Although the coronovirus (COVID-19) has brought about widespread opera house closures, one theatre is treating opera fans to a series of glorious free online productions.

A female opera singer on a stage singing to an empty auditorium
Opera fans will get to enjoy a series of free online productions © goodynewshoes/Getty Images

The Metropolitan Opera in New York announced that it will stream encore presentations on its website from its Live in HD series of cinema transmissions for the duration of the closure. “We’d like to provide some grand opera solace to opera lovers in these extraordinarily difficult times,” says Met general manager Peter Gelb. “Every night, we’ll be offering a different complete operatic gem from our collection of HD presentations from the past 14 years.”

The Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in Manhattan
The Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in Manhattan © 4kclips/Shutterstock

The schedule for the first week includes some very popular operas. On 17 March, Puccini’s La Bohème from April 2008 will be streamed. Conducted by Nicola Luisotti, it stars Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas. The offering on 18 March is Verdi’s Il Trovatore from October 2015, conducted by Marco Armiliato and starring Anna Netrebko, Dolora Zajick, Yonghoon Lee and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Fans will be treated to Verdi’s La Traviata from December 2018 on 19 March, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and starring Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Flórez and Quinn Kelsey.

The audience at the Met Opera house in New York
The Met Opera is streaming operas to entertain people during the coronavirus outbreak ©

Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment from April 2008 is 20 March's opera, and it is is conducted by Marco Armiliato and stars Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez. Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor goes out on 21 March, and it was originally transmitted live in February 2009. It's conducted by Marco Armiliato and stars Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała and Mariusz Kwiecien. And rounding up the first week is Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin from February 2007 on 22 March, conducted by Valery Gergiev and starring Renée Fleming, Ramón Vargas and Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

“Nightly Met Opera Streams” will begin at 7:30pm EDT/ 23:30 GMT and will remain available via the homepage here for 20 hours. The homepage link will open the performance on the Met Opera on Demand streaming service. The performance will also be viewable on all Met Opera on Demand apps for Apple, Amazon and Roku devices and Samsung Smart TV.

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