Opera is evidently everywhere except Charleston.

Well, that’s not true. It’s in Charleston, too. But it’s not very comfortable.

The Charleston County Public Library offers free showings of the high-definition broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera, but you have to sit in not-too-comfy chairs and watch a small screen to experience it.

I’d rather spend $22, sit in a space-aged chair, eat popcorn, and watch opera on a gigantic screen. Believe me, it’s an entirely new experience, a new way of storytelling; and it’s worth every penny.

But to do that, I have to drive to Summerville.

The Azalea Square Stadium 16 is the only movieplex in the area showing the Met’s wildly popular broadcasts. That’s great, but it takes much of a Saturday afternoon to experience opera. Add a drive to and from Summerville and most of your Saturday is zeroed out.

And now this news: In the next four months, depending on where you live in the U.S., you can watch 50 different opera broadcasts, according to the Kansas City Star. But is Charleston one of those places? Nope.

Thanks to the trail-blazing efforts of New York’s Met, which discovered in 2006 that there’s a robust market for its technologically cutting-edge broadcasts (it added 15 more shows for the 2007-2008 season), opera houses around the world are climbing on the band wagon.

Along with the Met, we now have offerings from the San Francisco Opera, La Scala in Milan, the Los Angeles Opera, and, the latest, the United Kingdom’s Royal Opera House (though these won’t be live broadcasts, says the CBC; they will be recorded and released thus far only in Canada).

While no one should expect access to Canadian broadcasts, it’s fair to wonder why the home of the Spoleto Festival USA, which hosts some of the best live opera in the world, can’t get more year-round.