Virtual concerts, plays, museums and culture to enjoy from home
Now that social engagements are on hold, virtual escapism is open to everyone with an Internet connection. And while nothing can replace the experience of listening to live music, you can still enjoy concerts, digital museum tours, and art galleries online. Here are a few cultural activities to keep you entertained right in your own living room.
1. Musée d'Orsay: Paris
Take in 278 masterpieces here. The collection includes paintings by famed Impressionists such as Degas, Monet, Cezanne, and Van Gogh.
2. National Gallery of Art: Washington, D.C
The National Gallery owns more than 100,000 works of art dating from the Middle Ages, including pieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso. Click here for the exhibition.
3. National Gallery Victoria: Victoria, Melbourne
Following a 6-year digitization project, more than 75,000 works from the gallery's collection are available viewing online. For an in-depth perspective, try their free curator-led virtual tours. Explore the virtual tours here.
4. Johannesburg Art Gallery: Johannesburg
Explore more than 500 works from Africa's largest art museum. The digital tour includes South African artists as well as 17th century Dutch painters and European works of art.
5. National Portrait Gallery: Washington, D.C.
The intimate nature of portraiture makes this virtual museum tour particularly enjoyable. Discover past Presidents, African American figures, and self-portraits of famous artists.
6. Uffizi Gallery: Florence, Italy
Stroll the halls of this artistic gem before stopping to admire some of the museum’s most famous inhabitants. With their 360-degree view tool, you can admire Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and the museum’s beautiful ceiling frescoes.
1. National Museum African American History and Culture: Washington, D.C.
Exhibitions take viewers on a journey through the years of slavery in America to the Civil Rights era and beyond. More than 4,000 documents, photographs, and artifacts bring this story of struggle to life. Click here to learn more.
2. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain
Established in 1819, Museo del Prado was designed to showcase works of art that reflect the history of Spain. Their collection features frescoes, paintings and sculptures by European artists, including Goya, Madrazo and Velázquez.
3. Smithsonian Museum of Natural History: Washington, D.C.
Dinosaurs! Elephants! Whales! If you have kids at home, this virtual tour offers eye-catching displays and numerous points of interest for all the animal lovers in your household. The museum’s collection totals more than 125 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and cultural objects. There is plenty to keep young minds engaged for hours, and the tour is just as much fun for adults.
4. Hermitage Museum: St. Petersburg, Russia
Inside this majestic venue, you’ll find stunning architecture and recreations of opulent palaces. The art collection is made up of more than three million pieces and includes Roman and Greek antiquities, Italian Renaissance art, Western European paintings, Eastern art, archaeological pieces, and Russian jewelry. The exhibits offer hours of learning and entertainment. Click here for the exhibition.
5. British Museum: London
The British Museum offers more than 60 free galleries online, featuring ancient artifacts and fine art. Collections are arranged by location and reveal diverse fields of human knowledge across the ages and the world.
6. Metropolitan Museum of Arts
With the museum closed to visitors, Met staff are working to create as many online resources as possible, including videos, concerts for the whole family, art activities for children, and 360-degree virtual tours of the museum’s exhibits. Each day they present a new art talk and add brochures you can download, so check back often to experience something new. Click here.
7. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington
This virtual tour takes you through a number of exhibitions about the Holocaust, liberation of Nazi camps, and the ensuing trials. Each module contains historic video footage, interviews with survivors, and educational material.
8. The Louvre Museum
The world-renowned Louvre Museum features more than 35,000 works of art, including Egyptian mummy tombs, Grecian statues, and the Mona Lisa. Though they don’t currently have a virtual museum tour, their “Closer Look” interactive multimedia modules allow you to see the details of an artwork through a magnifying glass, while commentary and animations give you its historical context.
OPERAS, BALLETS & PLAYS
1. Royal Opera House: London
When it comes to high culture, don't underestimate the power of YouTube! The Royal Opera House's channel has a selection of top performances, including The Caterpillar from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and The Dance of the Knights from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet.
2. Vancouver Symphony
The Vancouver Symphony live-streamed the final performance from their series celebrating Beethoven. It's available for your viewing and listening pleasure any time on their website.
3. Berlin Philharmonic
In response to the pandemic, the Berlin Philharmonic created a Digital Concert Hall. A 30-day free pass gets you live-streamed performances, recorded concerts, films, interviews, and recordings from the orchestra’s archive.
4. Metropolitan Opera: New York City
If appointment viewing is more to your liking, The Met hosts nightly opera streams on their website. But you’d better not be late! They are only available until 6:30 PM EDT the next day.
5. Vienna State Opera
This esteemed group broadcasts performances live on the Internet, including its famous ballets. Each show is delivered in HD with premium audio quality and formatting allows you to choose between two views at any time during the broadcast – a live cut opera film with close-ups and moving cameras, and a total view of the stage. Click here to view at home.
6. Broadway Shows
Select performances of Broadway shows are available to stream through Amazon, iTunes, Youtube and other streaming services. Additionally, BroadwayHD brings viewers favorite shows such as Miss Saigon, Kinky Boots, Peter Pan, and Macbeth. They offer a 7-day free trial; subscriptions are 8.99 USD per month. Click here to learn more.