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6 Ways to experience arts and culture at home

Emily Becker

Senior Contributor

With cultural institutions around the world closed in an effort to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, many are starting to miss that dose of arts and culture that comes from a night spent strolling through a gallery or witnessing a standing ovation-worthy performance at a theatre. However, you can still get the feeling of a night out on the art scene from the comfort of your living room with one of these free online services.

Attend A Virtual Concert

With tours cancelled, musicians are taking to the internet to give their fans a more intimate concert experience. A-list stars including John Legend, Chris Martin and Pink all hosted free live performances on social media in the past week, and some, including Ben Gibbard and Christine and the Queens, are making it a daily occurrence. (See a running list of concerts here.) Gibbard is calling his performances “Live from Home” and is using the concerts to raise funds for a different nonprofit organisation each day. 

In addition to brightening fans’ days, Martin and Legend performed as part of the World Health Organization and Global Citizen’s Together at Home campaign, an effort to raise money for WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to support healthcare workers and scientists working to contain the spread of the disease. 

Get A Front Row Seat To The Opera

With all the costumes, drama and not to mention talent on stage, any trip to the opera is memorable. New York’s Metropolitan Opera is bringing all the passion and intrigue to your home by streaming previous performances for free on its site for free through the end of March. Each show begins at 7:30 EDT and will be available for 20 hours, and the program includes masterpieces such as Puccini’s La Bohème, Bizet’s Carmen, and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde - no opera glasses required. 

The Vienna State Opera is also sharing past opera and ballet performances for free on its site. A new show will be available every day until April 2nd, and the schedule includes Der Ring des Nibelungen, Roméo et Juliette and Peer Gynt.

Take a Virtual Tour of A Museum

Get a little culture and education while you’re at home by taking an online tour of a museum. Google Arts and Culture has teamed up with over 2,500 museums from around the world to offer virtual walkthroughs of places like the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and the National Gallery in London. Called “Museum View,” the feature is similar to how you can “walk” down a street using Google Streetview and allows you to get up close and personal with some of the most famous works of art. 

Watch a Musical Straight From Broadway

The lights went dark on New York City’s theatre district last week when the state’s governor banned all gatherings of more than 500 people (this was later changed to 50). But, you can still catch an award-winning show from your living room with BroadwayHD. For a limited time, the theatre performance streaming service is offering a free seven-day trial of its catalogue of musicals and plays from Broadway, West End and other theatres from around the world. The platform features classics such as The King and I, The Phantom of the Opera and Cats. The best part? You can sing along without having to worry about disturbing the people sitting next to you. 

Go Cloud Clubbing In Your Living Room

Get ready to dance the night away - in your kitchen. The phenomenon of cloud clubbing first started in China when DJs took their sets online to platforms like TikTok and Bilibili, a Chinese video-sharing website similar to YouTube, when bars across the country started closing. The first Bedroom Online Cloud Music Festival was organised at the end of January and was such a success, that it prompted at least two more festivals and several popular nightclubs to start live streaming DJ sets on their own. 

Among other musicians that are jumping into cloud clubbing, American DJ Diplo will be live-streaming sets from his living room that are being shared and saved on his YouTube page for whenever you feel the need to dance it out. 

Take In a Symphony Performance

Or, trade those club beats in for a classical music performance from a full symphony orchestra. The Berlin Philharmonic is offering free access to its Digital Concert Hall, a collection of past performances and films, through the end of the month, and several others, including the Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, have previous concerts available on their YouTube pages. All of which will be performances that will have you saying, “Bravo!”

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