After Closure, the Met Opera Offers Free Streaming of Past Performances
by Katherine J. Wu/Smithsonianmag.com
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many are avoiding public gatherings and ensconcing themselves in their homes—measures crucial to slowing the spread of disease. In cities like New York, mandated closures have now shuttered some of the largest tourist attractions around, deterring vulnerable individuals from entering their doors.
But social distance doesn’t have to mean cultural distancing. Barred from admitting visitors in person, museums and other institutions around the globe have come up with creative ways of keeping their patrons engaged. Last Friday—a day after canceling all performances through March 31—New York’s Metropolitan Opera announced that it would be taking some of its offerings virtual, kicking things off this week with daily free streamings of its Live in HD series.
These archived performances, which have been played in select venues (primarily movie theaters) via satellite transmissions since 2006, “was developed as a way to reach existing audiences and to introduce new audiences to opera through new technology,” according to the Met Opera’s website. Now, the institution is serving them up to all fans craving content from the comfort of their own homes.
“We’d like to provide some grand opera solace to opera lovers in these extraordinarily difficult times,” says …read more: