Met Opera

The Met: Live in HD Frequently Asked Questions

General Information about the Series
As part of its efforts to reinvigorate opera and reach out to a broader public, the Metropolitan Opera, in 2006, launched a groundbreaking program—The Metropolitan Opera: Live in High-Definition, a series of opera performances transmitted live in HD to movie theatres around the world.
From its inaugural season, the series enjoyed critical acclaim and global box office success, attracting an audience of more than 325,000 attendees across six live and six encore events in seven countries. In the second season, the number of performances increased to eight live and eight encore events, seen in 17 countries, with audience numbers nearly tripling to more than 925,000.

The Met: Live in HD returns this fall, with 10 transmissions scheduled during the 2013–14 season. All live performances take place on Saturdays. More countries and more theatres will continue to be added throughout the season.

To better serve you, we’ve pulled together answers to some frequently asked questions about the series, everything from “What should I wear to attend a live transmission?” to “What are the technological innovations that have made the HD series possible?”

Q. How did the idea of The Met: Live in HD start?

A. The program was developed as a way to reach new audiences through new technology.
The Met has a long tradition of broadcasting live performances to millions of radio listeners globally on the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network. This offered the springboard for the Live in HD program. Most of the HD transmissions are simulcast on radio.
The initial inspiration was a global theatrical event featuring the rock musician David Bowie, who launched his 2003 album “Reality” with a live performance transmitted to movie theatres via satellite.

Q. How long did it take from conception to execution?

A. From planning to launch, the project took one year. There were two especially important components in making it a reality. The first were the new union agreements between the Met and the various organizations that operate at the opera house. The second was the increasing availability of movie theatres and other venues that were interested in screening musical and theatrical events in addition to movies.

Q. How many people at the Met are involved in producing the Live in HD presentations? What are their various roles?

A. There is a huge team of people involved in bringing Met performances to the big screen. This includes everyone from stagehands and stage managers to the singers, chorus and orchestra, audio and video technicians, cameramen, producers, scriptwriters, and people in charge of marketing and distribution.

Q. Which operas are planned for the new Live in HD season?

A. In its eighth year, the series continues with 10 transmissions.

Q. Where can I obtain a list of operas, dates, times, and locations?

A. Detailed information is available on and the Met website at

Q. What is new and different about this season?

A. The 2013–14 season features more varied composers and styles than previous seasons. Visitors may request our free HD Guide, which will also be distributed at movie theatres in select locations. The encore presentations of HD showings in the U.S. have been moved to Wednesday nights in most locations.

As in previous seasons, we are offering the added benefit of advance ticket purchase for the HD series to Met Members at the $150 level and above.
The Met continues to bring the broadcasts to schools and other venues such as performing arts centers, non-profit community movie theatres and museums.

Q. Can you send me a list of next season’s transmissions, so I don’t miss any performances?

A. The production schedule is available at We also suggest that you subscribe to our email distribution list for updates. Please send an e-mail to with your contact information.

Q. What day of the week are the live events?

A. All live events will take place on Saturdays.

Q. What day of the week are the encore events in Canada?

A. Generally, the encore presentations are on Saturdays. Additionally select performances will feature Monday evening encores and Wednesday evening encores. Check with the participating theatres for detailed information.

Q. How can I find out about the cast for each of the HD performances?

A. Cast sheets and synopses will be available for download and printing in English and French approximately one week prior to each performance at or

Q. Which shows are appropriate for children?

A. Most HD performances are appropriate for audiences of all ages. However, a few of them deal with subjects that may not be suitable for young people.

Q. Where can I obtain a full list of participating movie theatres worldwide?

A. We are working with our exhibitor partners now to confirm locations. As soon as this is done, the most current information will be available at

Q. If my country is not on the list for the upcoming season, does this mean there will not be any broadcasts at all?

A. Please check for the most current information. Theatres wishing to participate can fill out an application form on the Met website. New exhibitors are added on an ongoing basis.

Q. Is this program just for opera fans?

A. The Met: Live in HD is designed for everyone. The productions are chosen to represent a variety of styles and the full range of the Met repertoire. They all feature great storytelling, great singing, and extraordinary production values.

Q. How are the operas chosen for the series? Are there some operas that might be more "challenging" for a general audience than others?

A. Various factors play a part in choosing the repertoire for Live in HD. These include the music, the composers, the performers, whether an opera is presented in a new production or is considered a Met favorite, etc.
In general, opera, when it’s presented at the highest level both musically and theatrically, appeals to a very broad audience.

