October 15, 2008

CULTURE AT A CLICK:

The Met Opera Will Offer Performances on the Web (DANIEL J. WAKIN, 10/15/08, NY Times)

Met Player, as the service is called, will be available through the Met’s Web site, metopera.org. At its inauguration, on the 125th anniversary of the Met’s first show, users will be able to choose from 13 high-definition video performances, 37 standard video recordings and 120 audio broadcasts dating to 1937. The company said it planned to add performances regularly, drawing on its vast historical archives and its continuing high-definition broadcasts.

The catalog features classics like a “Lucia di Lammermoor” performance with Joan Sutherland and one with Maria Callas; a “Walküre” with Birgit Nilsson as Brünnhilde; a “Trovatore” with Leontyne Price and Franco Corelli; and a “Carmen” with Rosa Ponselle, in one of her rare full-length recorded performances. More recently, there are the “Tristan und Isolde” with Deborah Voigt and Robert Dean Smith, conducted by James Levine, and “I Puritani” with Anna Netrebko, each in high definition.

For $3.99 or $4.99 per streamed opera, users will have a six-hour window in which to listen to or watch a production, once it has started. A monthly subscription for $14.99 brings unlimited streaming, while a yearly subscription costs $149.99. [...]

[T]he Bayreuth Festival offered a live streaming of “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” last summer; the Royal Opera House in London has a free streamed “Don Giovanni” available; and the San Francisco Opera provides a few excerpts from its productions. But the Met’s on-demand streaming effort appears to be the most extensive of any house.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at October 15, 2008 7:26 AM
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