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Google will show live orchestra, opera, and theater performances in 360 degrees

Now you can watch your next opera from the comfort of your couch. The Google Cultural Institute today announced that it is partnering with 60 global performing arts institutes to bring live, 360-degree performances to desktop and mobile users worldwide. Partners include the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK, and the initiative should help make the arts available to those who would otherwise never have the opportunity to see such great work.

The new partnerships are an extension of Google's current effort to showcase visual works and "world wonders." People can already tour such locales as the Palace of Versailles and Pompeii in 360 degrees from home. Now they can watch live orchestras — like the Philadelphia Orchestra playing "In the Hall of the Mountain King" above — and other ensembles play from their phones or computers. Plus, those with Google Cardboard headsets can enjoy the arts as though it were a VR experience. Very cool.