Teatro Comunale, Bologna
January 25 2009

Exciting news (news to me, that is; you may already know about it). The Met is not the only outfit creating and recording HD performances and showing them in selected theatres. It is also being done from Europe. And Sunday I capped off my opera binge by seeing Bellini’s Norma performance from Teatro Comunale, Bologna as part of “Italy’s Grand Opera Series”. There is also La Scala series, a Salzburg Festival, and a Glyndebourne Festival. All are distributed by an outfit called “EmergingPictures”, but the list of venues is much shorter that for the Met. Go to EmergingPictures’ website for a list of theatres. It you are lucky enough to find one near you, click on it for more information. You may have to keep coming back every month because some theatres don’t seem to program far in advance.

I can’t generalize, of course, but Norma at least came with English subtitles. I’ve seen the opera a couple of times before, but I enjoyed this performance more than my memory of any of the live performances I’ve seen in the past. It was dramatically staged and beautifully sung and acted. The particular theatre I went to also does a second performance but only 4 days later. I had a conflict last night or I would have gone to see it again. Some of the other theatres I’ve checked out only seem to give one performance.

And as if all those opera performances weren’t enough, Monday I went to a stimulating meeting of the Pocket Opera Board, of which I now find myself a Vice-President.

Long live opera!

– – Philip

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