Dessay you can see

The audience for regular movies has been down this fall, but the theaters that have booked the Metropolitan Opera’s live transmissions in HD have been doing very brisk business.
Thanks to the vision of the Met’s general manager, Peter Gelb, audiences around the world had a chance to see “Salome” with Deborah Voigt on Oct. 11 and the company’s premiere staging of John Adams’s much talked-about “Doctor Atomic” will be transmitted in HD on Nov. 8 at 1 p.m.
Some opera elitists scoffed when the Met launched the HD program in December, 2006 — implying that the “great unwashed” out in multiplex-land wouldn’t be interested in seeing opera at their local theaters.
Arts businessmen worried that by offering transmissions in hundreds of movie theaters — including several in New York City — ticket sales might decline for live performances at Lincoln Center.
Well, both of those groups were wrong — theaters have been doing sell-out business all over the country and ticket sales at The Met are way up.
Just as TV sports fans know there is nothing quite like seeing a game in person, the Met’s HD performances are building new audiences for live opera all over the country.
A good friend from Philadelphia who was turned on to the Met by the HD showings in King of Prussia — and who started coming to New York for live performances last year — has noticed that prime seats are not as easy to get this season.
It was through her new addiction that I started going to the Met last season and soon found myself hooked by the spectacular drama, the gorgeous music, and tremendously charismatic and talented new stars like Natalie Dessay (above) and Diana Damrau.
Dessay blew me away in “La Fille du Regiment” last season so I am very happy to report that there will be an HD showing of one of her Met performances in “La Sonnambula” on March 21 at 1 p.m. Trust me, she is someone worth planning five months in advance for!
In our area, Fairfield University began presenting the Met in HD in September. Tickets are $22 ($20 for seniors and $15 for children and students) and there are discounts if you buy a package of shows. For more information, call 1-877-ARTs-396.
If you are reading this elsewhere in the United States, you can find all of your local info by going to the Met’s site: www.metopera.org.