La Scala is streaming opening night live… from behind the stage

Watch here, from 1600 London time, 1700 Paris, 1100 New York.

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  • Thisbackstage live-streaming at La Scala was an interesting new venue. Many things about it worked well, lots did not. The simultaneous tweeting of the opera action and libretti alongside the picture stream was brilliant. Technology serving opera in a novel and effective new way!

    The backstage interviews were also excellent. Interesting, historically informative, and well presented in both Italian and English. They were actually more polished and smoothly presented than the MET’s backstage interviews.

    The filming of backstage interactions by singers, extras, technicians, also intriguing.But they should either be edited or filmed more carefully because there were too many boring, non-eventful moments. While it’s fun to see the “behind the scenes” goings-on, it is always going to be infinitely less interesting than the actual opera onstage. As anyone who attends the MET Live In HD screenings knows, while film crews are evidently obsessed with showing people moving scenery and standing around backstage, that is
    really really boring to watch for the general public for any period of time.

    The La Scala streaming was also good because it was free. But the view of the opera you got was the same as if someone snuck you in backstage and you had to watch the whole production from the wings. Sound is not great, you can’t see everything, people are talking constantly, it’s really dark and you don’t have the joy of being part of an audience
    enjoying the performance. The only view you have of the conductor, in this case Daniel Barnenboim, is from the images of him on the backstage video monitor.

    It was along the lines of like a low-budget, non-edited version of Bergman’s Magic Flute. The idea is to show a parallel world, the action and reactions going on behind the scenes, but because it was live streamed it couldn’t be edited to have any cohesion or cinematographic integrity to what we were seeing.

    While interesting, I don’t think this is going to present any major threat to theater presentations of the same opera. I would gladly pay admission and trot down to the local movie theater to see the actual production filmed from the front of the house.

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