Here’s why you can’t see Kaufmann’s Otello in New York

Here’s why you can’t see Kaufmann’s Otello in New York


norman lebrecht

August 01, 2017

Covent Garden’s extraordinary production of Verdi’s late masterpiece, with Jonas Kaufmann making his debut in the title role, hits US screens from tomorrow.

Some screens.

Very few, in fact.

In New York, it will show at the Landmark Sunshine cinema on Houston Street at 7:00 pm on Aug. 8.

Now you would think there would be considerable interest among New York opera lovers, Met-goers especially, to see and hear the foremost tenor of the day in a signature role.

So why only one cinema?

Because all movie houses that take Live from the Met have been locked down against taking operas from any other opera house. Simple as that. Thank you, Peter Gelb.

Here’s a link to help you find where Otello is screening in the US. You’ll be sorry to miss it.


photo (C) Neil Libbert/Lebrecht Music&Arts


  • stan says:

    peter gelb is biggest idiot ever the men needs to be fired asap sk

  • Sotisib says:

    Good luck in the trumpland

  • Ungeheuer says:

    No big deal. The whole thing is available for free on YouTube and the results as meh at best.

  • MWnyc says:

    There are plenty of other cinemas in New York besides Landmark Sunshine that don’t show the Met’s Live in HD simulcasts. There are even other cinemas that show Royal Opera House presentations.

    So why is there only one cinema showing this Otello in NYC? (or in Philadelphia or metro DC or San Francisco, etc.)

    Probably because it’s August.

  • Raymond says:

    Even in August that makes no sense. It’s a Tuesday. It’s Manhattan.

  • Una says:

    That’s the same here in West Yorkshire in England and probably all over tge country. The Met in Bradford because Leeds has ROH and the Met won’t go there as a result.

  • MarieTherese says:

    It’s not only NYC. Plenty of other cities and areas here are excluded too.

    • Cyril Blair says:

      No theater in Chicago is showing it. Only in Highland Park, a northern suburb. That a lot of people won’t be able to get to…..

  • Rise Press says:

    Playing in Albany N.Y.

  • MacroV says:

    Exclusivity deals are not unknown in the classical music business or others. Soloists usually don’t perform for two organizations in the same city in the same season. Music directors of major US orchestras are often barred from appearing with other US orchestras. I can see why the MET, having invested a lot in the LIVE in HD brand, would argue that cinemas showing productions from other houses might dilute the value of their brand.

    As others have stated, there are other theatre chains in New York that could conceivably carry the ROH showing.

  • Waltraud Becker says:

    Please be patient, the DVD is announced for January 2018. Santa Claus will bring Otello in advance ;-).

  • Tom Phillips says:

    I believe that this performance has already been shown at the Kew Gardens Cinema in Queens.

  • Marc says:

    We had the ROH Otello in the theater here back in June (?) when the live broadcast happened, only we had it recorded (West Coast, USA), not live. There are two Cinemark theaters locally that carry the Met simulcasts.

  • martain smith says:

    Why fuss? Just go to the Met Vickers video from the ’70’s – it’s all there, and after seeing, it watching anything less is just a waste of time!

    • Waltraud Becker says:

      To add a new Otello can bring much more pleasure to both! Vickers is good, but JK is very good and different. Watch both!