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Metropolitan Opera Association

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Located in New York City, the Metropolitan Opera was founded in 1880 and the first performance of the opera was on October 22, 1883. The company is operated by the non-profit organization called the Metropolitan Opera Association. Also called the Met, the performances take place at the metropolitan Opera House in the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts on Broadway. It was one of the founding members of the Lincoln Center and continues to be one of the twelve resident organizations.

The Metropolitan Opera is one of the largest classical music organizations in the country and it presents more than 27 operas each year. Most of the performances take place between the months of September and May. Each week there are seven performances of 4 different works and while most of the performances take place in the evening, there is also a matinee show on Saturdays.

The works presented by the opera range from the 18th century Baroque to the 19th century Bel canto to the 20th century Minimalism. The company consists of a symphony sized orchestra, children's choir, a chorus, a ballet company and many solo, supporting and leading artists. Along with resident performers like Renee Fleming and Placido Domingo, there are also guest artists that perform with the group from time to time.

The Metropolitan Opera has been able to expand its audience by the use of technology. Performances have been aired on radio since 1931 and they have also been telecast on television since 1977. Since 2006, there are also live satellite radio broadcasts and internet broadcasts that have started along with high definition video transmissions presented in cinemas across the world.

The Metropolitan Opera Association has performed in basically three centers - the Metropolitan Opera House in Broadway, The Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera House in Philadelphia. The current performances, however take place in the Lincoln Center since the one at Broadway was demolished and the one in Philadelphia currently functions as a church and community center.


The Metropolitan Opera was initially conceived to ensure that everyone who wanted to appreciate the performing arts was allowed the opportunity to experience the arts. This was to provide an alternative to the Academy of Music opera that did not allow subscriptions or membership to the rich people of the city. Keeping in with the ideals of the founding fathers, the metropolitan opera has always chosen to ensure that great works of art are brought to the public via the performances that they put up.

The works that the metropolitan opera presents include those from the 18th century baroque, the 19th century Bel Canto and the 20th century Minimalism. They have been successful in bringing the various forms of art to the public with artists from across Europe and more. The Met includes a symphony size orchestra, a choir, supporting artists, solo artists, a children's choir and other guest artists as well. Many of the leading artists of today have made their careers starting as junior artists in the Metropolitan opera House.

The Metropolitan Opera Association has also taken various efforts in order to take the performing arts to the common man. They have taken the aid of the advancements in technology and increased their audiences as and when they could have. With the advent of radio, the performances of the Met were broadcast on radio. This is something that started way back in 1931.

As television became popular, the performances of the Met were brought to the television audiences in 1977 too. The Metropolitan opera did not stop at this and continued to increase their audiences by broadcasting performances using live satellite radio. With the advent of high definition video, this format has also been adapted by the Met. The Metropolitan Opera Association continues its efforts to bring performing arts to the public events today.


The Metropolitan Opera Association was founded as an alternative to the Academy of Music opera house and when it was created the members of the opera house were the cream of the society in New York. The opera opened its gates to anyone who wanted to appreciate the performing arts unlike the Academy that was hesitant to open the gates to the new wealthy families.

The theatre included various tiers of private boxes to allow for the new industrial families to showcase their wealth and establish their presence in the wealthy society of the city. Some of the first members of the Metropolitan Opera House were the Morgan, Roosevelt, Astor and Vanderbilt families, people who had been denied the membership and subscription of the Academy of Music opera.

The history of the Metropolitan Opera began with the one in Philadelphia where the entire repertoire was presented between January and August of 1884. The first performance was Faust and this continued for the nest 80 years and the Met bought the Philadelphia Opera House from Oscar Hammerstein I in 1910.

Under Leopold Damrosch the opera house was lead towards an "all German language repertory". Some great singers from Europe's German language opera house were included. They received accolades for the works of Wagner and other German composers.

The met returned to Italian opera in 1891 in a session organized by Henry E. Abbey and Maurice Grau. This was after the opera house missed a season to renovate after a great fire. This was a time that was called the "Golden Age of Opera".

The Metropolitan Opera Company took a 6 week tour of American cities in 1898. This was a resurgence of a prior tradition that had been stopped due to losses. In the 1900s the company saw a resurgence of various wings including the Italian wing, the French wing and the German wing. Over the years, the Met grew under the supervision of various leaders like Conried and Gatti-Casazza, Edward Johnson, Rudolf Bing, Joseph Volpe and Peter Gelb.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Mon10:00 AM8:00 PM
Tue10:00 AM8:00 PM
Wed10:00 AM8:00 PM
Thr10:00 AM8:00 PM
Fri10:00 AM8:00 PM
Sat10:00 AM8:00 PM
Sun12:00 PM6:00 PM
Business Size: 51-100
Notes: Box office will open two hours prior to curtain for matinees that begin prior to noon.


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