I’m a big fan of theater broadcast to cinemas, and tickets tend to cost, where I live, £15 – £18 pounds or so. But the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts are £30, and there’s no way I’d pay that to see an opera in a cinema.
A new initiative, The Opera Platform, is offering a number of operas streamed on the web, and for thirty days following the live streams, for free. Compared to the cost of operas streamed to cinemas, this is clearly a bargain, and my lead those opera houses that do broadcast to cinemas to rethink their strategy.
The Opera Platform will have at least one opera a month, from one of its 15 partners, which includes the Wiener Statsoper, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Teatro Real Madrid, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In a partnership with Arte, the Franco-German cultural TV channel, these films will clearly be professionally done.
This is an excellent initiative, funded by the European Union, bringing opera into homes. Instead of paying the elitist price of operas broadcast to cinemas, anyone can see these for free, in the comfort of their home.
The first operas to be shown are Sibelius’ Kullervo, Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, Maskats’ Valentina, Syzmanoski’s Król Roger, and Verdi’s La Traviata. It’s fair to say that this covers a broad spectrum, and there’s something for every type of opera fan. You can already watch La Traviata, directed by David McVicar, which was broadcast on May 8 from the Teatro Real Madrid.
While you’re at it, you might want to check out Arte’s concert collection, which offers films of operas and concerts, including a half-dozen concerts filmed at the new Philharmonie de Paris.