Along with sporting events, networking opportunities and parades, in-person musical and theater performances have also been canceled in Philadelphia as the coronavirus continues to spread.
But Opera Philadelphia, the organization behind a number of innovative and tech-adjacent musical projects, is launching a virtual season this fall and winter so fans can access a wealth of performances at home. On Wednesday, the company announced the Opera Philadelphia Channel, a global broadcasting platform that will bring a revised 2020-2021 season of performances into fans’ homes via television screens and streaming devices.
— Opera Philadelphia (@OperaPhila) July 29, 2020
The channel will create a “digital space in which artists can perform and explore, through a series of new commissions by visionary composers and dynamic performances produced for the screen,” the company said in a statement. An annual subscription is priced at $99, and will be offered along with pay-per-view options for individual performances.
You can access the channel on computers, mobile devices, TV screens via Chromecast and via the Opera Philadelphia Channel app on AppleTV, Android TV, Roku and Amazon FireTV. In launching the channel, the company has also announced plans to postpone several theatrical productions scheduled for the 2020-2021 season, as well as cancel Festival O20, it’s September festival meant to kick off the season and introduce new performers.
“We have made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel Festival O20 and postpone many of the operas and events planned for our theaters,” said David Devan, general director and president of Opera Philadelphia. “But we are thrilled to reimagine much of the proposed season, and expand it with new offerings, to be delivered to homes across the world via the Opera Philadelphia Channel.”
Some of the performances lined up for the virtual season include “Lawrence Brownlee & Friends in Philadelphia,” “La traviata” and “Cycles of My Being.” The 2020-2021 season will also include the premiere of four new digital works from current composers.
“We are excited to create something new for the digital space,” New Works Administrator Sarah Williams said. “This is an opportunity to build upon our exploratory and innovative practice by commissioning four composers who will work with a small ensemble of extraordinary artists. We know our attention span has changed in the digital age, so they will create short, visual vignettes that play into that, all the while celebrating a sound world unique to each of them.”
You can learn more about the Opera Philadelphia Channel and how to subscribe on Opera Philadelphia’s website.