MET OPERA HD LIVE - The Courtyard Playhouse The Courtyard Playhouse

MET OPERA HD LIVE

Metropolitan Opera Live in HD is a series of live opera performances transmitted in high-definition video via satellite from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City to select venues, in the United States and other parts of the world. The first transmission was of a condensed English-language version of Mozart's The Magic Flute on December 30, 2006. Its aims include building a larger audience for the Met and garnering excitement for arts at a local level.

The simulcasts allow more people to experience the excitement of the Met's high-quality performance offerings. This audience includes current opera fans unable to get to New York City to see the shows in person and potential opera fans looking for an easy, affordable method of checking out a new art form.

Tom Galley, chief operations and technology officer of National CineMedia, describes the experience by saying:

"This Metropolitan Opera series is a unique opportunity for people to experience world-class opera in their local community, plus the movie theatre environment and affordable ticket price make these events something that the entire family can enjoy. If you’ve never had the pleasure of attending a live opera performance before, this is the perfect opportunity to see why this magical art form has captured audiences’ imaginations for generations."

Reaction in the British press has been positive:

"opera is, in fact, managing to find new audiences, all over the world. Down at the Ritzy, my local cinema in Brixton, London, I've been able, since December, to see live broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera in New York"

The author Peter Conrad, praised Gelb's showmanship:

"The relays are the brainchild of the Met's new general manager, Peter Gelb, or one of his innumerable brainchildren, part of a campaign both to rejuvenate the Met's audience in New York and to welcome what he calls 'the global opera community' into the fold. When I met Gelb in New York last week, I told him I'd decided that seeing The Barber in Clapham (just south of central London) was actually better than being at the Met. 'Oh no, that's bad,' he groaned. 'We must be doing too good a job."