Q. How do the singers feel about performing in these live transmissions?

A. The artists involved are excited to be a part of this initiative. It is as important to them as it is to the Met to keep opera one of the most thrilling art forms, relevant to our time, and a part of the cultural mainstream.

Q. What happens during intermission of the live transmissions?

A. The Live in HD events are enhanced by specially produced features that offer audiences a look behind the scenes. These include live interviews with singers, directors, designers, and stage technicians, as well as documentaries and other short programs. In the past seasons, the intermission features have been hosted by Met stars like Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, and Natalie Dessay.

Q. How long are the intermissions for each broadcast?

A. Intermission times vary from production to production but most run approximately 30 minutes.

How to Get Tickets
Q. When will tickets go on sale?
A. Met Members at the supporting level ($150) and above enjoy advance access to tickets prior to the general public. At Cineplex Entertainment Theatres SCENE™ members also share the same advance ticket window as support level Met Members. Tickets go on sale to members on Wednesday, August 14, at 10:00 a.m. local time.

The advance ticket period runs from August 14 through August 20. If you are not a Member at the supporting level, but wish to purchase tickets in advance of the general public, you will need to become a Member or upgrade your membership to the $150 level. You will be given a Met Member card to present at the box office of a participating theatre and will be able to purchase up to four tickets per performance during the advance member window.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, August 21, (Friday, August 23 in the U.S.) online and at participating theatre box offices in Canada. Additionally, some of the Met’s exhibitor partners will offer subscription packages. Check with your local cinema for more details.

Q. How do I purchase tickets?

A. Please visit Follow the instructions and you will be directed to a website where you can buy your tickets. For Cineplex Entertainment theatres visit

Q. What are the ticket prices this year?

A. Ticket prices may vary between locations. Please check with your local theatre.

Q. Can I purchase tickets for the entire HD season?

A. Yes! Yes! As a qualified Met or SCENE™ member, you will be able to purchase tickets for all performances—with a limit of four tickets per performance—during the advance sales period from August 14 to August 20. Tickets for all productions will be on sale to the general public on Wednesday, August 21. The on-sale date at certain theatres may vary. Please check with the participating theatre for the most current information.

Q. How do I purchase tickets for large groups?

A. Group sales opportunities may be available at select theatres, after the public on-sale date (August 21) for groups of more than twenty persons. If you are interested in this, please send an email with your request to Further instructions will be provided to you. For Cineplex Entertainment theatres please contact or by calling 1-800-313-4461.

Q. The theatre I want to go to is sold out. What options do I have?

A. The best thing to do is to keep checking the theatre website. Sometimes theatres will open additional auditoriums at the same theatre location. We also suggest that you consider another location nearby.

Q. I don’t feel comfortable giving out my personal information over the Internet. Can I still purchase tickets without going to the box office?

A. During both the advance sale and general public on-sale period, the theatres offer the ability to purchase tickets in person at a participating theatre box office or online. The web is the fastest way to get your tickets. Rest assured that the information you provide is secure.

Q. If I buy tickets for the entire season, can the tickets be transferred to another theatre if I am out of town?

A. Tickets for HD transmissions are just like regular movie tickets and can’t be transferred to another location.

Purchasing Tickets on the Web
Q. How do I set up an account on a third-party ticketing site?
A. Most websites have similar procedures. Before you can purchase tickets, you will be asked to provide some basic contact information. Your login will normally consist of an email address and a password. Be sure to pick a password that is easy to remember. If you’ve already set up an account, you will simply have to provide your email address and password at checkout to complete the transaction.

Q. How do I log in to my Met account? What if I have forgotten my password?

A. At the top of every page on the Met website, you will find a link labeled “login.” In case you have forgotten your login details, you will have the opportunity to sign up for a temporary password that will be sent to your email address. To avoid these extra steps, it is suggested you pick a username and password that are easier to remember.

Q. I’m on the theatre website and am trying to purchase tickets. Why can’t I click on the time of the show?

A. If a show time link has been disabled it means the show is sold out. Keep checking back as additional screens may be added, or select an alternate location.

Q. How do I buy series tickets?

A. Just watch this short video 

Q. I lost my ticket confirmation. How can I re-print it?

A. Please save the email confirmation you receive from the online ticketing agency. In the email, you will find a link that you can click on to re-print the ticket confirmation. When you come to the theatre to pick up your tickets, please bring the credit card used to purchase them as well as the ticket confirmation.

