Opened Metropolitan Opera House, Broadway
The first Metropolitan Opera House opened on October 22, 1883, with a performance of Faust.
It was located at 1411 Broadway between 39th and 40th Streets and was designed by J. Cleaveland Cady. Gutted by fire on August 27, 1892, the theater was immediately rebuilt, reopening in the fall of 1893. Another major renovation was completed in 1903. The theater's interior was extensively redesigned by the architects Carrère and Hastings. The familiar red and gold interior associated with the house dates from this time. The old Met had a seating capacity of 3,625 with an additional 224 standing room places.
The theater was noted for its elegance and excellent acoustics and it provided a glamorous home for the company. Its stage facilities, however, were found to be severely inadequate from its earliest days. Over the years many plans for a new opera house were explored and abandoned, including a proposal to make a new Metropolitan Opera House the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center. It was only with the development of Lincoln Center that the Met was able to build itself a new home. The Met said goodbye to the old house on April 16, 1966, with a lavish farewell gala performance. The theater closed after a short season of ballet later in the spring of 1966 and was demolished in 1967.
The Metropolitan Opera (commonly known as The Met) is an opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager. As of 2018, the company's current music director is Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
The Met was founded in 1883 as an alternative to the previously established Academy of Music opera house, and debuted the same year in a new building on 39th and Broadway (now known as the "Old Met"). It moved to the new Lincoln Center location in 1966.
The Metropolitan Opera is the largest classical music organization in North America. It presents about 27 different operas each year from late September through May. The operas are presented in a rotating repertory schedule, with up to seven performances of four different works staged each week. Performances are given in the evening Monday through Saturday with a matinée on Saturday. Several operas are presented in new productions each season. Sometimes these are borrowed from or shared with other opera companies. The rest of the year's operas are given in revivals of productions from previous seasons. The 2015–16 season comprised 227 performances of 25 operas.
The operas in the Met's repertoire consist of a wide range of works, from 18th-century Baroque and 19th-century Bel canto to the Minimalism of the late 20th century. These operas are presented in staged productions that range in style from those with elaborate traditional decors to others that feature modern conceptual designs.
The Met's performing company consists of a large symphony-sized orchestra, a chorus, children's choir, and many supporting and leading solo singers. The company also employs numerous free-lance dancers, actors, musicians and other performers throughout the season. The Met's roster of singers includes both international and American artists, some of whose careers have been developed through the Met's young artists programs. While many singers appear periodically as guests with the company, others maintain a close long-standing association with the Met, appearing many times each season until they retired.
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