The coronavirus has ravaged many of our spaces of cultural exploration like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Fortunately, even as the last galleries, music venues, and cinemas close their doors, there has been an explosion of culture that everyone can enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. Some of this has been inspired by books we’d long left sitting on the shelf. Even better, our classic cultural venues are finding innovative ways to bring art to us in new ways.
The stunning Metropolitan Opera house in New York is opening its doors to their Live in HD series. Each week, they will be offering up operas from encores past. Starting with Wagner week, including the inspirational Der Ring Des Nibelungen tetralogy and culminating with ‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’. Each day delivers a new delight. Other venues, such as the Royal Opera House in London, are also streaming past shows live over the internet. With all this provided for free, opera has never been more accessible from your sofa. Venues and bars were some of the earliest places to have their doors slammed shut. Fortunately, musicians across the globe used to packing out stadiums have taken to live-streaming from their living rooms to keep us from missing out. Neil Young has promised a sing-along by the campfire. Check out the World Health Organization (WHO)’s ‘#Together, At Home: Global Citizen Solidarity Sessions’ concert series for global acts. Billboard Vulture have also put together a packed line-up of everything going on in the music world. Go clubbing with friends over Skype, Zoom, or other social distance friendly communications channels with these gigs. With over 3,000 museum tours available virtually, Google allows you to visit cultural sights online. Stroll from the spiraling ramp of New York’s Guggenheim the Great Court in the British Museum in London in minutes. Or marvel at Van Gogh in Paris’s Musée d’Orsay over breakfast, before feasting on the Acropolis Museum’s artifacts for lunch. Keep as cultured as kombucha from the comfort of your own home with these fabulous ways to enjoy art. Museums are also opening the proverbial online doors to their artwork and other collections. Check out the ‘Museé du Louvre’s Ancient Egyptian treasures’ in Paris if you love the ancient wonders. Rembrandt’s stunning collection of portraiture in Amsterdam (1590-1670) is also now available for your casual perusal.
The Rivoli’s latest exhibitions have also been released in the Digital Cosmos. Whilst nothing can beat seeing the same paint struck on the canvas by art’s greats in the flesh, gaining an understanding of their works is actually easier online. If sitting in a comedy club fills you with dread, why not enjoy the array of comedy online events? Mark Thomas’s comedy with a social purpose Check Up: Our NHS at 70 is ideal for the times.
The proceeds raised from this goes to supporting food banks in the UK. Or why not check out the innovative improv show ‘Haggis!’ designed live by Facebook and Twitter users in March 2020. Or check out New York comedy club Caveat who are streaming their shows on their YouTube channel. Screaming with laughter is also offering 2 online shows every month whilst they are closed down.
Theatre is alive with free streaming services springing up across the globe for some of the world’s biggest theatres.
The National Theatre in London will soon be streaming their shows on YouTube. Whether Twelfth Night, Jane Eyre, or One Man, Two Guvnors is your thing, there is plenty to be happy about with their online events.
The Coronavirus Theatre Club has also released lots of interesting shorts and monologues with impressive results.
The Stage has also compiled a more comprehensive list of online theatre events culture lovers can enjoy from their sofa. During the peak of the Coronavirus crisis in China, an online platform saw half a billion people watch a major movie release. People are also finding new ways to engage with each other from their homes. If you can’t meet at the cinema, what’s the harm of sticking on a video call and watching films together online. You can also use apps like TwoSeven on Firefox or Google Chrome browsers for a more in tune experience. Doing things together can help us avoid emotional distancing in times of social distancing. During these times more of us are having to spend long periods of time indoors. To help get us through this, we need to think of more fun things to do at home. Fortunately, thanks to the innovative responses of our cultural sphere everyone can find online events to suit their tastes. Or why not break away from the norm and try something new? With so much on offer for free, now is as good a time as any to explore your cultural side. As much as venues seem like such an integral component of the arts, culture is always what we make of it.
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