Membership Information
Q. Can I become a member and instantly qualify to purchase HD tickets in advance of the general public?
A. Yes. As soon as you sign up for membership at the $150 level or above, you will be instantly qualified to purchase Live in HD tickets in the U.S. and Canada, during the Met member priority period.

Q. How do I become a member?

A. . To take advantage of the August 14 to August 20 priority window for Met members in Canada (August 14 to August 23 in the U.S.), please visit and click on the link “Become a member or upgrade today,” or call 1-800-MET-OPERA or 212-362-6000.

Theatre Information
Q. How can I find a participating theatre?
A. Please visit our website at Choose your country and follow the links.

Q. What time do the theatre auditoriums open?

A. You will be able to enter the theatre approximately 30 to 45 minutes before the transmission begins.

Q. Why can’t we be admitted earlier?

A. Prior to screenings, we test our live satellite feed to the theatres to enable them to make last-minute adjustments to their equipment, so that you are ensured the best possible viewing experience.

Q. I lost my tickets. What do I do?

A. Please be sure to keep track of your purchases. Neither the Met nor the movie theatres are responsible for lost or stolen tickets.

Q. I represent a movie theatre wishing to participate in The Met: Live in HD. How can I join?

A. The Met is interested in finding new partners all over the world. Please visit, click on the link labeled "participate," and fill out the form.

Q. I attended a previous Live in HD event and didn’t have a good experience because there were technical problems. What should I expect this year?

A. The Met’s live HD transmissions are at the forefront of new technology and can’t be compared to regular movie screenings. Unfortunately, there is always a possibility that equipment may fail. If you have a poor customer experience, please write a letter to HD Distribution Department, The Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, New York, NY 10023, USA or send an email ( so we can direct the complaint to the respective theatre partner.

Q. Which theatres have reserved seating?

A. With the continued success of The Met: Live in HD select theatres who have reached capacity crowds have been able to offer reserved seating. Not all locations are able to offer this service and based on demand not all performances will offer reserved seating.

On the Day of the Performance
Q. What should I wear?
A. You should wear whatever you would normally wear to go to a movie theatre.

Q. I don’t like it when it’s noisy. Will people be able to buy popcorn?

A. Popcorn and other snacks and drinks will be sold as part of the movie-going experience.

Q. I am disabled. Will I have priority seating?

A. Most theatres do have special priority seating for guests who need assistance. We suggest arriving early to secure these seats and seeking the help of an usher or theatre manager.

Program Guide
Q. Can I get a program for the Live in HD series?
A. Yes, you can request your copy of our free HD Guide. Go to or call 212-362-6000.

Q. Will programs be available for sale at the theatres?

A. There won’t be programs for sale at the present time. Some theatres may elect to distribute the Met’s HD Guide. However, the best way to get a free copy is to request it from the Met.

Q. When will my program arrive? I want to be sure I have it for the first event.

A. Orders will be processed throughout the season. The HD Guide will cover the entire season, from Opening Night to the last transmission in May 2014.

Q. I lost my program. How can I request another one?

A. Each requestor is entitled to one free HD Guide this season.

Other Opportunities to See the Broadcasts

Q. What does "encore broadcast" mean? Where will these broadcasts play?

A. An encore performance is a re-exhibition of the live event. The encore schedule in the U.S. is available on the Met website and at Most participating theatres, in Canada, will present encore screenings on Monday following the live transmission. Encore exhibitions do vary, so please contact your local participating theatre for up to date information.

Q. Will the Live in HD events be on television?

A. Yes. This season, PBS will broadcast the Met’s HD transmissions, approximately 60 to 90 days after the live theatrical event.

Other Opportunities to See the Broadcasts

Q. What does "encore broadcast" mean? Where will these broadcasts play?

A. An encore performance is a re-exhibition of the live event. The encore schedule in the U.S. is available on the Met website at and at Most participating theaters, in Canada, will present encore screenings on Wednesdays following the live transmission. Encore exhibitions do vary, so please contact your local participating theater for up to date information.

Q. Will the Live in HD events be on television?

A. Yes. This season, PBS will broadcast the Met’s HD transmissions, approximately 60 to 90 days after the live theatrical event.

