I went to the movies today to go to the opera. The Metropolitan Opera is broadcasting select operas each season, live in HD at certain movie theaters. I’ve been a fan of opera for years, although I am not as knowledgeable as I’d like. For a while I had a subscription to the New York City Opera. It was much less expensive than the Met, and the productions are more modern and approachable.
So, at upwards of $150 for a single seat in a good location at the Met, I have generally avoided it. In their effort to broaden their audience, the Met now offers this program. And at $22 for a seat in a theater where I can eat candy and popcorn and enjoy stadium seating, well, that sounds good to me!
Surprisingly, the theater was packed. I’m glad I got there early and was able to pick a good seat. This is really a fun way to see an opera. Before the start, there was a brief interview with Met music director James Levine. During scene changes, we get to watch some of the backstage action, including set changes. Macbeth was written by Giuseppe Verdi and is, of course, in Italian. Fortunately these productions are subtitled.
I have nothing but the highest praise for the singers and for this production. Of course everyone who has been to high school knows Macbeth, and the story has not changed. The Met’s production, under the direction of Adrian Noble, brings the action into the twentieth century. During the intermission he explains why, and it makes perfect sense.
There are five more opportunities this season to see other operas broadcast live in HD from the Met. I highly recommend trying it out.