More Operas at the Movies: I Is Very Happy!

New York Times: Met Has New Rival in Operas at Movies

Published: December 19, 2007

It’s an arms race out there in opera land.

The San Francisco Opera on Tuesday announced its own plan to transmit operas to movie theaters using a system it says is superior to that of the Metropolitan Opera, which pioneered the practice in the United States last year.

The San Francisco house said it would broadcast six operas a year, starting in March, and reach 200 screens, about the same number as the Met began with last season. The much larger and busier Met now appears on about 600 screens and transmits eight productions a year.

Opera houses around the world are moving toward expanding audiences in as many electronic ways as possible: through Internet streaming and downloads, in DVD sales, on television on demand and, most dramatically, in movie theaters.

The Met has taken the lead, but the Washington National Opera is transmitting to college campuses, and La Scala is showing rebroadcasts in American theaters. The Royal Opera in London is also working on a movie plan.

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