The Metropolitan Opera, also known as “The Met,” is one of the world’s leading opera companies. It is located at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, on the west side of Manhattan. Don’t miss out on new opera performances at the Met Opera next season.
The Metropolitan Opera was founded in 1880 by a group of wealthy businessmen who wanted a home for opera in New York City. The company’s first opera house was built on Broadway and 39th Street, and it opened on October 22, 1883, with a performance of Charles Gounod’s “Faust.”
In the early 20th century, under the leadership of Giulio Gatti-Casazza, the Met began to establish its reputation as a place where major international stars would perform. During Gatti-Casazza’s tenure, the company made its first radio broadcast—a Christmas Day performance of “Hänsel und Gretel” in 1931.
The Met moved to its current location at Lincoln Center in 1966. The opera house at Lincoln Center, designed by Wallace Harrison, is notable for its distinctive arch and lobby chandeliers, and it seats approximately 3,800.
Performances and Notable Figures:
The Met’s repertoire is vast, featuring works from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, including classics by composers such as Mozart, Verdi, and Puccini, as well as more contemporary works. The Met is known for its high production values and its commitment to musical and theatrical excellence.
Over the years, the Met has been home to many of opera’s most legendary figures, including conductors like James Levine and Arturo Toscanini, and singers like Enrico Caruso, Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, and Renée Fleming.
In addition to its main season, the Met has a variety of other programs. The Met’s Live in HD series broadcasts performances to movie theaters around the world, and the company’s radio broadcasts on Sirius XM and traditional radio have brought opera to millions of listeners.
Metropolitan Opera House:
The Metropolitan Opera House is one of the premier opera stages in the world. The auditorium has a horseshoe shape, with the proscenium arch— the frame around the stage—measuring 54 feet high and 54 feet wide, making it one of the largest in the world. The building also houses extensive facilities for creating sets and costumes.
The Met’s immense chandelier, a gift from the Austrian government, is another iconic feature. The chandelier, along with the lobby’s starburst fixtures, was designed by Hans Harald Rath of the Viennese firm Lobmeyr and are meant to evoke a celestial theme, adding to the dramatic effect.
Met Opera Today:
The Metropolitan Opera continues to be an essential institution in the world of classical music and the performing arts. Its commitment to presenting high-quality productions of classic and contemporary operas makes it a beloved destination for both seasoned opera-goers and newcomers. The Met also runs educational programs and supports the development of young artists through initiatives like the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
Remember, my knowledge cutoff is as of September 2021, and for the most current information about the Metropolitan Opera, you should visit their official website or other trusted sources.