Maybe you can't travel to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City to catch a performance, but you can see operas and ballets on the big screen at Carmike 8 in Altoona.
Carmike Cinemas and Emerging Pictures are partnering to offer the Opera in Cinema series - European opera, ballets and Shakespearean plays presented in high definition and surround sound, according to a release from Columbus, Ga.-based company. The events will be shown live and then in encore presentations.
"We're very commited to offering a wide variety of offerings in the communities we serve, especially in communities that don't have a lot of access to the live ballets and operas," Terrell Mayton, director of marketing for Carmike, said.
Above is a scene from a performance of William Shakespeare’s play, “MacBeth.” The production, originating from the Royal?Opera House in London, can be viewed Monday at the Carmike 8 Cinema in Altoona.
Carmike is offering the series in 100 of its 236 markets across the country.
"Communities were selected based on commitment and community involvement with the arts and... a high level of interest and support of the arts," he said, adding that some shows have been offered in Altoona for several months.
"The Bolshoi [Ballet of Moscow] event ['Esmerelda,' which will be shown in October] is a world class ballet event," Mayton said. "Even the touring companies, when they do go out on the road, visit a very small number of communities. We put it right in Altoona. We're seeing it live as it happens. They're seeing it live as it happens to the world."
In Cinema schedule
* Verdi's "MacBeth" from The Royal Opera House, London; 2:30 p.m. Monday, live presentation onscreen; 7:30 p.m. June 19, encore presentation
* "Children of Paradise," The Paris Opera Ballet; 1:30 p.m. July 9, live presentation onscreen; 7:30 p.m. July 20, encore presentation
* Nabucco, Taormina Arts Festival, Italy; Time to be announced, Aug. 9, live presentation onscreen; 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17, encore presentation
* "Esmeralda," The Bolshoi Ballet of Moscow; Time to be announced, Oct. 9, live presentation onscreen; 7 p.m. Oct. 12, encore presentation
Tickets are $20 and $25, depending on the event, and can be purchased at www. carmike.com and at local box offices.
Vi Whiting of Hollidaysburg has seen about four of the presentations.
"I found out about it just by attending other movies. I saw the literature on the table, and there was a big banner on the wall," she said. "I'm totally interested in the opera or the ballet. Sometimes, there's only six or eight people.
"I think it was just because people didn't know about them," she said.
"The quality is pretty good and the sound is good. There's always an intermission. ... I really enjoy them. It isn't like [being] at the Met, but just the fact you can see them. And if you've seen them before, ... it brings them all back to you."
Whiting, who is the president of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, said she hopes more people will attend.
"We're excited about having this in our communities," Mayton said. "We have group ticket sales for groups that want to come, including ballet schools or dance schools."
For Whiting, it's another opportunity.
"I'm just very interested in all aspects of the arts, whether it's plays or the symphony or any live concert. I really enjoy everything and try to attend everything, Sometimes you don't like everything, but I think you get something from every live performance that you attend," she said.
The series will offer shows from all over the world starring international stars such as Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, Jonas Kaufmann, Angela Gheorghiu, Ewa Podle and Rene Pape.
The next event will be a live presentation onscreen of Verdi's "MacBeth" from The Royal Opera House in London. The live show will be shown at 2:30 p.m. Monday, and an encore presentation will be shown at 7:30 p.m. June 19.