Front row seats to live shows at the Metropolitan Opera? In Ithaca? You bet.

As an opera lover, one of my favorite Ithaca activities is catching live Met shows via simulcast at our local Ithaca Regal movie theater. Its not quite like the real thing… sometimes its better! Every seat in the house is a good one (though it helps to arrive at the cinema early for the best seat selection), the sound is excellent, and I can nosh on popcorn while I watch!

If you also enjoy an afternoon or evening with Puccini, Mozart, Verdi, or Bizet then check in on the Met Opera Live in HD page for the schedule, reserve a ticket, and plan an evening at the movies during your stay in Ithaca. Coming up in January are Lehar’s “Merry Widow” with Renee Fleming and Nathan Gun, and Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” (I really enjoyed Kate Lindsey as Nicklausse when it was last shown).  For Valentine’s Day enjoy a double bill of Tchaikovsky’s “Iolanta” (which I just learned was composed to compliment the Nutcracker Suite) and Bartok’s “Bluebeard’s Castle”.  Rossini’s “La Donna del Lago” is presented in March, and April finishes the season with another double bill, Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticate” and a new production of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.

Here is an older but good article on the pros and cons of simulcast Opera vs. the real thing: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/arts/music/15waki.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

My ideal is to see the operas twice – once in HD and again at the Met . . . mostly a dream though . . .