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Movies Go to the Opera

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 7, 2009 at 1:14AM

Opera buff alert! You don't have to spend a small fortune anymore to see live opera. These days, the Metropolitan Opera is delivering its shows live in HD in digital cinemas around the country. This way, instead of sitting in the rafters with binoculars, you can relish in close-up the visual and aural wealth of the hefty sets, costumes, singers and orchestras.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Opera buff alert! You don't have to spend a small fortune anymore to see live opera. These days, the Metropolitan Opera is delivering its shows live in HD in digital cinemas around the country. This way, instead of sitting in the rafters with binoculars, you can relish in close-up the visual and aural wealth of the hefty sets, costumes, singers and orchestras.

While many of Emerging Pictures' indie releases can be hit or miss, the digital distrib can depend on the growing, passionate fan base for operas every year. Emerging is releasing international operas on about 80 digital screens, one or two operas each month (usually weekday nights and weekend matinees) during opera season. Depending on your local venue, it costs about 20 bucks. The series tends to do best in cities where cross-promotions are possible with a resident opera company, like New York, Los Angeles, and Cleveland.

The Opera in Cinema season kicks off with the movie La Bohème starring Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón and continues with the Salzburg Festival's Così fan Tutte by Mozart; Wagner’s Die Walküre performed at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia; Monteverdi’s L'Orfeo from La Scala; Bizet’s Carmen, also from La Scala; and Verdi’s Il Trovatore from the Gran Teatre del Liceu.


This article is related to: Genres, Digital Future, Independents


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.