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More Thoughts about the ‘Met in HD’ and What it Means

The Met's production of "Thais", broadcast at a mall in Pennsylvania. Photo Mike Mergen/The New York Times

You can now, very easily, go to a movie theater and see Anna Netrebko sing ‘Manon’, or Renee Fleming sing ‘Rodelinda’, or any number of other operatic eminences, on live simulcast from the Metropolitan Opera. On balance, this is largely a positive development; opera is not scary or inaccessible, and if it turns out that it’s just not your thing, that’s fine, but you owe it to yourself to experience a little of it and find out explicitly that it’s not. (Full disclosure: it is assuredly not my thing, although I could easily be persuaded to go look at Anna Netrebko on whatever size screen and in whatever sort of fidelity you like.) An issue with the process is beginning to arise, though, one that initially seems fairly innocuous but becomes more problematic the longer you look at it – and which echoes the root problem accompanying our headlong sprint into the all tech, all the time future – namely, are the broadcasts changing the fundamental nature of opera itself? The Times‘ Zachary Woolfe has some pointed and, maybe, unsettling thoughts about that. (FULL ARTICLE: Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times)