Opera and Technology

Back in your great-grandparent’s day, entertainment and cultural enrichment could be difficult to access. If you didn’t live in an urban centre that supported the arts, you were pretty much limited to whatever your one local movie theatre was showing at the time. But one of the pleasures of living in the information age is the ability to access some of the finer things in life – anytime and anywhere we please.

For me, this means Opera. I am an opera junkie, and have recently made a wonderful discovery: The Metropolitan Opera’s subscription streaming service, called Met Opera on Demand. They already have over 350 performances in their catalog that you can stream on your computer, or via an iPad app, and they are adding more each month. Suddenly, at my fingertips, I have access to historic performances of Pavarotti in his prime, as well as recent season favorites such as Elīna Garanča’s saucy Carmen, or the unearthly Stephanie Blythe in Mark Morris’s production of Orfeo ed Euridice.

If you are an opera lover, you owe it to yourself to explore Met Opera on Demand. At the very least you should do the 7-day free trial, and set aside some time for some serious listening and viewing. After that, the prices range from $12 to $15 a month. You can also rent individual operas for 30 days, for just a few dollars.

Life in bygone days may have been simpler and less harried – but today we can enjoy the ageless beauty of Opera at our pleasure. Now that’s a worthwhile use of technology!

- Beatrice