A week and a day since, the 78th (?) season of the beloved broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera House of New York began. With its perennial return to the airwaves, I begin to wonder if they are still a viable way to promote opera anymore. I am relatively new to the world of opera having only come by it four years ago. When I first heard it, it was through the broadcasts that I became coaxingly addicted. Now that management has changed since I started listening to the weekly jewels, it seems that the Met has given the broadcasts a backseat to their new media initiatives. This, however, is not quite so bad as it might first appear because they now have live audio streams from their website weekly, live performances streamed in high definition into movie theaters around the world, and there own satelite radio station. Most recently added to this roster of modern technical marvels is the Met Player, an on-demand, a la carte performance player. It is moderately priced at 14.99 a month, I believe, but one must still buy the individual broadcasts they want to see or hear for different prices depending on the type of broadcast they choose (audio, standard-definition video, or high-definition video).
With all of these wonderful, new choices available to us, it is a miracle that there are still any of us listening to the free radio broadcasts anymore. Some of us, though, do not have a choice; it was only last year that The Met: Live in HD broadcasts came to one of my local theaters, and before that anyone in the thriving metropolis of Oklahoma City, one without a viable venue for opera, and the surrounding cities had to drive at least an hundred miles to see them. Whatever new ideas The Met may have in the future, my preferred method of enjoying The Metropolitan Opera's world-class performances shall be via the radio. By the way I love the way announcer Margaret Juntwait can tell a story. Feel free to comment on this or any other of my blog posts.