Like every other cultural institution that makes life in New York City worth living, the Metropolitan Opera was forced to cancel its live performances in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
But don’t expect a finale just yet. The famed opera house, a pioneer of live-streamed theatrical performances, is mining its vault to help all those Verdi and Donizetti fans cope with their cabin fever while they’re holed up in their eight-room Upper West Side penthouses.
Beginning today and continuing until the doors reopen, you can stream handpicked past performances of the Met’s Live in HD series each night right from the organization’s website. The performances will go live at 7:30 p.m. ET and will remain active for 20 hours. Here’s the announced lineup for the first week:
- Monday, March 16: Bizet’s Carmen (from January 16, 2010)
- Tuesday, March 17: Puccini’s La Bohème (from April 5, 2008)
- Wednesday, March 18:Verdi’s Il Trovatore (from October 3, 2015)
- Thursday, March 19: Verdi’s La Traviata (from December 15, 2018)
- Friday, March 20: Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment (from April 26, 2008)
- Saturday, March 21: Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (from February 7, 2009)
- Sunday, March 22: Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (from February 24, 2007)
The full impact of the COVID-19 crisis on New York’s performing arts industry won’t be known for some time, but there’s no scenario in which it’s anything short of devastating. Stage productions from Broadway to black boxes have ground to a halt as city and state officials have instituted increasingly strict bans on events and public gatherings.
The Met is among a number of institutions that are exploring various streaming solutions to soften the economic blow and keep fans entertained. And while watching its back catalog online is no substitute for seeing a live performance, the Met is especially competent at capturing and presenting a stage show on screen. Its Live in HD series recently began its 14th season.
So stop obsessing over the coronavirus for a few hours and go stream some opera at Metopera.org or via the Met’s on-demand apps. I promise the terrible news will be waiting for you when the show’s over.