You asked for it and now it is here!
As of today, CIM students, faculty, and staff have access to an amazing new streaming resource: Met Opera on Demand!
This new access comes to us through a generous gift by Dr. Tom Rose of Cleveland. He has been a supporter of CIM for many years and grew up with a love of opera after he started ushering for Met performances in Cleveland while he was in high school. Because of his love of opera (and all of you lovely CIM students), Dr. Rose chose to make this awesome resource available to us! We hope you will join us in extending a hearty thanks to Dr. Rose—we simply cannot say it enough!
For those of you who haven’t seen or experienced this resource yet, you are in for a treat. Met Opera on Demand is an online video streaming service that provides users “instant access to more than 550 full-length Met performances…” Not only does this mean you can watch opera nonstop for the rest of the semester (and beyond), but Met Opera also features classic telecasts from the70s, 80s, and 90s and audio recordings of historic radio broadcasts dating back all the way to 1935. The site is constantly expanding too, as new HD broadcasts are added every month. This isn’t just a big resource to have… this is a HUGE resource to have!
As someone who spends a lot of time digging around in databases and such, let me give you a little walkthrough of what you’re going to find when you login to Met Opera on Demand: The top of the page is going to show you the featured opera at that moment as well as a few other items from the archive. You can search, however, by content type (video, audio, etc.), opera title, composer name, and even performer name. This makes it really easy to navigate through their huge collection—which makes the librarian side of me incredibly happy. What’s better than being able to binge-watch all of Renee Fleming’s performances with one simple search? Not only are we getting all of the standard kind of content with this, Met Opera on Demand also gives you special events like their Gala performances, season previews, etc. Just poking around through the site can be dizzying when you think of all the amazing operatic treasures hidden throughout.
Once you finally settle on which opera you’re going to start with—I chose Bartok’sBluebeard’s Castle (I can’t get enough of German soprano, Nadja Michael, ever), which was paired with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta featuring Anna Netrebko—the display takes you right into a dark, cozy virtual theater to start the show. The makers of Met Opera on Demand clearly thought this setup through when designing how it would work. Rather than forcing your computer to load huge HD files for a complete opera, the site has broken the performances into many smaller chapters (usually by aria/scene) which, in addition to creating a highly navigable interface, helps files to load smoothly and easily for an even better viewing experience. You will get, of course, all of the content from performances, but you’ll also get a number of behind the scenes sneak peeks with great performers like Joyce DiDonato acting as hosts.
Met Opera on Demand has been around for a few years now and has made a number of improvements, particularly with institutional subscriptions like the one CIM is now enjoying. When you buy into resources like this, you purchase a number of ‘seats’, which are priced according to the number of potential users your subscription has. Your number of seats dictates how many simultaneous users can be logged into your account at any one time. This means that it is possible to sometimes be temporarily locked out of Met Opera until one of our seats opens up (please let us know if this happens). Do not fear, however! You should have access later, of course, and to help everyone else out, make sure you log out once you’re finished watching! As with all of our streaming databases, you will be able to VPN into the Case network and use this resource right from your home, favorite coffee shop, or wherever the opera spirit finds you.
Because this resource is new to us, we want your help gauging how things are going! If you love the resource, let us know! Does it need some improvements? Let us know! Locked out because of no open seats? Definitely let us know. Met Opera on Demand also takes suggestions and questions directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your feedback is really important to us, so don’t hesitate to send and email or drop in to chat.
With all of that said, go check it out! Thanks again to Dr. Tom Rose for making this possible! Happy opera-ing to all!