The Metropolitan Opera, founded in 1880, is one of the country’s foremost classical music organizations. It was built to compete with the American Academy of Music, which was once the city’s main opera house. The Academy however, had a limited number of private boxes. These boxes were reserved to families whose wealth had long since been established. During the Gilded Age, New York’s wealthy population expanded. Rich industrialists were frustrated at being barred from the Academy’s already reserved private space. In retaliation, they built the Metropolitan Opera House. Bigger and better than the Academy, the Met would run its competition out of the opera business just three years after opening.
Based in the lavish Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, The Met hosts 27 different operas each year to an audience of up to 3,800 people. These operas are spread across a season which lasts from September to May. Productions during each season are new, while during the off-season performances are from previous seasons. With over a century of tradition behind it, the Metropolitan Opera has grown to become the largest of its kind, not only in the United States, but in the continent as well.
Productions at the Met cover centuries of works. These range from the Baroque style of the 18th century to Wagner and all the way through to late 20th century minimalism. In-house at the Met is a large symphony-sized orchestra, chorus, children’s choir, and a large cast of supporting and solo singers as well as free-lance performers. These performers have the luxury of working in one of the most technically advanced stages in the world. As a result, performances at the Met are often complex, massive, and stunning spectacles.
30 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
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