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How to watch opera at home

Today was supposed to be another Opera Chat, and while we watched Così fan tutte a few weeks back we haven’t been able to finish the conversation around it yet. I still wanted to post something opera related in the mean time so have put together a list of where you can watch operas at home in case you can’t get yourself to an opera house for any reason.

OperaVision is backed by an EU programme and “brings together 29 partners from 17 countries” to offer free opera streams. This is where we found Tosca. The streams are available on their YouTube channel.

On YouTube you can also find the EuroArtsChannel. In addition to full-length operas they offer concertos, ballet and world music.

There are paid streams as well. Royal Opera House in London allows you to buy individual performances on their website. They are a part of the OperaVision project, on the other hand, and their own online catalogue is limited.

For an extensive back catalogue spanning decades, getting an on demand subscription to New York’s Metropolitan Opera could be worth your while. At $14.99 a month (cancel anytime) or $149.99 a year it ain’t the cheapest option if you’re on a budget, but it’s good value if you consider the amount of content available for unlimited streaming. If you’re unsure they offer a free 7-day trial to get you going.

The Met also have a Live in HD service offering live streamed performances to local cinemas worldwide. Check out their website for your nearest participating cinema.

If you’re a Sky customer you can download a variety of performances straight to your TV if you have the right service add-on. They have several open air productions from Opera Australia and the Royal Opera House (Il Trovatore, Norma). If you don’t have the right service you can find various operas (and ballets) airing on the Sky Arts channel. Sky is available in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.

These suggestions are Eurocentric, specifically UK-centric, but so is this blog. With the exception of Sky the rest of the suggestions should be available to a worldwide audience, and I’m sure there are many other streaming providers out there this should be enough to get you started.

A presto!

Francis

An old school gentleman in a modern world, longing for the simplicity of days gone by. Definitely not a saint. Enjoys The Sopranos and going to the opera. A meticulous dresser with Strong Opinions™ about Italian food. Wonders why "Fedora-wearing" is an insult, as he doesn't feel dressed without one.

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