In troubling times, we often turn to music, theater and history to ease our minds, but the requirements of social distancing make doing so more difficult than ever. Luckily for us, local organizations like Spokane Civic Theatre and international ones like the Metropolitan Opera already have our quarantined backs.
Right now, the Metropolitan Opera in New York is streaming a free “best of” series on its website every night until the house is allowed to reopen. Each day you will be able to rewatch the previous night’s show until the next is scheduled to start streaming. This weekend, the Met continues the week’s program of streaming favorites. Sunday, the week ends with this writer’s unsurpassed favorite, the Met’s 2007 production of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” conducted by Valery Gergiev and starring Renée Fleming, Ramón Vargas and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Visit metopera.org to start streaming and find the full schedule.
Maybe you’re not an opera fan, but you’d love a musical based on an opera like Jonathan Larson’s “Rent.” Look into BroadwayHD, where you’ll find filmed, fully staged productions of everything from “Rent” to the works of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim shows like “Into the Woods” and “Company” and a large range of other Broadway performances also are available on Amazon Prime Video. Both platforms require paid subscriptions after a trial period.
For ballet, theater and opera from other arts organizations like the Bolshoi Ballet, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House, check out Marquee available online at marquee.tv and through mobile apps. Marquee also requires a paid subscription after a trial period. For free similar content, check out allarts.org.
Spokane Civic Theatre will start streaming past productions tonight on its Facebook page. First up is the 2018 production of “Mary Poppins.” A different family-friendly performance will continue to be streamed each Wednesday and Friday night following until the coronavirus quarantine lifts. All performances will be free to view.
The Seattle Symphony will livestream its free performance of Carl Nielson’s Symphony No. 1 conducted by Thomas Dausgaard at 8 p.m. Sunday on its Facebook page and YouTube channel. The symphony will continue to post free livestreams of upcoming concerts as they occur. Other national and international symphonies are posting streams of live and prerecorded concerts on their own websites and through various streaming services like MediciTV. Visit medici.tv to find out more.
Spokane Symphony music director James Lowe released a Spotify playlist of his favorite recordings of pieces from the symphony’s current season. He also has plans to start a classical music podcast featuring members of the Spokane Symphony over the next couple of weeks.
Had to cancel your trip to England at the last minute? London’s British Museum offers an online tour of its famous exhibits like the Rosetta Stone and collection of mummies. Also, the museum now prominently features an online exhibit titled “Museum of the World,” which chronologically lists a series of multicultural artifacts placed in an integrated timeline complete with audio guides. Visit the free online exhibit at britishmuseum.withgoogle.com.
The British Museum isn’t alone. All of these museums offer virtual tours on their websites: New York’s Guggenheim Museum, Washington, D.C.’s National Gallery of Art, Paris’ Musée d’Orsay, Los Angeles’s J. Paul Getty Museum and Florence’s Uffizi Gallery. You also can virtually visit famous historical sites and “walk through” cities all over the world online using Google’s Arts and Culture function powered by Google Earth at artsandculture.google.com.
Article by Stephanie Hammett of the Spokesman-Review