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Subject: Re: The you-know-what has hit the fan
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 13 Oct 2018 21:43:34 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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Unfortunately, literal "opera on TV" is a pretty luddite request nowadays. 

PBS *does* show the Met HD's - though not as consistently as we'd like in terms of 
schedule and individual station's choices - but they do show them. 

The future, and really, the present, of filmed/live-streamed opera is on the web. (In fact, 
I think the Met has the HD broadcasts up on their on-demand site even before PBS gets 
them.)

Not that TV is going anywhere soon, I think (as I sit here also watching the Sox/Astros 
game), but just as the production world of cable TV took over from ye olde big network-
based programming from our youth, now we're starting to look to web services like 
Netflix and Hulu for a very successful portion of the up and coming new "TV" series. The 
focus of the broadcast media is changing again, slowly but surely. 

Also, now that streaming technology is getting better, and that it's becoming more and 
more possible to mirror or connect our TVs to our computers so we can watch on bigger 
screens, the reliance on "just" TV broadcasting is blurring. (Conversely, it's also getting 
easier to watch TV programming online, so now you don't even necessarily need a 
traditional TV set to watch TV.)

The web is a remarkable bastion for the arts in general, and certainly for opera - audio 
and video, and archived, recorded, and live streamed. I think more and more the way to 
"get [filmed/streamed] opera to the masses" in lieu of getting to the opera house, is to 
find more ways to make more people aware of the resources on the web. Sure, it's great 
that PBS shows occasional operas too, but why wait for that when it's already right here 
at your fingertips?

I also trust that the technology will continue to improve, to the point where it will be a 
given that most of us will automatically be able to transmit from online to our bigger TV 
screens, without the need for expensive extra subscriptions or hardware to make that 
happen. 

Like you, I lament that the arts on TV get such short shrift. I know I'm a bit younger than 
many of you here, but I still treasured a childhood where PBS in particular really did a lot 
of classical programming, and regularly so (back when WGBH was routinely airing 
broadcasts of the Boston Symphony and Pops, etc), along with operas from the Met, 
NYCO, and other companies, and this wasn't just a carrot on a stick during pledge break 
weeks. Even the cable networks that used to feature classical/opera/Broadway/etc on a 
regular basis have all moved on to other kinds of programming (remember when A&E 
actually aired performing arts programming? Or Bravo? Ovation?). 

So now it's the web's turn. And, one thing that I think will make the web a more reliable 
place to view and hear the arts for years to come - archiving is so often part of the 
experience. (Remember when youtube was *just* a place for people ti upload silly home 
videos? Now it's loaded with opera, etc.)

BUT- I will also say this. Most of us (Eric excepted?) would of course rather see opera live 
in an opera house when we can. And that, when we can't, the big screen HD movie 
theatre transmissions are a decent compromise - still much better in terms of size than 
what our TV and computer screens can offer right now. I can't always get to the HD's due 
to my crazy schedule - but when I can, it's always a great treat to see a Met-size 
performance on a big movie screen. And of course when I can actually get to a live opera 
where I'm actually in the same room as the singers, that's of course the best. So I think 
the only thing we need to guard against is that live opera on a big scale starts to give way 
to filmed/streamed opera we can *only* watch at home. May that never ever happen. 

But yes, the ideal way to get opera to the masses, of whatever age, who do not live 
withing commuting distance to Lincoln Center, and who can't get to the movie theatre 
HD's, is to get that WiFi on and find some opera online. It's there now. 



On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 19:50:30 -0400, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>The ideal way to get opera to the masses, of whatever age, who do not
>live within commuting distance to Lincoln Center, is to present the live
>HD transmissions on PBS: clear our screens of Perry Como, of Doo
>Wop, and of tired old pop culture fund raisers, for ten Saturdays a year,
>and make American television great again.
>
>dtmk
>
>On Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 9:19 PM Greg Keesler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Yep, the Aida was the first time my theater had reserved seats.  Luckily I
>> was able to figure out online the seat that I always sit in but I don't
>> really want to purchase tickets more than a week or so ahead.  I'm usually
>> one of the youngest people there and I'm pushing 60. I don't see a lot of
>> the elderly being able to go online ahead of time to purchase tickets and
>> this might actually deter some from attending.
>> A couple of people came in after buying tickets at the ticket window, saw
>> where they were supposed to sit and immediately went back out to exchange
>> the tickets for their preferred seats.
>> Like you Idia, in previous seasons I would always get to the theater early
>> - a lot of times I was the first one there.  I had found my favorite seat
>> and always sat there.
>> Last Saturday I warned the ticket taker that there was going to be a lot
>> of confusion among the elderly crowd and that it would be a good idea to
>> have someone in the theater to help people find their seats.  She looked at
>> me like I was crazy but said she would inform the manager.  Well, I was
>> right.  At one point they had three employees in the theater to assist
>> people.  I heard a couple of grumbles and complaints about the new policy
>> of reserved seats.
>> I guess one good thing is I don't have to get there quite so early
>> anymore.  I just hope no one ends up in my seat by mistake.
>>
>>       From: Idia Legray <[log in to unmask]>
>>  To: [log in to unmask]
>>  Sent: Friday, October 12, 2018 8:38 PM
>>  Subject: [OPERA-L] The you-know-what has hit the fan
>>
>> Even though I went and purchased 7 sets of 2 HD opera tickets each, way
>> back in July, and even though I always get to the theater almost 1 and 1/2
>> hours earlier so that I can get our favorite seats, I have just been
>> informed
>> that from now on ALL OVER THE COUNTRY all HD tickets (and regular
>> movie tickets as well) will only be sold by choosing a seat when you
>> purchase your tickets.
>>
>> So I dashed to the theater the minute I heard and now I am relegated to
>> seats I never would have chosen had I known about the sudden change as
>> of 2 weeks ago, because all my favorite seats are already booked.
>>
>> I understand that Saturday's "Aida" was mayhem as people were told you
>> can't sit in those seats -- they're taken already.
>>
>> And what happens if you go when a movie has already begun -- how do
>> you find your special seats in the dark?
>>
>> This is definitely a case for going to the Encores but sadly for me
>> Wednesday evenings are normally no good.
>>
>> Has anyone else had a similar experience?
>>
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