Kew Gardens Movie House Sings With Opera Screenings

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on January 10, 2013 12:51pm 

KEW GARDENS — It's a high note for this Queens theater.

A movie house in Kew Gardens is changing its tune — seeking to broaden its big screen offerings by showcasing operas, plays and ballets.

Kew Gardens Cinemas, at 81-05 Lefferts Boulevard, known for showing independent and foreign films, will start “opera season” later this month.

For $20 — about double the price of a regular ticket — movie goers can become opera aficionados treated to performances recorded live at grand opera houses around the world, theater officials said.

From Jan. 27 through May, locals will have a chance to see Giuseppe Verdi's "Attila" from The Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, Georges Bizet's "Carmen" from the Berlin State Opera in Germany and Giacomo Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" from the Chemnitz Opera House in Chemnitz, Germany.

Previous screenings of operas and plays have proved popular, said longtime theater worker Carol Gonzales.

Gonzales says that customers appreciate the fact that they can watch opera close to home and that “it’s $20 for everyone,” while tickets for an actual opera performance can cost a few hundred dollars, depending on the seats. “And you can see it clearer because it’s in front of your face,” she said. 

For many viewers the filmed performances are also a chance to get familiar with or rediscover the art of opera, she said.

“A lot of people can get into opera or come back to it,” Gonzales said.

The theater also shows plays and ballets. On Jan. 17, “The Magistrate,” by the English playwright Arthur Wing Pinero will be shown during a performance at the National Theatre in London.

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