company for many years, just as the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Bayreuth Festival. Today UNITEL owes its one-of-a-kind catalogue and its outstanding position in the field of audiovisual production of classical music to these long-term artistic partnerships. They are being continued – some of them on an exclusive basis – to this day with Christian Thielemann, Anna Netrebko, the Wiener and Münchner Philharmoniker, as well as with such renowned cultural institutions as the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Salzburg Festival, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Palau de les Arts "Reina Sofia" in Valencia, the Wiener Musikverein and the Teatro Regio di Parma.
UNITEL cooperates with the public-law and private broadcasters, including ZDF, 3sat, Arte, ORF, France 2, RAI and NHK. In conjunction with Deutsche Grammophon/Universal, Decca, Sony Classical, EuroArts and Arthaus, UNITEL has released about 300 DVDs to date, which are distributed in Germany and around the world. Some of them are also available as Blu-ray discs.
CLASSICA is the TV channel for classical music that can be seen in Germany and Austria on Premiere. CLASSICA also operates on Pay-TV platforms in Italy (Sky), Spain (imagenio) and Japan (Tohokushinsha), and addresses music lovers who demand more than the standard fare offered by traditional TV broadcasters. On the program are the greatest operas and concerts, sung and performed by world-class interpreters and the best orchestras of our time, as well as stunning dance performances and live recordings from exceptional international music events and festivals.
CLASSICA, which has a rights portfolio of about 3,000 hours of program, is an exclusive cooperation partner of Lufthansa, which offers the program in first and business class on all of its long-distance flights.
Under the title "CLASSICA im Kino" (CLASSICA in the Cinema), more than 30 digitally equipped cinemas throughout Germany screen music productions in HD. Moreover, CLASSICA also presents the latest productions from the Salzburg Festival in more than 200 cinemas in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Australia in cooperation with UNITEL. "Klassik für Jedermann"
(Classic for Everyman) is the motto of the summer outdoor cinematic event which presents masterworks of classical music alfresco in cities such as Rome, Salzburg, Munich and Vienna.