OT: The Met In HD

Today I attended the last of this year’s Metropolitan Opera HD Simulcasts. If you haven’t heard of this, it’s a new project the Met launched this year to try to revive opera’s declining fortunes and the Met’s sagging attendance by broadcasting select shows live in High-Def at a couple hundred movie theaters around the country (with subtitles). By most available accounts it’s been a wild success.

This afternoon’s show was Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment, a romantic comedy best known for the first-act tenor aria that contains nine high-C’s (Pavarotti put himself on the map with this one song), though the second-act today contained a D-flat for the tenor as well. Of course he nailed both magnificently. This is the Met. The spoken text has been updated, but otherwise the show plays in the original and is a blast. It’s pretty light fare as opera goes, and the story is helped along in this production by the frolicsome female lead, the French Natalie Dessay.

I have nowhere to go with this other than to say if you can catch one of these shows, you should (the simulcasts will expand to 11 next year and La Boheme is being rebroadcast in early May). They’re infinitely affordable ($24 a ticket today), and it’s really the first time that top-notch opera is available to us unwashed masses, who can take some of the best operatic works for a test drive on the cheap and in street clothes. Encore!

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  1. Charles Brady wrote:

    Actually there is somewhere to go with this Doug. In Sept. of 2006 I had a series of meetings with Cinemedia about an idea that I had and it looks like someone from Cinemedia liked the idea well enough to pitch it to Opera.

    I also pitched some of the idea to a major promoter in Southern Gospel in Sept of 06 and I think the reason it never went anywhere was we were looking at the venue size 200-500 seats and at a ticket price of 7-10 bucks it didn’t make financial sense to the promoter.

    Now at 24 bucks a head it would fly if the right folks could be assembled to pull this off. (We did bring most everyone together for Radioactive Airplay in getting music to all radio stations that would air it. Maybe we could do it again with this idea?)

    But then again how many fans would pay 24 bucks to watch SG? Maybe if it was the right event?

    I have a full blown business plan already drawn up if we have any deep pockets out there ready for a new challenge to grow our wonderful southern gospel genre! LOL!!!

    I also have a work around for that 24.00 ticket option that is very unique and could almost take us back to the roots of how our genre began. With the high cost of gas and declining sales of CDs maybe someone should be calling me…… (But it would take joint cooperation from a multitude of folks in our industry to pull it off and make it really soar.)

    I think this answers my question of “could it work?” When I pitched the idea to Cinemedia they thought is was the best idea they had heard in quite some time to fill their empty seats. Maybe they can mail me a royalty check once in a while from the opera folks! LOL!! Maybe I’m just working too hard in the wrong genre?

    I don’t think the east coast is the place to begin this venture but I could sure see those in many of the left coast states buying tickets and loving every minute of it.

    Now all I need is about 700 great regional artists looking for a once in a lifetime opportunity and a couple great labels with video production abilities and some class A talent looking to appear in 700 locations on a single night! What a wonderful way to grow a genre!!!!

    So anyone looking to get in on a great ground floor opportunity can email me at pr@sogospel.com and I’ll put you on the list of contacts when we set the date to present the launch seminar at the Greensboro-High Point Marriott Airport in October.

    Doug I hope you can attend.

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