OPERATIC masterpieces will be screened live in Southend.

Puccini’s La Boheme will be shown on the screen outside the Forum on July 15, at 7.30pm, with a pre-show screening at 7pm.

It is the second in a series of three world-class operas being shown free in this season of BP Big Screens in 2014, where live events are simultaneously screened outdoors at major venues nationwide. The first performance on the screen in May, featuring Verdi’s La Traviata, attracted about 200 people and was a huge success Some audience members arrived an hour early to take their places with picnic chairs and rugs.

Rigoletto will be screened on Wednesday, September 17, starting at 7.30pm with a pre-show screening from 7pm. Southend’s Big Screen is in Elmer Square – the town’s newest public square outside the Forum.

The innovative Big Screen means Southend can now join towns across the country to enjoy free live screenings of world-class operas and other events.

Each of the operas is expected to last around three hours.

As well as the action on stage, the screenings will also feature exclusive backstage films beforehand, competitions and much more.

Audience members are invited to bring their own folding seats, or cushions and picnic.

Barbecues are not allowed. There are also restaurants, fast food outlets, coffee shops and bars located nearby.