The Metropolitan Opera in New York has launched a pay-per-view series of live concerts featuring some of the world’s biggest opera stars. The run includes Renée Fleming on August 1 in Washington DC, and continues throughout 2020, with concerts broadcast from some of the most famous venues in Europe and North America. Here’s how it works.
Met Stars Live in Concert is beaming some of the most recognizable voices in the world of opera straight into your home. The concerts are set in some striking venues – at a time when travel is still limited for most of us.
Once you’ve signed up, even if you can’t make the live viewing, you can catch the concerts on demand for the following 12 days. The first concert took place in Bavaria on July 18, 2020, with tenor Jonas Kaufmann performing from Polling Abbey, in Bavaria.
“This initiative is intended to create live performance opportunities for our artists and our audiences at a time when they both sorely need it,” Peter Gelb, general manager of the Met, said in a press release. “Although some concert activity is beginning to take place once again in some parts of the world, this is a chance for opera fans to experience their favorite stars in real time, since it’s going to be a long time before artists and their audiences are fully mobile again.”
Exploring the unique venues in which each concert takes place is a crucial part of each presentation. Cameras are free to showcase the locations, although there will be no audience present, which gives each concert the feel of a cinematic presentation and not a stage performance. To enhance this, documentary segments are used throughout the live performances to give the singers a break from the strenuous arias.
For example, Kaufmann sang from the grand interior of the 1770s Polling Abbey, where viewers were able to enjoy the setting as much as the singing, with the frescoes and vaulted ceilings as a backdrop.
The next concert takes place on August 1 and features American soprano Renée Fleming from the historic Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington DC. Fleming’s repertoire includes her favorite arias by Puccini and Massenet, along with selections by Handel and Korngold.
August 1: Renée Fleming, live from the Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington DC
August 16: Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak, live outdoors from the Château de la Chèvre d’Or in Èze, France (sole Sunday performance)
August 29: Lise Davidsen, live from the Oscarshall Palace in Oslo, Norway
September 12: Joyce DiDonato, live from the Fundació Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, Spain
September 26: Sondra Radvanovsky and Piotr Beczała, live from Barcelona, Spain (location as yet unconfirmed)
October 10: Anna Netrebko, live from Liechtenstein Palace in Vienna, Austria
October 24: Diana Damrau and Joseph Calleja, live from Malta (castle location as yet unconfirmed)
November 7: Pretty Yende and Javier Camarena, live from Zurich, Switzerland (location as yet unconfirmed)
November 21: Sonya Yoncheva, live from Berlin, Germany (location as yet unconfirmed)
December 12: Bryn Terfel, live from Wales (church location as yet unconfirmed)
December 19: Angel Blue, live from New York City (location as yet unconfirmed)