Theaters, community centers, sports venues, bars and restaurants are closing across the country at an alarming rate. It’s all part of the sweeping effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help protect the people who are at an increased risk of serious complications from the virus — elderly people and those with certain pre-existing health conditions.
On March 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended against holding gatherings with 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. The measures are affecting all aspects of people’s lives, including all those little luxuries we took for granted, like an evening of wonderful live music in a beautiful theater.
Well, the doors may be closed to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, but that’s not stopping the institution from sharing its performances with the entire world for free via their Live in HD series. At 7.30 p.m. Eastern every night until the Met Opera reopens, one of the productions will be streamed in full on MetOpera.org.
“The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers,” said a statement on the opera’s website.
So far, “Carmen,” originally composed by Georges Bizet in 1875, and Puccini’s “La Bohème” have been streamed.
The demand for these performances has been so high that the Met Opera recommends accessing the stream through the Met Opera on Demand apps for Apple, Amazon, Roku devices and Samsung Smart TV, rather than on the website.
“We are thrilled that so many are turning to opera at this difficult time, and we apologize that the unprecedented traffic slowed the process down,” the opera wrote on an Instagram post about the program.
If you can’t make the show at 7.30 p.m. Eastern, it will be available to stream for free until 3.30 p.m. the following day.
“During this extraordinary and difficult time, the Met hopes to brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark,” said MetOpera.org in the statement. There’s no doubt that their gesture will make self-isolation and social distancing a little easier for many.
If opera’s not your thing but you love cooking, you might want to check out some of the live cooking classes that are popping up online now, too. Or you can follow the adventures of zoo animals, like these penguins at the Shedd Aquarium, who went on a little expedition to see the tropical fish while the aquarium is closed.