We’re under quarantine here in California, due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. That means we can’t film at Socratica, at least for the time being.
So how are we spending our time? We’re still writing scripts and editing videos. But we’re also taking time for cultural enrichment, thanks to a generous gift from the New York Metropolitan Opera.
The Met is streaming an opera every day, for free.
We’ve always loved opera here at Socratica.
Believe it or not, when I was a kid, most of grownups in my life loved and embraced opera. It wasn’t thought of as some kind of elite art form, only for the wealthy. It was easy to understand even as a kid, often bawdy and over-the-top. It was digested into simple acts, with well-known stories and musical themes. I defy anyone to watch “Marriage of Figaro” and say it is inaccessible.
But as I entered adulthood in the 90s, something started to change. People started to think opera was something fancy. Was it because of “Pretty Woman?” A wealthy man takes a prostitute to the opera and opens her eyes to refined culture. I prefer the depiction in Moonstruck – we see an everyman who lives for the opera.
Ticket prices started to rise uncomfortably. I still got to go to the opera a lot because when I was in grad school, Princeton would give poor grad students FREE tickets and a FREE ride to the glorious opera house in New York City, the Met. I saw everything they did for five years.
But when I moved back to LA in 2003, by then, ticket prices were out of control. Even with two of us working good jobs, we couldn’t, in good conscience, spend a couple of hundred dollars on two hours’ of entertainment. That’s more than two week’s groceries in our house.
Thankfully, the Met started streaming HD recordings of their operas. You can rent a gorgeous production for $5. They’re beautifully made videos – it’s like the best seat in the house, complete with subtitles. It’s really a wonderful resource. And now, during the pandemic, they’re making one of their operas free to stream each day. Thank you, sincerely. What a lovely, lovely gift.
If you’re hesitant – you don’t think opera is for you – we have a gift for you, too. When we first started our channel, we made a playlist to give an introduction to this incredible art form.
You can tell these are some of our earliest videos! The lighting is crazy hot (we were using powerful ARRI Fresnel lights). We were just learning how to edit using Adobe Premiere. But I look back on these early videos with great affection.
Our playlist of opera terms is here: https://bit.ly/SocraticaOpera
Opera is for everyone!
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