Thursday, December 10, 2009

This is Not An Opera

A new NEA report states that arts groups audiences are growing!

Online.

According to the report "over the past year an estimated 47 million [adults] chose to watch or listen to music, theater or dance performances online at least once a week."

But is it art? Or is it something different? Art 2.0? A facsimile of art? If so, is it good enough, close enough, for audiences these days?
(Margritte's La Trahison des images (Ceci n'est pas une pipe) comes to mind here.)

Call us Luddites but the Aria Serious crew just can't accept (yet) that art on the computer screen is the same experience as attending a live performance. Sure, we'll often watch a live concert online at KCRW or Youtube but it doesn't replace the act of seeing that same band in person when they come to town. It supplements our experience.

What worries us is when the online experience replaces the physical experience. Is opera still opera when viewed on a computer screen? Is the experience the same? Or is it time for that experience to change to reflect the audiences of today?

What do you think?

1 comment:

Smorg said...

Watching opera on DVD or at the HD broadcast in theater has nothing on being at the live show indeed... especially if music is the main draw. I guess that if acoustic quality isn't as important to an audience, though, then the DVD or the HD broadcast are really quite inviting as substitute.

I'd go to the live show as much as possible, though I appreciate the various forms of recordings since many of my favorite performers are based in Europe. :o(