Sunday, November 8, 2020


Don't stop reading just because you hate opera. Do you picture screechy sopranos in helmets? Boring, unrealistic stories full of tenors dying for hours and laughable plot twists? Weird music in foreign languages?

Those images are outdated. Today, the stories and music haven't changed, but productions certainly have. Audio technology eliminates screech and today's stagings are dramatic, engaging, even exciting. Carmen in sneakers? A tattooed woman playing Nero? Sure.

The pandemic brought a few good things, and one is the chance to experience things you couldn't in normal times. You don't have to go to New York and buy an expensive ticket to see an opera; you can do it for free in your living room. In some ways, HD broadcasts are better than in the theater; the cameras put you right in the singers' faces. Subtitles translate for you. Check it out: what do you have to lose?

For a donation, you can watch Wagner in 3D! Check it out at the Minnesota Opera:

Free: The Metropolitan Opera offers a different top-of-the-line show each evening:

Also free: The San Francisco Opera offers productions on weekends:

And, for laughs, there's this goofy comic opera that combines Mozart's music with commentary life during COVID-19, by the Finnish National Opera: 

There's lots more, some free and some paid, including the Met's brilliant concert series, featuring its stars in exquisite European castles, seafront terraces, chapels, and such. A good umbrella site is