metYesterday someone landed up here with the search string “rumor is that the met opera is going to end it’s live in hd performances”.

Has anyone heard anything to that effect?

10 thoughts on “Rumour?

  1. Wow, quite a scoop if this is true. Can’t imagine it is though…I thought the numbers have shown that the Met is actually doing quite well profit-wise with the HDs at this point? However, this season they are repeating several operas (Tosca, Aida, Cenerentola…) that have already appeared in HD in the same productions. Possibly (very possibly) they’re running out of “product” they feel would appeal to a mass audience? Total speculation of course but it’s the only reason I can think they’d stop this massively popular program. Unless it *isn’t* bringing in the income they expected?

  2. Last year in a NYT article I believe Gelb was concerned that the broadcasts were cannibalizing the live audience. I always thought attendance was down last year because it was such a crappy season. I recall there were many comments from people in the suburbs or nearby cities such as Boston and Philly who used to go to Saturday afternoon performances but instead now go to the HD broadcasts. Given the awful sound and direction of the couple of HD broadcasts I’ve seen I would take last row in the Family Circle any day.

    • The awful sound thing bothers me too. However I’m a youngster by the standards of MetHD broadcasts. The average age of the audience is really old; way older than at the Four Seasons Centre, so I wonder if hearing loss plays a role.

    • Do you have a link to any hard data on how much the Met makes from the broadcasts? I’m curious. They quote very large audience numbers but I’ve never seen anything that shows that that translates into meaningful revenue for the Met.

      • I seem to remember Gelb saying at some point it was breaking even, that was maybe in the second or third season of the program? Perhaps a Gelb Interview survey is in order.

      • Break even sounds about right. If the series was massively profitable one would have expected it to be expanded rather than cut; if a serious loss maker to be have been scrapped sooner. Still, break even is not a good predictor for the future.

      • Well, it was expanded, certainly, both in terms of performances and access, and the “breaking even” thing isn’t based on a recent interview. But really it would surprise me if the axe was in the offing (not that I haven’t been surprised before). The PR alone has been gold, and I stick by my point that if there’s an audience drain, it isn’t the HDcasts that are to blame.

        I wonder, though, if they’re considering skipping theaters altogether and going entirely online, a la BayStaats.

  3. That would be really sad for me. We have so little opera in Auckland, two a year, and next year it is entirely warhorses (Don Giovanni and Traviata, with a certainty of Boheme in 2015. Although the Met programming is not that adventurous, it still offers some operas we would never have in a thousand years, like the Nose and Prince Igor. The sound isn’t great but still better than on my computer, and I go even though by the time the operas get shown here they are usually on YouTube.

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