Opera offerings are expanding in Durango.
Some showings stream live from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera and others are taped broadcasts from opera houses around the world. It’s another sign that high-quality offerings like these plus live streaming of plays from the National Theatre of London (Animas City Theatre) are becoming more and more popular.
The fall opera lineup will start at noon Sept. 18 at the Gaslight Theatre. The Festspeilhaus in Baden-Baden, Germany, will present “La Traviata.” A second showing will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 20.
The MET Live in HD will begin its live streaming of 10 matinee performances Oct. 8, in the Student Union’s Vallecito Room at Fort Lewis College. Season ticket prices have come down this season and cost $180, or $18 per opera. In addition, if you have an FLC ID card, the cost is an unbelievable $5.
A few years ago, the Metropolitan Opera Co. introduced movie-theater screenings to Durango audiences, showing at Stadium 9.
Soon thereafter, a small group of opera lovers lobbied to move the live streams to the college. Ann Flatten, Jim Foster and the late Sandy Max persuaded Charles Leslie, managing director of the Community Concert Hall, to shift the MET program to the college setting.
In order to do so, Leslie had to upgraded his technology and add blackout curtains to the meeting room Leslie negotiated a new contract with the Met, and as a result, audiences grew from under 30 to average more than 100 for each performance.
Judith Reynolds is an arts journalist and member of the American Theater Critics Association.