Ok, The HD Broadcasts may be great, but…

…I’m glad that people are still thinking of creative ways to stretch the definitions of opera.

I’m struck by the this story. La Traviata performed in the Zurich Train Station. People do site-specific theater all the time, and often it seems more gimmicky than thoughtful, but I was pretty impressed by this. According to BBC News:

“SF1 said the goal was to present the tragic love story on a ‘daily stage… where life travels unflinching on its normal path’.”

Check out Opera Chic for more videos and photos.

And this, from the AP story, blows my mind:

“While Zurich’s well-funded Opernhaus continues to hit above its weight with top-notch productions and sellouts, it has been trying hard to bring in a younger audience. People under 25 now account for nearly a quarter of attendees, Zurich Opera director Alexander Perreira said.”

25% under 25?! I guess I don’t have other stats to compare this to, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been to an opera or an orchestra concert where I’ve seen anything even CLOSE to that.

Mostly, I think this story warms my heart because it reminds us that broadcasting operas to movie theaters across the world is not the only (or even the best) way to reach out to a broader audience. The way that we bring art to an audience should be done just as creatively and thoughtfully as the creation of the art itself.

It seems like the Met really has paved the way in this realm though, and if nothing else they’re stirring up a really healthy discussion about the relevance and definition of opera.

The news about the Met’s $30 prime orchestra seats throughout the run of Doctor Atomic is encouraging, but it’s also a good reminder that simply offering cheap seats to bring in a diverse audience is a lot easier said than done–it was possible thanks to a generous (a 500K generous) board member.

I’m also curious how successful the Met’s online audio/video-archive-extravangaza will be.

“Subscription fees are $14.99 US per month or $149.99 a year, and there is an additional charge for each video or audio downloaded.”

Maybe I’m just a product of the early-Napster generation that expects everything on the internet to be free unless it’s something they’re delivering to your house. Yes, I do pay for my music on iTunes, but when I’m trying to experience something I’ve already missed out on in real life, it’s pretty hard to convince me to take out my credit card.

So I won’t be watching Met archive videos anytime soon, but I am looking forward to finding a chunk of time to watch the Royal Opera House’s production of Don Giovanni, which is available on their website for FREE.


~ by ohactually on October 8, 2008.

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