From Italy to U.S.: night at the opera


U.S. opera fans will soon have something new to sing about.

Beginning in December, Emerging Pictures will distribute seven operas filmed live at Italy's opera houses to theaters, museums and cultural centers around the country.

Franco Zeffirelli's La Scala production of Verdi's "Aida" will kick off the series Dec. 2, followed by another new HD-shot opera each month. More than 60 venues in 21 states have booked the filmed concerts so far, part of a network of digital art cinemas and cultural centers formed by Italian broadcasting sales unit RAI Trade, preshow and alternative theatrical content provider Screenvision and Emerging Pictures.

Four more productions, one each month, from the 229-year-old La Scala will follow: Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde," Donizetti's "Maria Stuarda," Verdi's "La Traviata" and Puccini's "Il Trittico." Verdi's "La forza del destino" from the Maggio Musicale and Puccini's "La Rondine" from the Teatro La Fenice will follow.

Movie theater tickets for the filmed operas, presented in digital 5.1 stereo sound, will be $20.