To get a good view of an orchestra in New York's Carnegie Hall, you would normally have to buy an expensive front row seat. With a little help from Google, however, you can now sit on the stage for free. The company is launching a "virtual exhibition" today called Performing Arts which includes four performances recorded with multiple 360-degree camera rigs. Alongside Carnegie Hall, you can experience the Berliner Philharmoniker, London's Royal Shakespeare Company and the Theatro Municipal in São Paulo.
Each locale offers a different style of on-stage performance. For instance, there's a dress rehearsal of the Romantic opera Lohengrin, a dramatic reading for a play about King Henry and an orchestral rendition of "In the Hall of the Mountain King." While they're playing, you can click and drag your mouse to peer around and focus on individual performers, or quickly bounce to another camera setup to get an entirely different perspective.
The exhibit, which forms part of the Google Cultural Institute -- a sort of online encyclopaedia for digitised museum and gallery pieces -- also features a few high-resolution panoramas from different rooms inside each venue. Google is also pitching some of its other digital collections that fall under music, opera, theater and dance from the Performing Arts homepage. These are all held under the broader Cultural Institute site and feature yet more Street View imagery, as well as videos and photos with museum-style descriptions. It's easy to get lost in it all -- there's a lot to see and no clear through-line between exhibits -- but if you're a fan of the stage, it's definitely worth checking out.