Yes! You can enjoy the opera at the movie theater! Last season Peter Gelb, director of the Metropolitan Opera began this amazing project of doing live broadcast to a number of HD movie theaters across the USA and around the world. Tickets do cost about twice as much as regular movie tickets, but this project is still bringing extraordinary cultural events to a much larger audience that those who can afford regular opera tickets.

Presentations also include some behind the scene takes, allowing the audience to see how the sets are installed and some of the makeup and props used during the production. During the broadcast of Hansel and Gretel, Renée Fleming also provided background commentary and short interviews with the two main singers and the stage director, giving the presentation a very interesting and well rounded approach.

During the presentation I attended today, we did have some technical difficulties with the sound during the second part of the show, but people after the theater was notified, the rest of the presentation went very smoothly. All in all is was a great experience and I was delighted to be able to access a world class cultural event at an affordable price.

For more information on the Metropolitan Opera’s HD presentations check out their website. On the left you will find a link to buy tickets in the USA or around the world. Other countries participating in this project include Canada, the UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, among others.

On Friday, January 4, 2008, Tom Ashbrook, presenter of WBUR’s On Point interviewed Peter Gelb about this project. You can listen to the interview here.