Seen and Heard International hopes for the happiest of outcomes for all those who are ill due to the current coronavirus pandemic. We share the optimism of those experts who hope that all those in otherwise good health will be able to resist its worst effects.

With the worldwide restrictions on travel and gatherings of significant numbers the world of classical music and many other entertainment events are currently subjected to a wave of changes, postponements, or cancellations, and it is unlikely normal recreational life will be resumed in the foreseeable future.

Seen and Heard International will continue to post reviews of concerts, operas, dance, theatre, and broadcasts for a long as we can, but bear with us if our content is not refreshed as often as readers have become used to over recent years.

We are not a listings site so if you are checking for news of whether performances have been postponed, cancelled, or might be restarting, please go direct to the websites of the venues concerned.


Attempts are being made to provide online live music and other performances – live or recorded – during this ongoing situation. Below are a few of the earliest announcements and this is not intended to be comprehensive or regularly updated but might be added to in coming days:

The Metropolitan Opera – Starting from tonight Monday 16 March 2020, the Metropolitan Opera in New York is launching a free series of encore Live in HD presentations – ‘Nightly Met Opera Streams’ to be streamed during the coronavirus closure. To find out more about the Met Opera Nightly Streams CLICK HERE.

Iván FischerThe Hungarian conductor, Maestro Ivan Fischer, creates a new concert series in response to the worldwide musical shutdown. The chamber concerts will be free to view online while the spreading COVID-19 forces music lovers to stay at home. From this evening (Monday 16 March 2020) his Budapest Festival Orchestra will be giving nightly chamber concerts online, under the title Quarantine Soirees. Follow this link to view the announcement: Quarantine Soirees CLICK HEREFor more about the Budapest Festival Orchestra CliCK HERE.

Joyce DiDonato – available on this wonderful artist’s Instagram and Facebook is the performance she gave with Piotr Beczala singing excerpts of #WERTHER from her living room with Emmanuel Ceysson and Howard Watkins. Joyce DiDonato invites you ‘to join a global community to find relief in music (even if it’s sorrowful music!), but we will sing with all our hearts.’ DiDonato adds ‘If you feel moved, please consider making a donation to an organization, theater, orchestra as a gesture of thanks. Every dollar/euro will count, as artists now are flying without a financial net for the foreseeable future. Your generosity – at any amount – will make a huge difference. Any organization will be happy to accept your support, but 2 options that will go directly to artists: CLICK HERE or CLICK HERE.’

OperaVision – for more about what is available on the freeview streaming platform CLICK HERE.

Vienna State Opera – In this difficult situation, Vienna State Opera is now opening its livestream archives, so that music lovers all over the world will still be able to enjoy opera and ballet. Starting on Sunday, 15 March 2020, Wiener Staatsoper will broadcast recordings of previous opera and ballet performances daily via its streaming platform CLICK HERE – worldwide and free of charge. This online programme will even follow the originally planned schedule at the house, with a few exceptions only. Streams start at 7 p.m. or 5 p.m. CET respectively (for Die Walküre, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung) and remain available for 24 hours. After registration CLICK HERE the subscription can be booked free of charge until further notice.

Berlin Philharmonic – The Philharmonie Berlin is closed until 19 April to help contain the coronavirus. But the orchestra will continue to play for you – in the Digital Concert Hall. Log on to the Digital Concert Hall ticket page CLICK HERE with the code BERLINPHIL and use the Digital Concert Hall free of charge for 30 days. Cancellation is not required. The latest date for redeeming the code is Tuesday, 31 March 2020.

Wigmore Hall –  Free ‘Live Stream’ CLICK HERE

Opera North – you can watch their Ring cycle in full and for free CLICK HERE

Deutsche Oper Berlin – although the programme is on hold until 19th April, we still have a few novelties lined up! From now on, you can enjoy opera from the comfort of your own couch. Over the next few days the homepage of our website will be showing the following works as video on demand. On the mentioned dates the programme changes around 3pm – CLICK HERE to find these and further live streams. Until 21 March: Janáček’s JENUFA directed by Christof Loy and under the baton of Donald Runnicles (2014). 21 to 23 March: Wagner’s RIENZI, THE LAST OF THE TRIBUNES in a production by Philipp Stölzl. Conductor: Sebastian Lang-Lessing (2010) — live on stage again from 14 May 2021. 23 to 25 March: Wagner’s THE MASTERSINGERS OF NUREMBERG as staged by Götz Friedrich. Conductor: Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (1995).

