Category Archives: Opera broadcasts

‘Werther’ live webcast with James Valenti on Sunday, February 5

James Valenti in Werther live webcast

Minnesota Opera together with collaborators SoundQue and Opera Music invite you to tune in for the first  live webcast of 2012, Massanet’s Werther starring James Valenti and Roxana Constantinescu, airing February 5, at 2 PM CT (8 PM GMT).

The webcast will be offered worldwide free of charge, which means no barriers of price and/or location. The webcast will further the company’s efforts to expand accessibility to live opera performance and exposure to Minnesota Opera’s artistic quality.

“Last year we started live video webstreaming of opera — every performance we have broadcast has averaged about 60-80,000 viewers, from over 20 countries,” says Kelly Rinne, music director of Opera Music Broadcast, explained in a recent interview on Operatoonity. “My goal is to do for the regional companies what the HD broadcasts did for the Met — our station already has the built-in audience through our use of social media. We just need the opera companies to step up and look to build their audience beyond the physical confines of the opera house.”

The live webcast advances the technology currently offered by the Met and other houses who provide free audio to selected performances: tomorrow, you can see AND hear Werther.  Just visit Opera Music Broadcast’s website to enjoy. It’s that simple.

So, why not give yourself an early valentine and tune in?

For the last threWerther live webcast from Minnesota Opera starring James Valenti on Feb 5th 2012e years, Minnesota Opera has made new media a priority, working with those at the vanguard of the fast-changing field of digital distribution for opera. This project is an opportunity for Minnesota Opera to become the first major American opera company to webcast its works through this emerging distribution channel. Thanks to major funding provided by the St. Paul Cultural star Program, Minnesota Opera’s production of Werther has the potential to reach exponentially greater audience members than it could in its one-week engagement on the Ordway stage.

The Cast webcast only
Werther, a poet James Valenti
Charlotte Roxana Constantinescu
Albert, her betrothed Gabriel Preisser
Sophie, Charlotte’s sister Angela Mortellaro
Le Bailli, Charlotte’s father Joseph Beutel
Schmidt, his friend John Robert Lindsey
Johann, his friend Rodolfo Nieto
Brühlmann, a young man Mark Thomas
Käthchen, a young woman Alison Schardin

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, Classic Opera, Collaborative opera, opera and technology, Opera broadcasts, opera webcasts

Opera Co. of Phila. launches ‘Carmen’ under the stars

historic Independence Hall, the southern bookend of Independence Mall in Center City Philadelphia

The Opera Company of Philadelphia cordially invites the City of Philadelphia to grab their picnic baskets and blankets, and join them for Opening Night Philadelphia!, a free, public simulcast of Bizet’s Carmen on September 30, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. on historic Independence Mall.

This marks the first big screen live simulcast  at one of Philadelphia’s most iconic public spaces and has been made possible by an $150,000 inaugural gift from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge to support art ideas that enrich and engage Philadelphia.

“We are proud to bring this classic production of Carmen to life in a  larger-than-life way,” shared General Director David B. Devan. “We have affirmed . . . the important role that art and music play in making our city vibrant. Our hope is to have just as many first-time opera-goers in our audience for this special evening on Independence Mall as we have loyal opera fans – that’s the fun of it.”

Carmen tells the story of a beguiling gypsy who sets her sights on a naïve but passionate young corporal, tracing a tale of seduction, obsession, and deadly betrayal. Bizet’s masterpiece features many of opera’s most powerful melodies, from the bewitching “Habañera,” to the passionate “Seguidilla,” and the bravura of the “Toreador” song, capturing the imagination from the first notes of its renowned overture.

Mezzo Rinat Shaham sings Carmen at OCP this fall

“We chose Carmen specifically as a vehicle for Rinat Shaham, one of the most acclaimed Carmens of our time,” shared Artistic Director Robert B. Driver. Rinat began her career at the Curtis Institute of Music, and sang career-forging roles with OCP early on, including Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, and Werther’s Charlotte.

Shaham has performed the title role of Bizet’s opera in New York, Berlin, Stuttgart, Japan, Montreal, Miami and Tel Aviv, among others. Her Glyndebourne Festival debut in Carmen led the The Independent to praise her as “… a sensation. From the moment she slinks downstage…. this [Carmen] uses the music like promises and threats, coaxing, cajoling, insinuating, bending the melody.”

As Don José, Canadian tenor David Pomeroy makes his OCP debut on the heels of recent performances at the Metropolitan Opera in the title roles Romeo and Juliet and The Tales of Hoffmann. He starred as Alfredo in Vancouver Opera’s La traviata earlier this year, and sang Pinkerton in recent Canadian Opera Company performances of Madama Butterfly.

Rising star baritone Jonathan Beyer, a Curtis Institute of Music alumnus who has sung a number of major roles with Pittsburgh Opera and recently performed in the World Premiere of Moby Dick at Dallas Opera, makes his Company debut as Escamillo.

Academy of Vocal Arts alumna Ailyn Pérez, who sang the title role of Romeo and Juliet with the Opera Company, returns as Micaëla following performances of Marguerite in Faust with Santa Fe and San Diego Operas.

