"These are hard days for the Metropolitan Opera, for the city and for all of you, as the whole world suffers from the effects of the corona virus," says opera director Peter Gelb in a video message announcing that the free streams of past performances will be available to audiences worldwide.
Like many theaters around the world, The Metropolitan has suspended its season out of health concerns. As performances got cancelled, organizers began looking for alternative ways to reach their audiences. The Broadway Licensing firm has secured approvals for live streaming over 400 plays from their Playscripts catalog.
Vienna State Opera also is offering free daily streams of operas, while other opera and concert companies offer them as often as available.
In virus-stricken Italy, Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, plans to stream some of the most recent productions on its website throughout March.
Videos of Italian opera signers and ordinary citizens singing from their balconies have gone viral on the social media, showing the power of music to unite people in the time of crisis.