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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Opera Platform is a new online thingy that is going to be streaming live opera from participating European houses - for free, supposedly worldwide access. A promotional effort by Opera Europa. They are starting La Traviata from Madrid in about 15 minutes (19:05 CET).

http://www.theoperaplatform.eu

I think the Royal Opera is one of the participants, so maybe they will have something on another date?
 

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I am watching La traviata now and it is sounding good. The stream has been hi-resolution, clear, and consistent.

There do not appear to be any sort of subtitles (or I haven't found them). This is fine for this opera but I will be more lost for, say, Krol Roger from ROH next Saturday. There is a cast list but it doesn't specify who sings what role. There is a link to the Opera Platform page for the company (Teatro Real in this case) but there's no information on this page (yet); it's just a link to their main website. So you have to look around further if you want to find out more about this particular production.

It's a very exciting thing but there are also a few bugs to work out.



They just hit the first intermission and there is a (subtitled) discussion of the prelude with the Violetta (Ermonela Jaho) and the conductor (Renato Palumbo). This went on for a few minutes (with further examples of those themes throughout the opera) and now it's showing a view of the (beautiful) house.
 

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Thank you for the link! It does not work very well for me...as if it passes through too many slow servers. The video is stuttering, the audio is OK, still the sound volume is not loud enough...decent at maximum. I am using a macbook pro...Now it stalled. I guess it's at the end...Violetta must have died in the meantime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The telecasts will be available to watch on demand for six months afterward, with subtitles in multi languages, so I might watch this again. I had no trouble on my iPhone save for some sound sync issues in the beginning, but I was listening in crappy earbuds. This was a decent Traviata, I thought, although the singers weren't top rank, I enjoyed them. A straight traditional production, but I understand there will be a couple of avant garde productions during the "season" too.

I'm kind of enthused about this. Mainly because you'll never see the opera stars of the future unless you look beyond the Met.
 

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I really enjoyed it even though I had a few issues on my PC. This was mainly because my internet speed is slow (and I'm not prepared to pay a lot for a faster speed for an occasional live stream!). It was fine on my Android phone so will watch on that in future.

La Traviata will remain on catch up for six months which is brilliant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I'm watching the replay via Airplay on my big screen TV - the picture quality seems excellent (though not perfect 1080p HD, of course).

I thought the caliber of singing on this Traviata was hit or miss for each principal, but the caliber of acting seemed very good. I noticed writing on floor of Violetta and Alfredo's house, and wondered if Violetta had it monogrammed. :) Turns out it was a giant headstone - "ICI REPOSE VIOLETTA VALERY" with her birth and death dates.

The upcoming schedule:

Krol Roger (Royal Opera) - Saturday, May 16 - 18:45 CET
Sibelius' Kullervo (Finnish National Opera) - Saturday, May 23 - 19:00 CET
Valentina (Latvian National Opera) - Saturday, May 30 - 19:00 CET
Gotterdammerung (Wiener Staatsoper) - Sunday, June 7 - 19:00 CET
 

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I am watching/re-watching it now, the volume is still low, the image is not stuttering anymore. After the first act it was a nice touch with the soprano singing Violetta and another guy explaining the music themes. It is not perfect, I kept clicking the volume button, but the poor volume was at its maximum. The lack of subtitles was OK for Traviata (I know it by heart) but not for other operas I don't know.
Anyway I am so happy for this link. THANK YOU!:tiphat:

OMG I don't know now who sings Germont, but he was simply amazing! WOW, great baritone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I liked the Germont too, although he seemed to show some strain by the end of Act II.

NYT article about the Opera Platform:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/13/arts/international/europe-sees-free-streaming-of-opera-as-a-way-to-stay-relevant.html?ref=music

45,000 viewers watched the Traviata on Friday. (63,000 if you count those who watched via the theater's own livestream.) BTW, there were no subtitles, but reportedly they will be in place for Krol Roger on Saturday.

I think it would be just great if Opera Europe mounted a free, online annual "festival" of these live performances, keeping it a varied diet of works (as they appear to be trying to do) but getting the best productions from the best houses. Make it an "event," have it last a few weeks.

Too bad there is not a similar coalition of American opera houses willing to do the same thing.
 

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Too bad there is not a similar coalition of American opera houses willing to do the same thing.
It would be wonderful if opera in the United States was at such a level as to allow this. As it stands there's the Met with their Live in HD and DVD/Blu-ray releases and then nearly nothing else.

I'm trying to come up with other opera companies in the USA that have released DVDs and all I've come up with is SFO, LAO, HGO, and WNO, and none of these have very many. The Canadian Opera Company has done some DVD releases if we want to allow Canadian companies.

I understand that DVDs and livestreams are different but wow, the USA is nowhere near Europe. It's maybe on the level of the UK and nowhere near France, Germany, Italy, and others I'm missing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Additional opera being livecast (in July, I think): Abduction from the Seraglio, from Aix-en-Provence.
Also, Aida from Torino, in October, directed by William Friedkin (yes, that William Friedkin). It looks like, after the initial weekly offerings in May, there will be one offering a month.

This story has more details on future transmissions, including this quote:

Although no-one's saying it, Opera Platform is, in part, a bid to break the Met's global streaming hegemony.
So I wonder if this is going to eventually become a pay service, with weekly livestreams instead of just monthly...
 

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Also, Aida from Torino, in October, directed by William Friedkin (yes, that William Friedkin). It looks like, after the initial weekly offerings in May, there will be one offering a month.

This story has more details on future transmissions, including this quote:

So I wonder if this is going to eventually become a pay service, with weekly livestreams instead of just monthly...
I think they're on a fishing expedition. Get enough people hooked and used to their weekly/monthly fix of live opera direct to their home and then start charging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Am I mistaken that the Met does not offer pay live streams - just live HD in theaters? I find that puzzling. I probably would pay up to a $30 price point to see, say, 2 live Met productions in my home per month. I currently have the $15 per month Met archive but am considering dropping it because there's just so much Placido Domingo I can take and I've watched all the Piotr Beczala they have ;-)

BTW, YouTube is an option sometimes though it's a grab bag of what's been posted in HD. AppleTV recently improved their YT app so that HD videos actually play in HD, so I have seen some decent stuff via YT lately, like Muti's Simon Boccanegra or the Rigoletto with Diana Damrau I watched last week. (Not live obviously but productions of recent vintage) I'm just looking to stay in touch with recent European productions (on a budget) so hopefully Opera Platform succeeds.
 

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Am I mistaken that the Met does not offer pay live streams - just live HD in theaters? I find that puzzling. I probably would pay up to a $30 price point to see, say, 2 live Met productions in my home per month. I currently have the $15 per month Met archive but am considering dropping it because there's just so much Placido Domingo I can take and I've watched all the Piotr Beczala they have ;-)
I know what you mean! (BTW I don't know if the Met offers live streams)

BTW, YouTube is an option sometimes though it's a grab bag of what's been posted in HD. AppleTV recently improved their YT app so that HD videos actually play in HD, so I have seen some decent stuff via YT lately, like Muti's Simon Boccanegra or the Rigoletto with Diana Damrau I watched last week. (Not live obviously but productions of recent vintage) I'm just looking to stay in touch with recent European productions (on a budget) so hopefully Opera Platform succeeds.
Very recent performances can be found on YT but you have to be quick as they're taken down again quite smartish!
 
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