Going out to see performances can be a lot of fun. But what if you don’t have the time or want to stay in your comfy clothes? Turns out that there are so many ways to stream world-renowned productions directly to your TV. The Berlin philharmonic, Broadway, the Vienna Opera, the London National Theatre, and many individual artists offer free content for your entertainment!
The Berlin Philharmonic was founded in 1882 and has won awards such as the Grammy Hall of Fame. It is based in Berlin and is consistently ranked as one of the top orchestras in the world. Tickets to this orchestra are not cheap, but you can currently stream select concerts and films free for 30 days. You have to sign up with the code BERLINPHIL by Tuesday, March 31st 2020.
They have a handful of concerts for listeners to enjoy. The concerts include famous classical pieces by Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, Stravinsky, Strauss, and more. What’s more, you can learn more about the individual musicians in short films about each one. There is also an amazing performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica to look out for. This is a 74-minute choreographed dance accompanied by moving music about humanity in an inhuman environment and the struggle for individual dignity.
You can subscribe to watch Broadway shows just as you would Netflix or Hulu. This normally costs $8.99 a month or $89.99 for the year. Currently, you can watch Broadway shows in HD for free with a 7 week trial. As long as you cancel your subscription within the week, you won’t be charged. There are so many shows to pick from, and there’s an app that helps you watch it on your phone or project it onto a TV.
Kinky Boots, Sweeny Todd, Macbeth, Les Miserables and The Diary of Anne Frank are just a few of the available shows. They also offer vintage shows and documentaries and have a great section of foreign shows that are mostly in Spanish. This can be a great and fun way to learn a foreign language. Broadway HD is, in general, an amazingly affordable way to get your Broadway fix.
The Vienna Opera, or Wiener Staatsoper as it is known in Austria, is known for being the first building on the Vienna Ring Road. It was built in 1861 and has grown in popularity ever since. You can subscribe to watch their performances for just 16.9 euros a month. Currently, you can get a 30 day trial for free. They don’t even require any payment information during the trial, so you can’t be charged if you forget to cancel it.
Using their free app, you can project the shows on your TV or watch from a phone, tablet, or computer. All Live-Streams from the Vienna State Opera are available for 72 hours with subtitles in eight languages including English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Russian. There is a new show available every day, and you can see the schedule far in advance. For example, Romeo and Juliet will be featured on March 29th!
London National Theatre
The London National Theatre is a world-class theatre with extensive digital programming. This includes National Theatre Live, which broadcasts British theatre to over 2,500 venues in 65 countries. Last year, they produced 23 shows on their stages, which is around two a week.
They have a great YouTube channel which is completely free to watch and subscribe to. There are amazing videos showing how they create their props. They have an entirely separate playlist with how-to videos for anyone who wants to learn theatre craftsmanship. For example, you can learn how to make your own puppet! The London National Theater also shows informational introductions to different classic shows such as Jane Eyre, Antigone, and Twelfth Night.
Free Live Concerts
Many individual musicians and singers have been offering free concerts, lessons, and more. This Sunday, March 29th at 9 P.M. EST, iHeart Media will stream a concert like no other. Partnered with Fox and Elton John, “Living Room Concert for America,” will be a music event to support health professionals and first responders.
The concert will feature performances from Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGray, Elton John himself and maybe even more musicians to be announced. The artists will be using their own phones, cameras and audio equipment to stream the show from their own homes. Listeners will be encouraged to donate money to relevant charities.
Fred Hersch is planning regular performances on Facebook live. He plays piano and is a twelve-time Grammy Award nominee and has won many prestigious jazz awards. There is also Johnny Gandelsman, who also performs on Facebook live and is an outstanding classic violinist, specializing in Bach.
There are many more musicians from all genres, including stars such as Miley Cyrus, who have and will offer free live performances. Today’s amazing technology allows you to enjoy these from the comfort of your home!
Bonus: Hidden Brain Podcast
This is a fascinating free podcast that you can find wherever you get your podcasts. This includes NPR, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts and Tune In just to name a few. This podcast explores various hidden aspects of human psychology. In each episode, host Shankar Vedantam invites an expert on a given topic to teach the listener something new and exciting.
“Creatures of Habit” is a particularly interesting episode. It examines how human beings can form good habits and break bad ones. For example, they talk about how it takes a certain amount of time to do something, such as going to the gym, before it becomes an automatic part of your routine instead of something you consciously plan to do.
Photos: Shutterstock / Collage: Martina Advaney
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