If you are like me you were excited to learn that the Metropolitan Opera is posting past productions to live stream. during the early weeks of social distancing for CoVid-19. Many of the operatic productions were first shown at the Met’s Live in HD move theatre program. Now they are coming into our homes, and the first night was Carmen.
While the Met’s website has a watch now button, it did not work very well on the first night (though friends have told me that it worked better the next day).
I managed to get in and watch the opera, Carmen, using the Met Opera on Demand app, but it took a good deal of trial and error, and I was scared away by the money I thought the app was requiring. So here are the steps that I used.
App on a Digital Device
— Download the Met Opera on Demand app. This is a service that people use for a monthly or yearly fee, but we do not need to pay right now to see the nightly opera during this period of social distancing.
— Once the app opens, find the Explore the App button way down at the bottom of the screen (see above right image). Click on that. Remember, there is no charge for going into the app in this way.
— Your click will lead you to the above left screen, though the very top is a slide show so you may see a different opera than the one at the top of my image. In the middle of the screen it says Free Nightly Met Opera Streams.
— The date under each opera is the date of the production screening, not the day it is free. On the first night I knew that Carmen was the free opera so I clicked on it and it worked. The second night I tried La Boheme tonight and everything worked well. Each opera is available for the night and the next day and then a new one opera will be available.
My Samsung TV has apps installed for various entertainment (think Netflix, etc.) and an option for installing other apps. I was able to go to the list of uninstalled apps and one of them was for the Met. I clicked to install on my television and then followed the above steps.
Subtitles may not automatically work, though maybe this will be tweaked on subsequent nights. Once you have the production going. click with your mouse, or remote, or finger (depending on what you are using to watch), and a menu should come up along the top of the screen. You’ll see forward, backward, stop, and subtitle buttons. Both nights I had to try a bunch of times to get the subtitles to work, but eventually, I got them. I think, but at this point, it seems like stopping the live stream, selecting the subtitles, and then going back to start the stream is the best way to go (maybe several times).
The Metropolitan Opera is an amazing place in its theatre and on-screen, and the fact that the organization is live streaming these operas is a great caregiving gift during this discomforting time of social distancing. Not surprisingly, many people are taking advantage of the opportunity. I discovered this when I went to the main MetOpera.org site to troubleshoot, the message I received on the screen said that I was in a live streaming queue of more than 55.000 people!