(UPDATES): “Met at the Movies” – Romeo et Juliette (Roberto Alagna, Anna Netrebko)

“Met at the Movies” – apparently this is an official title for a series of HD Broadcasts from Metropolitan Opera to god-only-knows how many places on the surface of the earth, if you are still living in a cave and have not heard about this program (that entered its second year on 12/15 with a broadcast of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette), then feel very very guilty and check out the information here

A friend from an operatically advanced Portland and I went to a performance at a local movie theater.  I think that despite very cold weather, a depressingly old age of the audience and an enormous amount of Russian-speaking opera lovers, we have managed to enjoy the broadcast. I think the whole “behind-the-scenes” segments between acts were very poorly done and I found them to be very distracting and, honestly, anticlimactic.  Alanga was great, even if too old to play a teenager in love, and Netrebko was a bit weak, I thought, in the first couple of Acts when she had to play a silly young girl in love, but she got increasingly better(both singing and acting) as things got a bit more tragic and gloomy – the finale was quite excellent!

This is a recap from Met’s Blog: Posted by Matt Dobkin on 12/15/2007

Today was the first of the Met’s 8 high-definition transmissions this season, and the excitement in the opera house was palpable. TV trucks were parked behind the house on Amsterdam Avenue, and camera crews raced around the house capturing behind-the-scenes action for the international audience. Continue reading

Metropolitan Opera’s First Simulcast of 2007-08 Breaks Attendance Records!

(Reposted from PlaybillArst)

17 Dec 2007

The Metropolitan Opera’s “Live in High Definition” series of live satellite transmissions into movie theaters achieved record-breaking attendance in its first weekend of the new 2007-08 season.

The first transmission, on Saturday, December 15 — Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, starring Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna, conducted by Plácido Domingo — drew a worldwide audience of 97,000. 435 venues (477 screens) in the United States and Canada sold approximately 77,000 tickets; 100 international venues (100 screens) sold an additional 20,000 tickets.

“The success of Saturday’s HD transmission is an indication that the public’s interest in these global events is building,” said Met General Manager Peter Gelb. “And the demand for tickets to our transmissions parallels the increase in attendance at the opera house in the first third of the performance season. More people are interested in opera today, which is great news for the Met.”

There were 88 sold-out screens in the United States, including those in major markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Chicago, and at 11 performing arts centers and universities in the U.S.; 33 screens sold out in Canada.

Attendance outside of North America was very strong as well. Twenty-five venues in Europe sold out, including locations in Germany, Austria, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark and the Czech Republic; the presentation sold out in Puerto Rico as well. Roméo was also transmitted into venues in Belgium, Poland and Norway; it will be presented in Japan and Australia on a delayed basis. Continue reading