On May 17, the Dallas Opera (TDO) announced it would eliminate fees for the online subscription service, thedallasopera.TV. The site is currently free for anyone to sign up and watch both recent and old productions.
“The platform and its content — including full productions from the mainstage, concerts, and recitals; all TDO Network series; OperaKids family programs and education resources; TDO Connections™, and more — will now be free to all users, with occasional original pay-per-view projects at a low cost,” the Dallas Opera press release states.
According to Ian Derrer, the TDO Kern Wildenthal general director and CEO, the decision to make the streaming platform free was made due to what the organization learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Dallas Opera is pleased to expand access to thedallasopera.TV by removing the paywall for our audiences. We learned a great deal during the pandemic shutdown about creating content for this digital stage, understanding demand, and generating interest via social media. We also learned that free access creates a better user experience and offering a variety of access points is an important part of growing new audiences,” Derrer shared in the press release.
Content will be categorized under four categories: Backstage Pass, OperaKids, Mainstage, and TDO Network. Original content can also be found on the platform, including made-for-digital movies and unique collaborations.
Beyond, Vanished, Calleja — Sacred Music from Saint Johns, and Calleja — Lead Me Home are some programs that can currently be streamed through the site.
The 2021/2022 season production of Madame Butterfly, starring Latonia Moore, is also available now for streaming, according to the press release. The recent productions of The Pearl Fishers, starring Joyce El-Khoury, René Barbera, and Alfredo Daza, and Flight, starring John Holiday, will be made available during the spring and summer.
Archival content and other recent Dallas Opera presentations will be put on the site on a rotating basis. OperaKids features programs made for younger audiences, such as Doctor Miracle and Jack and the Beanstalk.
According to the press release, the Backstage Pass category “will offer exclusive content that supplements TDO’s mainstage and education work, including TDO Connections™ —discussions and resources for audiences and communities to join The Dallas Opera’s intentional process for human-centered, operatic storytelling; bonus content from artists, staff, musicians, and creative teams; Q&As with artists; adult education, and more.”
The TDO Network will gather social media series created by the opera. Some short-form shows include Taking the Stage with Kristian and Quo™ and The News with Operawire.
Martha Peak Rochelle is the lead sponsor for thedallasopera.TV, the press release states, and it is funded by the McCasland Strategic Opportunities Fund. Additional funding support comes from the Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Dallas Opera is also part of OPERA America.
New users to the streaming platform can currently create free profiles. Current users have already been switched to free accounts.
The Dallas Opera will announce the digital season for 2022/2023 in the fall.