OCP’s Carmen will be performed in French with English translations and runs for five performances on September 30, October 2m, 5, 9m & 14, 2011.

Information and details on the September 30th Opening Night Philadelphia! event, including registration for free tickets, can be found at

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, Classic Opera, Live opera performance, North American Opera, opera and technology, Opera broadcasts, Opera Marketing, opera milestones, opera news, Opera Simulcast, Regional opera

Met’s ‘Live in HD’ — cash cow or godsend?

Anna Nebtrebko in Manon /Covent Garden Production photo by Bill Cooper

Should the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series The Met: Live in HD  be considered a cash cow or a godsend? 

More of a godsend, dear readers. And here’s why. The Met pays plenty to offer Live in HD to 1,500  theaters in 46 countries. In a recent statement to opera media, Met officials stated that nine live transmissions grossed $48 million while netting $24 million in the last completed season, 2009-10.  That means the participating theaters earned a healthy premium of  revenue, such a healthy portion, it might be considered fatback in the deep American South. 

But what the healthy figures (more than seven million HD tickets sold worldwide since the HD series began five seasons ago) don’t show is how The Met: Live in HD is building audience for live opera. Yes, live opera. 

Mariusz Kwiecien as Don G. / photo by Nick Heavican, Metropolitan Opera

It is a hugely impactful outcome–that Live in HD can build younger and broader audiences worldwide–precisely what opera, the art form, needs. And cinema opera brings in revenue–to the tune of $24 million, which buys a lot of period costumes (and other stuff) for shows like Don Giovanni (scheduled for HD Live, October 29, 2011.) 

Whenever the Met transmits an HD broadcast, it always encourages viewers to frequent live opera–of course, at the Met, but in their hometowns and home countries as well. 

In a recent event announcing their 2011-12 season, Managing Director Peter Gelb affirmed that Live in HD is serving current audiences as well as building future audiences for opera. 

“Our tour guides who interact with tourists to the Met report far greater numbers.  Most tourists come with a mission to see a landmark in the house that they’ve seen in HD shows.  The main purpose of The Met: Live in HD is to increase the bond between the Met and our global audience, and increase attendance.” — Peter Gelb 

 The Met has announced eleven Live in HD productions for 2011-12 and they are:  Anna Bolena on October 15; Don Giovanni on October 29; Siegfried on November 5; Satyagraha on November 19; Rodelinda on December 5; Faust on December 10; The Enchanted Island on January 21; Gotterdammerung on February 11; Ernani on  February 25; Manon on April 7; and La Traviata on April 14. 

'The Enchanted Island' / Photo by Nick Heavican

Tickets go on sale in September. Met members in the U.S. and Canada have ticket priority before general viewing public. 

Happy viewing. And if fish have lips, I’ll be stuffing my face with popcorn during Don G in fall of 2011.


Filed under 21st Century Opera, Don Giovanni, North American Opera, Opera broadcasts

have you told Sondra Radvanovsky lately that you love her?

Radvanovsky in COC's Aida/photo by Michael Cooper

Would you like to ask Sondra Radvanovsky how she feels about being dubbed the world’s preeminent Verdi soprano? Now you can, when the Canadian Opera Company hosts its first public broadcast of Aida on Saturday, December 4,  on CBC Radio 2’s “Saturday Afternoon at the Opera” and via streaming Internet from the COC’s website.  

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., listeners who log onto COC’s website can interact directly with the conductor and COC Music Director Johannes Debus as well as principals Radvanovsky and Jill Grove, who performed the roles of Aida and Amneris, during  an online chat.  They will be joined by other members of Aida’s cast and creative team, offering unprecented listener access into how this production was brought to the stage. 

Use the online chat  to share your thoughts on the performance, ask questions, and talk about the COC version of Verdi’s grandest opera. The Aida synopsis and cast list, production photographs and videos are also available at the website. The broadcasts will also be available for internet streaming on CBC Concerts on Demand,, as for a period of 12 months after the initial streaming date. 

If you’re weren’t sure why the COC is one of the most successful and fastest growing North American opera companies, it’s because of innovative, listener-focused programs like this one. 

Meet you in the chat room!

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, Audience participation, Classic Opera, Opera broadcasts, opera firsts

listen up . . . a day at the opera on WRTI

Know why they call Philadelphia “The City of Brotherly Love“? Because WRTI (Temple University’s radio station) is playing opera tomorrow, brah, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during their Opera Extravaganza! on Saturday, November 20.

WRTI offers a  12-hour day of opera, featuring everyone’s favorite arias, choruses, and ballet excerpts, culminating in an unforgettable broadcast of Verdi’s Rigoletto at 1 pm, with Luciano Pavarotti and the late Dame Joan Sutherland, with Martti Talvela, Huguette Tourangeau, Riccardo Cassinelli, John Gibbs, Christian Du Plessis, Clifford Grant, Gillian Knight, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Josephte Clement, Sherrill Milnes, John Noble, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Ambrosian Opera Chorus conducted by Richard Bonynge.

You don’t need to live in Philly to enjoy a day at the opera. WRTI will be streaming live from their website at

I can’t wait to hear what they have up their sleeve for opera aficionados. Makes me want to rise and shine. How about you?

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Filed under Opera broadcasts