A boon for opera fans

If you are a fan of opera, New York City’s Metropolitan Opera announced that they will, starting tonight and continuing for the duration of their closure due to the pandemic, live-stream, free of charge some of the recordings they have of past performances, no doubt to keep people entertained while they are restricted to their homes.

Since 2006, the company has been transmitting live performances to movie theaters via satellite as part of a series called The Met: Live in HD; now the Met will be streaming those performances for free, one per day, for the duration of the closure.

Each opera will be available on the Met’s website beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern and will remain available to stream until 3:30 p.m. Eastern the next day. They’ll also be available through the Met’s Opera on Demand apps.

You can see the first week’s offerings here. Tonight will be Bizet’s Carmen.


  1. blf says

    (Thus is a reconstructed cross-post from PZ’s current Political Madness All the Time thread here at FtB.)

    ‘Sending love’: German music venues emptied by Covid-19 livestream concerts:

    Amid widescale closures of cultural venues across the world in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus, classical music venues in Europe have turned to livestreaming their concerts in an effort to comfort music fans.

    At Staatsoper Berlin the curtain went up on a production of Bizet’s Carmen as planned on Thursday evening, under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, before empty stalls.

    Local broadcaster RBB, in collaboration with the Staatsoper, livestreamed a Geister (ghost) performance, starring Georgian mezzo soprano Anita Rachvelishvili, on the opera house’s website and it was also broadcast simultaneously on radio. The performers, all of whom played for free, applauded themselves at the end in place of the usual rousing appreciation and foot-stamping of a Berlin audience.

    “The mood amongst the performers had been extremely down when it became clear we would have to close the house to the public,” Matthias Schulz, the director of the Staatsoper, told the Guardian. “But there was a lot of enthusiasm about the idea of bringing the opera to the people despite the house being ordered to close to the public.

    “During the performance we could see that people had tuned in from around the world, about 160,000 in total, which is a staggering figure for us, and made us realise how important culture is in a time of crisis and ‘Corona-depression’.”

    [… numerous other examples of this happening…]

  2. consciousness razor says

    You can watch many versions of Carmen (not to mention other operas) on youtube, even a surprisingly good one from Beijing if you’re feeling a little adventurous; and those aren’t available for only a single day. If there were decent public funding for the arts in this country, the Met and many other organizations could afford to make all of their recordings free.

    I prefer orchestral music to opera. If you’ve got about three and half hours of listening to do, this is a good way to do it:
    Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherazade (1888)
    Mahler – Symphony No. 1 (1889)
    Dvořák – Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” (1893)
    Stravinsky – Le Sacre du Printemps (1913)

  3. machintelligence says

    For those who are fans of Phantom of the Opera, allow me to put in a plug for the newest version of the Phantom duet. It features Floor Jansen, female vocalist from the symphonic metal band “Nightwish” and Henk Poort a Dutch opera singer and the Phantom for the performances in the Netherlands. It was done during the recording of a TV show “Beste Zangers” (best singers) and uses the Nightwish metal arrangement. This dramatic performance was picking up views at the rate of one million per week. The body language and facial expressions are an important part of the performance.
    If you wonder what Floor sounds like during her day job, here is her signature song, “Ghost Love Score” recorded at the Wacken open air metal festival in front of 84,000 fans.
    If you listen to the end you will hear another spectacular ending: “The Note.” It has been said by fans to cause a “Floorgasm.”.
    Sorry for the proselytising, but I have become a major fan of this band since the release of their album “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”, which is a quote from the last paragraph of “Origin of Species.”

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