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Thread: Opera - 'Live in HD to a cinema near you ...'

  1. #1
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    Default Opera - 'Live in HD to a cinema near you ...'

    Are you aware that the New York Metropolitan Opera company have a global reach with their live HD-by-satellite ... delivered to a digital cinema screen in a town near you?

    Rigoletto
    is appearing in HD at my local cinema tomorrow in what is described as "Live Opera in stunning high definition and Dolby Digital sound. A truly remarkable experience." It seems to be a pre-recorded Glyndbourne Royal Opera House production but should give me an idea of how well the cinema sound experience supports opera. To my amazement (and congratulations to those who have tickets) the entire Met season at my cinema has been completely sold out - I managed to get one of the last tickets.

    I'll let you know what it was like. No need to dress up!
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  2. #2
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    Default Metropolitan opera & others

    Hi Alan,

    Boston is in the same time zone as New York so our broadcasts are truly live.There are three locations in the western suburbs, and they always sell out. One theatre has very comfortable seating, and one of their auditoriums serves food and drinks. I have attended broadcasts in all locations and find that the newer of the three locations has better sound, but they are all good.

    The MET has a website, so the schedule is available there. There is another site dedicated to the HD broadcasts. FYI, WHRB (Harvard College Radio), streams Metropolitan Opera on Sunday evenings (EST/EDT).

    Dennis Girard

  3. #3
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    Default Thanks A.S.

    A.S.

    Many thanks for the information regarding this, it is available nationwide.

    I'm off to my local screening in Bolton, Lancashire.

    Jim

  4. #4
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    Default Rigoletto tomorrow in HD

    To Rigoletto tomorrow? I'd be keen to compare notes with you after.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  5. #5
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    Default Yes, tonight

    Yep, looking forward to it.

    Family life might just get in the way but the plan is to go along tonight with my little girl.

    I'll look forward to hearing your comments on the experience.

    Jim

  6. #6
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    Default Opera brough to the door - thank you!

    A.S.

    I hope you enjoyed the opera as much as I did. A truly fantastic experience.

    The performances were undoubtedly magnificant, what a talented group to have produced such a sumptuous production, it was clear to see at the end that Rigoletto had given his soul to the performance and was completely emotionally exhausted.

    The picture in Bolton was superb, each scene like a grand master painting, and I was never distracted by any paucity of quality of sound, it really only passed my mind briefly, more because I was considering if you were enjoying the performance rather than for any other reason.

    What a wonderfully easy and relaxed way to allow people to engage with opera, and thank you A.S. for bringing it to my attention.

  7. #7
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    Default Rigoletto - feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by 1ryal View Post
    I hope you enjoyed the opera as much as I did. A truly fantastic experience. The picture in Bolton was superb, each scene like a grand master painting, and I was never distracted by any paucity of quality of sound, it really only passed my mind briefly, more because I was considering if you were enjoying the performance rather than for any other reason.

    What a wonderfully easy and relaxed way to allow people to engage with opera, and thank you A.S. for bringing it to my attention.
    My pleasure. I thought of you during the performance and wondered at odd moments if you had attended alone or not. It was wonderful to able to look-into the Royal Opera House from a camera at the back, opposite the stage and to look down on the audience exactly as we would have do had we been in a box there. Yes: what you don't appreciate until you see the performers close-up, as if you were in the orchestra pit, is just how much energy they burn. Astonishing.

    Like you I found the sound was remarkably acceptable, especially in the bass and midrange. On the high notes it was a little ringy in my cinema, but rarely drew attention to itself as you found. I was not aware of the rear channels (I was in the third row - last available ticket) but the wide, warm stereo was very enjoyable.

    Did you notice at least three spelling mistakes in the subtitles? How is that possible?

    My cinema was packed. Average age probably 60. I was one of the youngest there. The couple next to me managed to glug their way through a bottle of red wine between them during the performance! How busy was your cinema and where did you sit?

