Ticket Sales Soar for Met Opera HD Broadcasts

Officials at the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in NYC said ticket sales for next season's live (and encore) HD broadcasts in movie theaters of its 11 productions have broken a record. Over the course of the 2009-10 season, which wraps up this month, 2.2 million tickets for the HD telecasts have been sold. That represents an average about 200,000 tickets sold for each HD telecast.

The 2.2 million total is about 400,000 more tickets than The Met sold for its HD telecasts two years ago. In all, The Met said it has sold a total of 5 million HD theater tickets for four seasons — nearly half of them for Season 4 of its HD telecasts, which started in October 2009.

Last weekend (May 1) in its current season, the opera house said the broadcast of Rossini's Armida featuring opera superstar soprano Renée Fleming and tenor Lawrence Brownlee was seen by an HD theater audience of about 190,000 in North America, Europe and Latin America. (Well over half the paying viewers were in North America.)

Encore HD telecasts are usually scheduled 2-3 weeks after the live performances, and with delayed telecasts in Asia, Latin America, Oceania and South Africa (as well as repeats in North America and Europe), the Met estimates its Armida audiences will reach a quarter-million patrons.

The first of the 11 HD telecasts next season will be Wagner's "Das Rheingold" on Saturday, Oct. 9.