Even if you’re not an opera buff, one thing becomes apparent as you explore Met Opera on Demand: You’re probably more familiar with the art form than you realized. Turandot, The Barber of Seville, Carmen—you’ve no doubt heard their melodies in countless movies and TV commercials.
Of course, there’s more to opera than just catchy arias. Poignant story lines, lavish sets, and elaborate costumes also make them so enduring. For the full spectacle, you dress to the nines and head to the opera house. Met Opera on Demand, however, offers an enticing alternative: hundreds of full-length operas, streamed right to your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV.
Expertly filmed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (often in high definition), the subtitled videos offer a few advantages over being there. Each opera is introduced by a host, who elucidates the opera’s backstory and provides info on the composer and the production. Between acts, you’ll get behind-the-scenes glimpses backstage.
The app is also a dream for opera buffs. Where else can you watch (or rewatch) soprano Renée Fleming’s historic final performance as Marschallin in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier? Or compare Franco Zeffirelli’s opulent production of La Traviata, circa 1981, with a staging of Willy Decker’s more modern take performed earlier this year?
If you’ve always wanted to learn more about opera but never had the time, Met Opera on Demand is well worth the price of admission.