March 15, 2012, 10:25 AM

A night at the opera—on an iPad

The Met will stream its performances for a fee.

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Subscribers can watch opera performances and listen to historical audio performances.

Getting to New York’s Lincoln Center to watch a performance of the Metropolitan Opera is now as easy as sitting down on a couch at home. The opera company, commonly known as the Met, has released the Met Opera on Demand iPad app that streams performances to the tablet.

The app itself is free, but the Met charges a monthly fee of $14.99 for access to streaming content, such as its Live in HD performances that the Met performs in New York but transmits to select movie theaters for viewing in high definition.

“We want opera to be as widely available as technology permits,” says Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager.

To sign up for the service, consumers must enroll on the Met’s e-commerce site, MetOperaFamily.org. “In-app purchase is not an option at launch, but may be considered for future updates,” a Met spokesman says.

Initially 44 selections from the Met’s Live in HD series are available. The Met will add additional Live in HD titles two to three months after their premieres in movie theaters. As part of Opera on Demand, users also get access to historic telecasts, which include English subtitles, and more than 250 audio performances. Each month, the Met will add content to the Opera on Demand selections.

Subscribers also may stream the Met content on computers at no additional cost, the Met says.

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