Monday, May 10, 2010

Opera In Cinema Compared With The Met: Live in HD

I personally enjoy the Met's Live in HD series far better than the Opera in Cinema franchise, and until recently my main point of debate with those who have asked me to go to their cinema events over the Met's was that the Met's casts were infinitely better than Opera in Cinema's. While this is yet veritable, and it should remain a sufficient factor of decision for those choosing one over the other, there are a few other points I have lately discovered concerning Opera in Cinema.

Most importantly it should be understood that Opera in Cinema, which is cordially referenced as the other solicitor of high-definition opera transmissions into movie theaters, shows performances that employ body microphones to gather sound, a fact that was evident in their broadcast of Verdi's Il Trovatore from the Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona, which starred Fiorenza Cedolins, who was wearing the microphone when it began to malfunction. This piece of news, which I read in a New York Times article, caused me to wonder why they were employing body microphones, which naturally leads one to think of sound-enhancement systems. I make no implications, but it does give one pause to inquire. I do not know the Met's practices on such things, though I do understand that they use stage microphones for the purpose of broadcasting, but I hope that we are not going to uncover a secret in the world of opera that most opera companies no longer rely on accoustics to relay the human voice throughout an entire hall.

Another thing I dislike about the Opera in Cinema simulcasts is that they are not performed live; however, they are taped performances that are shown worldwide on a lter date, and this leads to speculations regarding editing and other things which can make a performance better or worse.

One thing I admire about the Opera in Cinema series is that they provide performances from the Salzburg Festival, and I am of the opinion that such coverage of European summer festivals is something that the world of opera presently lacks, for I should like to see some radio station or Opera in Cinema make a better effort to offer such performances to the general public.

If I may offer some advice to Opera in Cinema, I am of the opinion that they are in a most advantageous position in their offering of European performances, and they should capitalize on the fact that some star artists, such as Cecilia Bartoli for one, are almost exclusively European performers, and I think that they could make up for their wants in other areas by offering performances by Bartoli and others.

I now leave it to you to decide which series you enjoy most, and I hope that I have not bored you too much in relating my preferences on the matter. May God bless all of you.

1 comment:

Sarah B. Roberts said...

Since I have seen several Opera in Cinema broadcasts on the screen at New York's Symphony Space, I will admit that I am indeed a fan. I do not have a problem that it is not a live broadcast. So what if it's edited? What about all of the generations of videos of operas filmed live? Surely there was editing if only out of necessity. It's the same situation.

Additionally, broadcasts could hardly be transmitted live in real time to the US from Milan because of the time difference - who would go in New York or some other US location if you had to go in the middle of the night? It doesn't make sense. It's the same reason why some of the Met's broadcasts are not transmitted in real time to Europe and other nations - it's impractical.

Plus, microphones are necessary whether its on the stage or the body in order for the sound to be transmitted and recorded. One of my favorite performances was Maria Stuarda from La Scala starring Mariella Devia. It was breathtaking and you'd have a hard time convincing that audience that was there that it wasn't live it was so thrilling - we even shouted brava and stood in ovation. It was a film!