The best cultural and nature livestreams to watch right now

"Самая большая глупость- делать тоже самое и надеяться на другой результат" А. Эйнштейн ©
Время на прочтение: 5 минут(ы)

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As the world gradually adjusts to life indoors, most venues and institutions are closing their doors and turning their focus to a world of virtual entertainment. Here’s what to click for some at-home entertainment if you’re in need of a cultural pick-me-up.

  • The best cultural and nature livestreams to watch right now

    NATURE

    Sweeping lockdowns have left many craving views beyond their living-room window. For those searching for wide open spaces, try exploring national parks in the USA via the Google Arts & Culture tool. Choose between the glaciers and icebergs of Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, the arid orange landscapes of Utah’s Bryce Canyon and the lava caves and volcanoes at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to cure that cabin fever.

    Animal lovers can access wildlife webcams to take a look at creatures from across the world. Watch bald eagles swoop through the skies in Iowa through the Raptor Resource Project or Magellanic penguins waddle around in California with Aquarium of the Pacific. Explore offers several livestreams, including brown bears swimming and catching salmon in Brooks Falls, Alaska, and critically endangered eastern lowland gorillas eating, playing and sleeping in the Congo.

    If you want to get more involved, try out Zooniverse, a science portal operated by the Citizen Science Alliance. Participate in research projects, from classifying galaxies to counting penguins and transcribing manuscripts. Or, if COVID-19 has made you want to escape earth’s confines, head to NASA’s website to explore its entire media library of images, sounds and videos of outer space for free.

    Pictured: Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska

  • The best cultural and nature livestreams to watch right now

    MUSEUMS AND ART

    Although it’s not the same as seeing art in real life, you can still get a culture fix via virtual tours of museums and galleries across the world. Brush up on the Egyptian exhibitions at the Louvre in Paris, delve into classical history with a self-guided walk through the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, or admire the Sistine Chapel with a 360-degree tour of the Vatican Museums. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has launched 10 ways to visit the museum from your home, with interactive platforms, free art-history lessons and around 700,000 high-resolution images of paintings and objects including Rembrandt’s The Night Watch and Vermeer’s The Milkmaid. For contemporary art, explore the collections of art fairs around the globe with online exhibitions and live streams from Art Basel in Hong Kong or Art Dubai.

    Some apps are also allowing users to virtually wander through the halls of international institutions. Download Smartify to pootle around the British Library, Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and the LACMA in LA. Google Arts & Culture has also launched online tours around museums including New York’s Guggenheim, the Tate Modern, Musée d’Orsay and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. If you would rather learn about individual artists, try a virtual tour taking you through exhibitions surrounding the life and works of specific people. For example, the ‘Faces of Frida’ tour showcases 800 works by Kahlo taken from 33 museums and galleries.

    Pictured: Sistine Chapel

  • The best cultural and nature livestreams to watch right now

    MUSIC

    With Coachella postponed until October, Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary moved to 2021 and album tours from big names such as Billie Eilish postponed indefinitely, the music industry is being hit hard. But that hasn’t stopped artists from rallying together to find innovative and generous ways to raise spirits and reach their fans.

    Niall Horan has been doing online hour-long performances with breaks to answer questions and chat to fans, and Miley Cyrus has launched her own social-media show called Bright Minded: Live with Miley, streaming every weekday on Instagram at 6.30pm GMT with guests such as Demi Lovato and and Hailey Bieber. Since broadcasting platform Boiler Room had to cancel more than 40 upcoming shows, it has launched an isolation streaming series, during which artists go live from their own homes to bring music to others on lockdown.

    Classical musicians are also taking part: American cellist Yo-Yo Ma is posting his favourite pieces using the hashtag #SongsofComfort, while French cellist Gautier Capuçon is filming daily videos of himself playing Bach on his Twitter page. Piano lovers should follow Igor Levit for nightly ‘house concerts’ or Sean Shibe to watch his guitar performances from his cancelled concert at Leicester International Music Festival.

    The most talked-about virtual music event, however, has been Global Citizen’s series in conjunction with World Health Organisation (WHO), Together, At Home. It began with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, who played a half-hour-long show of his own hits and covers including David Bowie’s Life on Mars, followed by John Legend, who performed to his wife, Chrissy Teigen, perched on the piano in a towel. Next up are Miguel And Charlie Puth.

  • The best cultural and nature livestreams to watch right now

    OPERA

    Similarly, the theatre industry is stepping up its online game, streaming symphonies and orchestral performances. Wigmore Hall has made its concerts free to watch online, and the London Symphony Orchestra will be posting twice-weekly full-length performances. Opera houses around the world are offering livestreams of their best-loved shows. The Vienna State Opera and Berlin Philharmonic have opened their online archives to the public for free, the Paris Opera is organising no-charge viewings of Swan Lake and Don Giovanni, and New York’s Metropolitan Opera is offering free virtual shows every day throughout March (each one stays online for 20 hours, so different time zones can access them). Meanwhile, Turin’s Teatro Regio has launched a new YouTube channel, Opera on the Sofa, where past productions are available to watch.

    Picture: Wigmore Hall

  • The best cultural and nature livestreams to watch right now

    THEATRE

    Several initiatives have been set up to support those struggling in the theatre industry amid closures, delays and government advice to avoid crowds. The BBC has announced a new programme titled Culture in Quarantine to help artists and audiences stay connected throughout the crisis, showing archived performances from comedians and musicians and exclusive interviews with writers and actors. Subscribe to Digital Theatre for unlimited access to shows, from Hamlet by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Much Ado About Nothing, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, to The Crucible at The Old Vic. If you’d rather not pay, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre has announced it will be streaming a free play every fortnight, or keep an eye out for the #NationalTheatreAtHome project by National Theatre Live, which is streaming some of the best British theatre for free on Youtube every Thursday from 7pm (UK time).

    Another scheme has been started by Lambert Jackson Productions and the Theatre Café called Leave a Light On: a series of performances scheduled throughout the day to help freelance actors and theatre workers continue to earn an income. Similarly, popular storytelling app Audible has launched Audible Theatre, streaming live productions as high-concept audio dramas, including True West starring Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn.

    Pictured: War Horse

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