Pay to Stream Online?

The Festspielhaus in Bayreuth (thanks to Wikipedia)

The Festspielhaus in Bayreuth (thanks to Wikipedia)

The Bayreuth Festival made a bold move this year to stream their production of “Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg” online–a seemingly positive step towards outreach from the rather elite, wait-list-laden Wagner love-fest. But it’s troubling to me because in order to watch it in the comfort of your home, you needed to shell out $77. Sure that may be nothing compared to the difficulty and price to see a Bayreuth opera in the flesh, and the last thing we need is a Napster-esque controversy with live opera performances. But it seems a little counterproductive if the real goal is outreach. Yet people seem to think highly of it: exhibit a and exhibit b.

I was thrilled when I discovered that I could watch Peter Sellar’s production of an obscure Mozart opera (and loads of other concerts and events) at It was free, but I also didn’t make it more than 20 minutes in before the stream cut out and I had to start from the very beginning again. I eventually gave up.


~ by ohactually on July 30, 2008.

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