Metropolitan Opera streaming free performances in response to coronavirus pandemic

  • TECH
  • Tuesday, 17 Mar 2020

The Metropolitan Opera House will be closed through March 31 an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus in New York City. — AFP Relaxnews

The Metropolitan Opera is one of the numerous cultural establishments in New York that recently closed in an effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

While The New York Times estimates that the Met Opera will likely lose between US$8mil (RM34.5mil) and US$12mil (RM51.7mil) in box office revenues by the end of March, the institution recently announced the launch of its free Nightly Met Opera Streams series.

This new offering will find the Met Opera streaming encore presentations from its award-winning "Live in HD" series of cinema transmissions on its website for the duration of the closure, which began March 16 with a 2010 performance of Bizet's Carmen.

This opera was conducted by Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, while Elīna Garanča led the cast as Carmen and Roberto Alagna as Don José.

Other performances set to stream through the closure include Puccini's La Bohème (March 17), Verdi's Il Trovatore (March 18), Verdi's La Traviata (March 19), Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment (March 20), Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor (March 21), and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin (March 22).

All Nightly Met Opera Streams will begin at 7:30pm EST (8:30am the next day, Malaysia)) and will remain available via the homepage of for 20 hours.

"We'd like to provide some grand opera solace to opera lovers in these extraordinarily difficult times. Every night, we'll be offering a different complete operatic gem from our collection of HD presentations from the past 14 years," Met General Manager Peter Gelb said in a statement.

The launch of Nightly Met Opera Streams arrived a few days after the Met Opera cancelled all performances and rehearsals through March 31 in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

The institution guaranteed that the value of any tickets purchased for cancelled shows will be credited to patrons' accounts, which can be used to buy tickets in the future for the 2019-20 or 2020-21 seasons.

Meanwhile, European opera houses are also embracing digital means to bring performances to opera aficionados as several countries are declaring nationwide lockdowns across the continent.

The European Commission-funded OperaVision recently announced the launch of a month-long online festival of Mozart operas, freely accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

The initiative, running through April 17, will allow audiences to stream six performances from four opera companies, live and on-demand.

Among them are La Monnaie's Da Ponte trilogy, which interlaces the stories of Le Nozze Di Figaro, Così Fan Tutte and Don Giovanni.

The three operas have notably been staged by the same artistic team, with most singers doubling up in two roles.

"In these exceptional circumstances of not being able to play to audiences in our theatre, we are grateful that OperaVision enables our meticulously conceived and rehearsed 'Mozart/da Ponte Trilogy' to be experienced through streaming. I am also grateful to all the artists who have committed to performing the three operas under these unprecedented conditions," La Monnaie's Director Peter de Caluwe said in a statement.

Additional highlights of OperaVision's online festival include Scottish opera director David McVicar's production of "Die Entführung aus dem Serail," as well as "Il sogno di Scipione" in a production from the iconic Teatro La Fenice Venice. – AFP Relaxnews

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