With high streets across Europe languishing and many spaces shuttered, and with people keen to bring opera closer to the people, what better time to invent a sort of flash Figaro?
In Berlin one group of musicians is going to people’s homes, with performances selling out well ahead of the moment the secret location is revealed. A little pop-up Puccini? No problem! And this sure beats having a hi-fi in the living room.
“The whole difference is that as a performer you really get to sense the audience. You feel with them and you see how they react. You get a response and a feedback right away. And in a big opera house with a big orchestra of course you don’t see them at all. They are out in the darkness,” said Danish Mezzo Soprano and group founder Hetna Regitze Bruun.
The intimacy of Home Opera’s performers and audience creates a whole new operatic experience.
“It’s really very special. Because you never hear opera that close up. So the feeling it has on your body is very very special. Because the sound is so, so loud,” said guest Lotte Moeller.
Once the performance is over, the audience then gets an added treat; the host gets to do their thing; in this case Achim Anscheidt marshalling the drinks and snacks, and trying to help ensure the ‘after’ chemistry works its magic.
“It is nice to have guests around. And it’s nice to follow a tradition of home music. You often invite guests for dinner or to meet or for a glass of wine but it’s really nice to be able to invite guests to enjoy music together,” he said.
Tickets are sold on the web for 15 to 30 euros – cheap compared to a ticket at one of the larger opera houses nearby, and popular, too, as they are dozens of performances into a run that takes them to Denmark in June.