English National Ballet – for ways to keep in touch with English National Ballet during the hiatus in their activities CLICK HERE or their Facebook page, YouTube Channel, Spotify or Twitter

Some other theatre performancesCLICK HERE for news about a range of content available online.

The Royal Opera House – will be offering a free programme of curated online broadcasts, musical masterclasses and cultural insights that get under the skin of both ballet and opera and offer everyone a unique look behind the scenes at one of the world’s most famous cultural institutions. This will include the following productions offered on demand and for free via the ROH’s Facebook and YouTube channels: Peter and the Wolf, The Royal Ballet, 2010 – 27 March 2020, 7pm GMT, Acis and Galatea, The Royal Opera, 2009 – 3 April 2020, 7pm BST, Così fan tutte, The Royal Opera, 2010 – 10 April 2020, 7pm BST and The Metamorphosis, The Royal Ballet, 2013 – 17 April 2020, 7pm BST. Audiences are invited to sign up for a free 30-day trial on Marquee TV, the international multi-genre performing arts streaming service. In collaboration with the Royal Opera House, Marquee TV will bring you the very best of world-class performances on demand. A range of recent opera and ballet productions are available including La traviata and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with new titles being added all the time. In the coming days and weeks, there will be more free broadcasts, so look out for updates and announcements via The Royal Opera House’s social media channels and experience the best of the ROH from your living room.

London Mozart Players – In the wake of venue closures and concert cancellations across the country due to the COVID-19 outbreak, London Mozart Players, the UKs longest established chamber orchestra, are launching ‘At home with LMP’ an initiative that will help keep audiences connected to music by going virtual. This dedicated web page will allow anyone to access and enjoy performances by LMP musicians and associated artists virtually from the comfort of their own home, ensuring that audiences can connect with the orchestra and experience the transformative power of classical music, even whilst self-isolating. Launching today (23 March), ‘At home with LMP’ will showcase the talent within this much-loved chamber ensemble by releasing a daily stream of pre-recorded and live performances, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes clips from LMP soloists, associates and musicians. For more information CLICK HERE.

Let’s Dance International Frontiers – LDIF is the annual dance festival in Leicester which opens every year on 29 April (International Dance Day) bringing diversity to the forefront with a strong programme of performances, workshops, films and discussion featuring dancers and choreographers from around the world. Due to the current restrictions imposed on mass gatherings as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the physical festival for LDIF20 will be postponed. However, in order to mark LDIF’s tenth anniversary this year, Serendipity, the producers of LDIF, is proud to present ALTERNATIVE LDIF20, a digital festival of dance, from 29 April – 16 May. The alternative LDIF schedule will launch online on 29 April 2020 and for more information CLICK HERE.

Opéra national de Paris – A series of past performances are to be broadcast in coming weeks on on operadeparis.fr (CLICK HERE) and france.tvculturebox (CLICK HERE), thanks to France televisions and its Culturebox service.

Deutsche Oper Berlin –  So that you can keep on enjoying high art, we will continue to make works of opera available on the homepage of our website (CLICK HERE) over the next weeks. Changing the content every two days at about 3pm, we will be showing recordings of outstanding productions mounted by our opera house in the past, all as FREE video on demand. These rang from legendary productions such as Götz Friedrich’s 1980 version of Wagner’s TRISTAN AND ISOLDE to Boris Blacher’s PRUSSIAN LEGEND (1974) and Aribert Reimann’s DIE GESPENSTERSONATE from 1984. A highlight of the works on offer will be the opening performance at the Deutsche Oper Berlin of DON GIOVANNI in 1961 featuring great artists such as Pilar Lorengar. Happy viewing!

National Theatre at Home – Watch the best of British theatre. Join us every Thursday for much-loved National Theatre Live productions, free to stream on YouTube for seven days. For more information CLICK HERE.


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