The new series kicks off at 1 p.m. ET on July 18.

By Alison Fox
July 15, 2020
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Polling Abbey in Bavaria where Jonas Kaufmann will perform.
| Credit: Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera is launching a series of pay-per-view live concerts this weekend, making spending a — socially distanced — night at the opera as easy as turning on your computer.

The new series, which kicks off at 1 p.m. ET on July 18 with a performance from Jonas Kaufmann live from the Polling Abbey in Bavaria, will feature a dozen concerts between now and December.

“This new initiative is intended to create live performance opportunities for our artists and our audiences at a time when they both sorely need it,” Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said in a statement provided to Travel + Leisure. “Although some concert activity is beginning to take place once again in some parts of the world, this is a chance for opera fans to experience their favorite stars in real-time, since it’s going to be a long time before artists and their audiences are fully mobile again.”

Each concert costs $20 to view and can be streamed for 12 days after the live event, according to the Met, available on a computer, a mobile device, or mirrored onto a home entertainment system via AirPlay or Chromecast. Tickets for the shows, which will be located in picturesque locations around the globe from Washington D.C. to France, Norway, and Malta, can be purchased on the Met’s website.

“We think it will be more satisfying for the performers, as well as the thousands who will be watching at home not to experience these performances through the eyes of a socially distanced audience,” Gelb added.

The first show will feature selections, including “Nessun dorma” from Turandot, “E lucevan le stelle” from Tosca, “Ah! lève-toi, soleil” from Roméo et Juliette, and “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen. The final show is scheduled for Dec. 19, featuring Angel Blue live from New York City.

The programs will also be broadcast at a later date on PBS.

This isn’t the Met’s first foray into virtual concerts. In March, the opera started streaming encore performances for free online and on June 15, they launched the Met Opera Global Summer Camp, including an opera each week from their digital library of performances.

Beyond the Met, several orchestras around the world have taken their performances online, including The Berlin Philharmonic, The Seattle Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and London’s Wigmore Hall.