In Thursday’s (3/10) Philadelphia Inquirer, David Patrick Stearns writes, “The idea keeps catching on—even if audiences are still catching up. The Los Angeles Philharmonic is preparing for its second live movie-theater simulcast on Sunday—only a week after Carmen in 3-D leapt from London’s Royal Opera and a few weeks before the English National Opera’s 3-D Lucrezia Borgia arrives on DirecTV. More quietly, the Philadelphia Orchestra continues on an alternate route, eschewing satellite technology for the Internet in the seventh of a series of nine simulcasts March 20. … Yet the question of translating 19th-century art into a 21st-century visual culture remains unanswered for symphony orchestras. … Though the New York Philharmonic and the Minnesota Orchestra are also riding high thanks to charismatic music directors, they’re sticking closer to what they know—audio technology. … The Philadelphia Orchestra has experimented for years with Internet-based simulcasts, and has now evolved to a season of nine—but in only 75 or so venues across the country … Though symphonic simulcast production costs run into the six figures and operatic ones are easily $1 million, the Philadelphia Orchestra has only 30 percent of the usual costs because Verizon Hall is already equipped with robotic cameras, said Stephen Millen, vice president and orchestra general manager.”

Posted March 10, 2011