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Published April 9th 2020
Watch world-class performances from home
Since the global lockdown due to Covid-19 has forced many into stay at home situations, theatres have begun to provide online content of performances not previously available. These streaming services exist to provide links to the arts in a stressful time and to fundraise to support artists and theatres under threat due to forced cancellations and closures.
The following is a compilation of sources ranging from Broadway musicals to comedic plays to new takes on opera. All of them are free, except for Broadway HD, which offers a free week and then payment by subscription choice. Click on the theatre name to go directly to the online service.
Teatro Massimo is an Italian theatre based in Palermo. The online offerings are largely innovative takes on familiar operas, such as Barber of Seville. As of 9 April, they have started a new series titled: Artisti uniti in tempi di isolamento forzato or Artists united in times of forced isolation.
The National Theatre is streaming free full-length plays on their YouTube channel (see link above) every Thursday. The plays premiere on Thursday at 7pm UK time and are available for one week. The series premiered with One Man, Two Guvnors. As of Thursday, 9 April, Jane Eyre is streaming and will be available until 16 April.
Broadway HD existed before the great need for online content and thus has a large library of hundreds of selections. They offer a subscription service as well as a week-long free trial. Offerings include musicals, Shakespeare, family-friendly, foreign theatre, and documentaries.
The Stage.co.uk is providing rolling coverage of new content as it becomes available, which is updated on a daily basis. This is an excellent link to stay informed as new services are added to the list.
The classical music channel is providing an updated list of the best live-streamed classical music concerts online in response to the coronavirus. They also provide their own library of articles and links to various genres.
The Royal Opera House is streaming ballets and operas for free with no restrictions on watch time. See the schedule for currently available performances. Additional productions are available via their partnerships with Marquee TV and the BBC.