Cultural capitals

Met Live in HD series has great company this season

INFOBOX:B.C. Living Arts has been holding informative talks before each Met Live in HD instalment. The Opera Brief(s) series resumes Feb. 19 at 10 a.m., when artistic director Alan Corbishley will discuss the upcoming broadcasts. For details on the talks, call 571-5151 or email to register.

When she attended a performance by the Bolshoi Ballet Sunday, Margaret Brown was surprised to find only about 20 people in the audience.

Brown experienced the world-famous ballet, not at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre, but at Cineplex Odeon Aberdeen, where it was presented live in high-definition. Low attendance had her wondering whether others are missing out.

"I'd like to see more people there so they keep on coming," Brown said.

One couple, envious of Kamloops' cultural offerings, had journeyed from Kelowna over winter roads to watch the show here. The series was cancelled there due to low attendance, Brown noted.

"I think we're lucky to be getting this," she said.

And more good luck is headed this way.

Local audiences have been visiting New York on Saturday mornings for The Met Live in HD series, but now they can travel to other world capitals with an array of ballet, opera and symphonic choices.

Live broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City started five years ago. Cineplex Odeon Aberdeen began carrying the series in 2008 and this season added new high-definition series from Moscow, Los Angeles and London, England.

Once again, though, the broadcasts are under-promoted relative to more popular North American cinematic releases.

In addition to the Bolshoi Ballet series, the program includes an LA Phil Live series with conductor Gustavo Dudamel and a National Theatre Live series from London's Covent Garden.

Here are the shows listed chronologically.

* Thursday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m.: National Theatre presents King Lear.

* Sunday, March 6, 11 a.m.: The Bolshoi Ballet presents Don Quixote.

* Sunday, March 13, 2 p.m.: LA Phil Live presents Dudamel conducting Tchaikovsky (works inspired by Shakespeare) from Walt Disney Concert Hall.

* Thursday, March 17, 7 p.m.: National Theatre presents Frankenstein.

* Sunday, May 29, 11 a.m.: The Bolshoi Ballet presents Coppella.

* Sunday, June 5, 2 p.m.: LA Phil Live presents Dudamel conducting Brahms' Symphony No. 4 and the double concerto.

* Thursday, June 30, 7 p.m.: National Theatre presents The Cherry Orchard.

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