Publicity and Promotion
Q. Do you publish a newsletter?
A. You can sign up for our email newsletter, "High Notes," by visiting In addition, the Metropolitan Opera Guild publishes a newsletter twice a year.

Q. Will there be subtitles?
A. There are on-screen subtitles for all transmissions. These are the same as the Met titles you see when you come to a live performance at the opera house. In most instances, the subtitles are provided in English. Spanish subtitles will be provided in Latin America; French in France and Belgium (select locations) and German in Germany and Austria. In Canada, at select locations, in the province of Quebec, Saturday, Monday and Wednesday encores will feature French subtitles. Please check the schedule of your local theatre to see if this is offered.

Q. Can we get more long or wide camera shots, not so many close-ups?

A. The way a transmission is presented visually is the director’s choice. It varies by performance. We continually provide feedback to the program directors, so please let us know your thoughts.

Q. Will my theatre’s technology improve? For example, will you add a satellite or adjust the volume to avoid technical glitches in the future?

A. Unfortunately, all live programs are subject to technical issues. Please let us know via email at if you have specific feedback to share with us. The exhibitor partners work with us on-going to address any problems that occur locally.

Q. Where do I report any audio/visual issues that occurred during the broadcast?

A. Please send an email to, or send a letter to HD Distribution department, The Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, New York, NY 10023, USA. We will investigate any issues that arise with our exhibitor partners.

Q. Were there recent technological innovations that have made the HD series possible, or has this been possible for a while?

A. Advances in digital technology have made the transmissions possible. Theatres are transforming their projection equipment to the digital age, and are installing satellite equipment to enable them to receive a live HD signal. HD sets a standard of quality that didn’t exist before and that provides a real cinematic experience in a live format, which is perfectly suited to opera.

Q. Broadcasting a live theatrical performance to movie theatres must present some technical challenges. Do you experience any?

A. We experienced a few video and audio glitches at various theatre locations during each transmission in the U.S. The problems are "local" in nature; one cinema may experience a small problem, while another nearby has a perfect transmission. Our cinema partner assembled a quality control team to report any issues brought to their attention during the transmissions. Instant reports were provided to the Met’s HD technical advisor. Most technical issues were addressed and rectified immediately.

Q. How does high definition look different from a movie, and how is the Met transmitting in high definition?

A. Feature films are typically shot on 35 mm film. The HD broadcasts are shot in high-quality video for a live performance. Video looks different from film on any size screen.

Q. Are the opera directors participating in the direction of the HD transmissions or is this a separate crew?

A. The HD broadcasts are produced by camera crews with their own directors who are hired by the Met. During the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons, these included Gary Halvorson (The Magic Flute, I Puritani, Il Trittico), Brian Large (The First Emperor, Eugene Onegin, The Barber of Seville), and Barbara Willis Sweete (Tristan und Isolde, Hansel and Gretel).

Q. Are there different camera angles and close-ups of singers, conductors and the orchestra, like in a PBS telecast?

A. The broadcasts are produced with at least 10 cameras, meaning there are multiple points of view. There are many different kinds of shots, including zooms and close-ups.

Q. Is the lighting different during the live transmissions?

A. Sometimes the original theatrical lighting is modified for the transmissions. There is a collaborative process between the HD video controllers and the stage lighting artists who work at the Met. Often there are no changes. The Met has never added any lighting instruments for television or HD.

Q. How is the sound managed?

A. Our broadcasts are engineered and delivered to movie theatres in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound to accommodate most movie theatre systems. It is the next best audio experience to being in the opera house itself.

Q. Does the Met use a different camera from what it uses to record for PBS? How will the broadcast translate to wide-screen?

A. HD is the format used for wide-screen presentations. Since the Met is shooting in HD, the broadcasts are compatible with wide-screen. PBS will downgrade the presentation to standard definition for television, but will also present the original broadcasts on their HD channels.

Q. What is the channel of my local PBS station?
A. Please visit and click on "television schedule," or call 212-560-1313.

Q. When will the broadcasts be shown on PBS?

A. PBS will broadcast the programs 60 to 90 days after the live event.

Q. Can I purchase a DVD of the show that I am seeing?
A. Through an agreement with EMI Records, five of the eight HD transmissions of the 2007–08 season were released on DVD. More information about the DVDs will be posted on our website within the next few months at
In Canada you can find Metropolitan Opera DVD’s at

Other Memorabilia
Q. Will there be any merchandise items available?
A. The Met will have merchandise available to purchase via our website