    Really glad you enjoyed it, and from the Tweets that appeared on-screen at the end it seems we were joined by participants in the USA, Greece, South America .....
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  8. #8
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    Default Captivating performance

    Thanks for your comments A.S.

    I thought you may wonder how full the cinema was in Bolton, so I had a good look round just before the start of the third act. It was around 1/3 full, and as we arrived just before the start of the performance (following my wifes mad scrabble home from work) we grabbed a seat near the front, around 8 rows back or so. I didn't manage to spot any wine slurping or canape munching, but it counjours up a delightful image.

    You perceptively picked up that I was planning to take my daughter, I did. Thanks for sparing me a thought or two, I failed to examine the plot prior to attending (mia culpa), but I don't wholly regret taking her. She was captivated by the power of the perfomance and was on the edge of her seat right until then end.

    I really think it was a triumph, and would congratulate the ROH on this innovative move to spread thir wonderful productions. Are you planning to attend the upcomming perfomance of Ls Fille Mal Gardee ?

  9. #9
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    Default Doing our bit ....

    It certainly was a very 'modern' production wasn't it! Do you recall the polite warning at the start? At that announcement my audience of near-pensioners let out a highly audible "Oh good!". I'm sure they weren't disappointed!

    It's excellent that you all found the experience entertaining, especially your daughter. The biggest threat to the music/audio industry is not digital downloads or bypassing copyright, it's the publics' disinterest in the performance culture surrounding live music that's developed over the past 500 years or so. When that ceases to be important or to even be approachable let along understandable or entertaining, then the lowest common denominator of audio equipment and delivery is indeed 'good enough'.

    They say that a dissatisfied restaurant customer tells twelve others, who in turn tell six others. If you daughter influences even one other to explore this hidden and magnificent world that, as you say, is now delivered to the ordinary chap's doorstep, we have collectively done more for the industry than all the accessory merchandisers combined.

    The problem down here in Sussex is being quick enough off the mark to buy a ticket: the entire seasons seems to sell out in hours. I was very lucy indeed. If, perchance, Brittens Peter Grimes is on the circuit, be sure and let us all know. Sung in English, it simply cannot be missed.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  10. #10
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    Default Peter Grimes live

    Peter Grimes live 24 May 2012: read here.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  11. #11
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    Default If this is the ONLY opera you ever experience live ..... (two days to go)

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    Peter Grimes live 24 May 2012: read here.
    Well, in two evenings time, you have the chance to discard your home hifi and get out into the real world and join a world-wide audience in cinemas around the globe .... Peter Grimes live from Milan in digital.

    If you never, ever experience opera EVER in the rest of your life, this is the one to see. Music is truly about a shared experience, not a solo pursuit in solitary confinement. With a global audience, these performers should be absolutely at the peak of their abilities.

    Make a commitment to what music is all about, and invest one evening of your lives away from your audio system. Music has nothing whatever to do with filling your speaker stands or chucking money at cables or power conditioners: it's about artistic performance.

    UK cinemas running the live relay are listed here.

    To quote:

    A sensational new production of Benjamin Britten's famous work, live from the world's most prestigious opera house.

    Staged at Milan's Teatro alla Scala for only the third time in the great opera house's distinguished history, 'Peter Grimes' was particularly close its composer's heart. It tells the story of an ambitious fisherman in a fictional English seaside village who is accused by locals of murdering his boy apprentices. This tale of social oppression and its tragic consequences was described by Britten as exploring "the struggle of the individual against the masses. The more vicious the society, the more vicious the individual." The opera's famous Four Sea Interludes also paint a vivid sound picture of the Norfolk seascape. Renowned for his diverse, witty and modernist productions, British director Richard Jones brings psychological realism and pitch-black humour to his new staging. The distinguished cast features specialists in twentieth century repertoire, with John Graham-Hall in the title role.
    A month or two ago, my wife and I visited Aldeburgh, and attached is a picture of me outside Moot Hall - five hundred years old. It is this building which is central to the plot of Grimes. (oops! Can't find the images)
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

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