Live Feeds Hit High Note for Operas

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2008 8:52 PM CDT
Opera fans inside the AMC Burbank 16 theater in Burbank, Calif., Monday, Sept. 22, 2008, watch The Metropolitan Opera during opening night.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
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(Newser) – The age of iPods has drawn opera from its stuffy confines into city streets, cinemas, and websites, Mike Ashman writes in Gramophone. After the BBC was inspired by flashmobbers to broadcast an opera from Paddington Station a few years ago, impresarios caught on: Now opera companies from the Met to the Bayreuth Festival are offering live broadcasts and Internet feeds.

Theater broadcasts are catching on, but how are the Internet feeds? "Rather like playing an online 78: the performance is divided into 10 parts, each (rather annoyingly) coming to a full, continuity-interrupting close," Ashman gripes about a Covent Garden performance. But the optional subtitles and commentary provide "an excellent enterprise altogether," making an online stream far better than a pricey a DVD release. (Read more opera stories.)