“Declining toward extinction,” opera tears a page from Newspaper’s playbook

What do you do when your newspaper readership is aging and not being replaced with new readers? You publish online, for one, and hope to recoup some of your lost print revenue by selling ads there.

Now how do you reach a younger audience if you’re the New York Metropolitan Opera? You go digital as well. As this Economist piece reports, The Met is having some impressive success by bringing their opera to other cities throughout the world. The operas are being presented in movie theaters, for special events, using high-tech projection and sound equipment.

Here are some details from the publication.

These “simulcasts” made a big splash. During the 2007-08 season over 600 cinemas in America, Australia, Europe and Japan showed the Met’s live broadcasts. More than 920,000 people in 23 countries watched eight operas, roughly a threefold increase over the previous season, and about 70,000 more than the total audience of the Met proper during that season. For the next season 11 operas will be televised at an even greater number of cinemas.

The cost of admission is roughly $30, and formal attire is optional. It’s a cool idea.

Would you go to one of these?