Curtain rises for opera on VOD


The Metropolitan Opera and In Demand Networks have inked a deal to bring all eight new performances from the Met's second season of "Metropolitan Opera: Live in High Definition" to on-demand subscribers in the U.S.

The Met's series of opera performances are transmitted worldwide into movie theaters, and each show will be available within 30 days of its theatrical release to on-demand subscribers in both standard and high-definition formats.

"With this agreement, we are creating the opera equivalent of a Hollywood movie rollout," Met GM Peter Gelb said. "I think opera fans will be thrilled to play our movie theater transmissions at home on their own schedules."

The on-air schedule kicks off with the Met's production of Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette" on Jan. 16. The production stars Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna and is conducted by Placido Domingo.

Other operas slated for release through In Demand Networks are Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel," Verdi's "Macbeth," Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" and "La Boheme," Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde," Britten's "Peter Grimes" and Donizetti's "La Fille du Regiment."

"The Metropolitan Opera made international headlines last season by bringing the magic of its performances to movie theaters worldwide," said In Demand Networks president and CEO Robert Jacobson. "On demand and high-definition television technologies will again allow the Met to make history by bringing the excitement, vivid sound and exquisite picture quality to millions of fans throughout the country."

All of the on-demand broadcasts will be available for six hours once they are selected. Additional "free" on-demand content like backstage "extras" also will be offered.