Peter Gelb, the general manager for the MET is getting a bit of heat because attendance has dropped at the House. Not because opera loving fans are losing interests but because Mr. Gelb instituted live HD performance at local theaters. I, for one love it and prefer it over going to the Houston Grand Opera. I love the close up camera work, the interviews at intermission, the visual and audio quality of the HD production.
I use to buy DVD sets of operas, but now I don't have to unless I want to hold onto a particular performance. Wouldn't it be great if they could somehow remaster Maria Callas's performances with close-ups?
If you haven't seen an HD production you are missing a fantastic experience. As a former season ticket holder of the Houston Grand Opera I put my glasses on the final scene of Carmen staring Denyce Graves. In the Houston production she is in a bloody yellow dress, dying against the outside wall of the bullring. She is a mess and breathing hard … for real. (She just had a fight and was stabbed by Jose.) You can see the energy it took to perform that scene, it made it real, it suspended belief. You don't get that in the cheap seats. That's why I like the theater HD performances.
Same applies with concerts, for example want to experience what some critics say it the best symphony orchestra in the world? Check it out here: