In the same way that HD has spoiled sports
fans with its eye-popping visuals, it has expanded its domain to the opera world. According to the NY Times, the Met's
eight broadcasts last season pulled in 908,000 viewers. Further, the number of people who took in these broadcast performances outnumbered the Metropolitan Opera House attendees by 58,000 over the same time period. These are great numbers for the highbrow fare, but what's really telling is the comparative turnout netted by the lower quality broadcast used by the San Francisco Opera
. The author of the linked article reports the San Francisco Opera's efforts have enjoyed much less success, and points to a turnout of four at the local screening of "Madama Butterfly" as evidence. Broadcast opera seems like it's here to stay, and HD looks to be a component crucial to success. Bravo!