Best Of

Best Way to Experience Live Opera


Nestled between Lincoln Center edifices shamelessly branded for a pair of billionaire Davids — Koch and Geffen — the Metropolitan Opera imagines itself the Mecca of American high culture. And while seeing opera in person is a Good Thing, watching the Met’s Live in HD simulcasts at your local movie palace is even better: The sound is louder and clearer, and the well-directed visuals introduce an intimacy the Met itself doesn’t provide beyond the first few rows. Watching last year’s art-bombed Lulu and this year’s mind-blowing Elektra at the Walter Reade Theater, just across the street from the real deal, added a bonus frisson. Miss the beautiful people in the Met audience? Joining a couple hundred thousand viewers around the world, plus a knowing coterie of local opera freaks on a budget, provides its own kind of community — and you can even watch in your pajamas if you want to. Between-acts interviews with sweaty sopranos fresh from the stage adds a whole other Brechtian layer to the experience, which continues in December with Robert Lepage’s trippy production of Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin