A quiet but major revolution has taken place in classical music and opera in the past decade: By streaming events, many great institutions are finding vast new audiences. Streaming performances increases audiences far beyond ticket buyers and helps orchestras and operas understand how wide their audience actually is. In recent years, major institutions now offer video streaming (live and on demand) of major performances and either charge a fee or post them free. The listed sites offer video streams of their own productions; this is not intended as a comprehensive summary.
New York’s Metropolitan Opera offers On Demand subscription plans at $14.99/month and $149.99/year for its library of over 600 performances, viewable on iOS devices, Apple TV, Android Roku and Samsung Smart TV.
Vienna State Opera
Offering over 40 productions, the Vienna State Opera charges $16) for live/new performances and $6 for archived performances.
OperaVision represents 30 opera companies from 18 countries in Europe, including upcoming operas for free.
PBS - Great Performances and Live at Lincoln Center
(or your local PBS station)
PBS offers an assortment of operas, concerts and dance performances under the Great Performances and Live at Lincoln Center banners. The search feature of the PBS site can help unearth video treasures. PBS's flagship NYC affiliate Channel 13 also offers video content.
The French/German cultural channel, Arte has a site for their live and On Demand streams of concerts and opera. Recently posted: Paris Opera Don Carlos with Jonas Kaufmann and Opera-Comique’s important new opera, Kein Licht by Philippe Manoury.
French TV’s site archives broadcasts of opera and classical events for a limited time. Currently four Don Giovannis are available, from La Fenice in Venice, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Liège Opera and the Château de Fontainebleau.
Staatsoper.TV (Bayerische Staatsoper)
Free live streams of opera and ballet from Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the home of the Berlin State Opera.
An inexhaustible supply of major concert, opera and ballet videos. Their coverage of the star-studded Verbier Festival every year alone is worth a subscription. Some content is free while the bulk is available at $19.90/month / $189/year.
With over 40 live concerts in the season. It has also recently developed an archive of filmed performances including the legendary Der Rosenkavalier with Carlos Kleiber conducting.
New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic “Watch and Listen” has recorded concerts but also artist Interviews and “Behind-the-Scenes” features.
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
The Netherlands' Royal Concertgebouw orchestra recently opened their own “Watch & Listen” site with a large selection of concerts recorded at the famed concert hall. Music director Daniele Gatti is featured as well as other stars like Herbert Blomstedt and Ivan Fischer.
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Free live concert streaming, but access to their library, with over 16 videos, requires an orchestra donation.
The Swedish symphony orchestra streams almost all concerts live for free—seven or eight events monthly. A rich archive is available and particularly interesting are videos of encores by solo stars.
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
There are nine concerts available for viewing On Demand so far this year, and every month or so one performance is streamed live.
Do you know of any sites that stream video of opera, classical music or ballet? Email us!