During these trying times for the arts, when many playhouses and theatres have temporarily shut their doors, the arts and culture’s digital archives have been generously unlocked by many esteemed establishments worldwide. These include The Metropolitan Opera in New York, and London's Royal Opera House, National Theatre, and The Globe. These performance stalwarts have unlocked their archives for all to stream online; many of them free for a limited time. Of course, while these theatres are closed, it does mean that the actors, performers and dancers will be unable to perform and you can also support many of these online offerings by making a donation via the respective online platforms.
The National Theatre
The National Theatre has a huge archive, and they'll be releasing one exciting title for free streaming every Thursday – that will be available to stream for a week. These are highly acclaimed theatre productions so you won’t want to miss out! Watch the hilarious James Corden in One Man, Two Govners, Jane Eyre, Treasure Island and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in the coming weeks on National Theatre’s YouTube channel.
The Metropolitan Opera
The Met is hoping to “brighten the lives of audience members even while our stage is dark”, by streaming a different encore operatic production every day. Each of these will be available free-to-view for 23 hours, to ensure that all parts of the world may access it. Notable additions are this Saturday, March 4's showing of Macbeth, followed by Sunday’s showing of Norma. After the free-to-view period, theatre buffs can still watch these opera masterpieces by renting or subscribing.
The Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House has generously rolled out a free program of curated ballet and opera content, with one production released weekly and free to stream anytime from their YouTube channel. Already released is Peter and the Wolf, and in the pipeline are productions including Acis and Galatea, The Winter’s Tale, and The Metamorphasis – the story of a travelling salesman who wakes up to find that he’s transformed into a giant insect! Check online for exact times.
This iconic theatre may be closed for now, but let this not stop thee from accessing thine sonnets by the Bard. Now on The Shakespeare Globe Trust’s platform, you can pay to rent or stream the legendary playwright's works as you wish, from Hamlet to Henry VIII, to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, all productions are available so that you can choose to stream from the comfort of home As You Like It – get it?