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With ballet and opera companies, live entertainment makes a comeback

Verdi's La Traviata

Royal Opera House | Facebook | Fair Use

J-P Mauro - published on 05/13/20

Classical music institutions the world over are making their important cultural performances available online.

The future of live entertainment has become one of the greatest uncertainties of the coronavirus lockdown. Even after the restrictions are lifted, whenever that might be, will people feel comfortable enough to gather in large venues for music and stage performances?

Thankfully, the world of classical music is not waiting for the answer to this question, as opera and ballet companies all over the globe are preparing to bring some of the most popular and historic shows to a venue near you, namely your computer screen. These companies, which are offering both pre-recorded and live-streamed performances, are putting up the vast majority of their content for free viewing and many of them are taking it a step further to give behind the scenes looks at the inner workings of stage life.

In England, the Royal Opera House is offering a variety of shows and even master classes, which give even the musically untrained fans a deeper appreciation for the complexities of operatic singing. Streamed through their Facebook page, with the tag #OurHouseToYourHouse, they are currently offering streams of Verdi’s La Traviata, featuring the world renowned soprano Renée Fleming; The Winter’s Tale, by Ryan Wigglesworth; and the operatic retelling of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, all available for immediate viewing.

The Royal Opera House’s Facebook catalog is further filled with short clips from ballets and opera to infuse your day with some much needed culture. Also available is a brief video series with Tony Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera, who shares with viewers some of his favorite pieces and the musical aspects that have led to their popularity and success.

Broadway World reports a dizzying list of no less than 16 opera and ballet companies that are also turning their efforts towards online performances. The full list is too long to reproduce here, but some of the highlights include:

The Royal Theatre of La Monnaie – Currently offering seven operas to stream freely, including Macbeth, Madama Butterfly, and Dialogues of the Carmelites.

Vienna State Opera – The famed Austrian company is streaming a different opera every single day during quarantine. Check their website for a full listing of scheduled shows, which include La Bohème, The Magic Flute, and Don Giovanni.

Metropolitan Opera – The Met is in its ninth week of providing coronavirus lockdown activities. They offer a different recorded performance every night, so check their website to see what tonight’s is.

Playbill notes that there are a few operas to be performed through live-streams on PBS in the coming months. This month they are bringing the public Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, Handel’s Agrippina, and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Check Playbill’s website for more listings.

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