The Metropolitan Opera launched ticket sales this week for a new series of live high-definition (HD) broadcasts into movie theatres.

The series, called, ‘Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD,” is six performances to be broadcast live via satellite into selected movie theatres in the U.S., Canada and the UK. The first in the series will be the 100-minute, English-language version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute that will start on December 30th this year. The series of six broadcasts will conclude at April 2007.

Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb says the company has launched various initiatives to broaden the appeal of opera to the public.

“The company’s new media partnerships and expanded union agreements provide unprecedented distribution opportunities and better ways to reach new audiences,” Gelb said in a statement

U.S. distribution is being done through National CineMedia, LLC, which includes the AMC, Cinemark, and Regal movie theatre chains. There will be 56 locations for the first broadcast, expanding to 111 locations at the end of the series. Ticket prices in the U.S. will be $18 for adults, and $15 for children, the Met said.