History

What was the first performance given by the Metropolitan Opera?
Where did this performance take place?
What was the last opera given at the old Met?
When did the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center open?
Who began the Metropolitan Opera?
When did the Met begin regularly scheduled radio broadcasts?
What was the first televised performance by the Metropolitan Opera?
When did the Met begin producing its own series of televised productions?
What singer has sung the most performances with the Met?
What conductor has conducted the most performances with the Met?
What operas have been performed the most in Met history?
How many operas have had their world premieres at the Met?
Who were the first African-American performers at the Met?
Who was the first female conductor at the Met?

What was the first performance given by the Metropolitan Opera?

The first performance given by the Metropolitan Opera was Gounod’s Faust on October 22, 1883. The cast included Christine Nilsson, Italo Campanini, Giuseppe Del Puente, and Franco Novara, and was conducted by Auguste Vianesi.

Where did this performance take place?

The performance took place at the original Metropolitan Opera House, which was located at 1423 Broadway, between 39th and 40th Streets in Manhattan.

What was the last opera given at the old Met?

The last opera performed at the old Met was La Bohème on the afternoon of April 16, 1966, followed by a Gala in the evening, which featured numerous singers, both past and current. However, the last performance at the old Met actually featured the Bolshoi Ballet on the closing night of their engagement on May 8, 1966.

When did the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center open?

The official opening was on September 16, 1966, with the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra. The cast included Leontyne Price, Justino Díaz, Jess Thomas, and Rosalind Elias, and was conducted by Thomas Schippers. However, the first opera actually heard at the Lincoln Center house was a student matinee performance of La Fanciulla del West on April 11, 1966. This was not the official opening, but rather a test of the theater’s acoustics.

Who began the Metropolitan Opera?

The original Metropolitan Opera House was built by a group of New York industrialists and socially prominent families as a competing opera house to the Academy of Music on Fourteenth Street. The original founders, among whom were the Vanderbilt, Morgan, and Astor families, owned the building of the “old” Met and retained the use of the box seats for themselves. They then rented the house to an impresario or entrepreneurial group who actually assembled a performing company to produce operas in the house. This arrangement was changed several times, most notably in 1933 when the Metropolitan Opera Association was formed as a not-for-profit opera presenter. The Association bought the opera house from the box holders in 1940.

When did the Met begin regularly scheduled radio broadcasts?

In the afternoon on Christmas day, 1931, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel was the first radio broadcast from the Met. This radio series has continued uninterrupted to this day throughout the United States and Canada. In recent seasons the live radio broadcasts have spread around the world carried by numerous radio systems in Europe, the Far East, South America and the South Pacific.

What was the first televised performance by the Metropolitan Opera?

The first televised performance was a program of operatic excerpts with members of the company which was broadcast from an NBC Television studio on March 10, 1940. However, the first performance relayed from the Met stage was Verdi’s Otello on opening night of the 1948–49 season. The cast included Licia Albanese, Ramon Vinay, and Leonard Warren, conducted by Fritz Busch.

When did the Met begin producing its own series of televised productions?

With a performance of Puccini’s La Boheme on March 15, 1977, the Metropolitan Opera began its series of televised productions. This program, with a cast including Renata Scotto, Maralin Niska, Luciano Pavarotti, Ingvar Wixell, and Paul Plishka, and conducted by James Levine, was seen by over 4 million people.

What singer has sung the most performances with the Met?

Tenor Charles Anthony holds the record for the most performances at the Met. After making his debut on March 6, 1954, as the Simpleton in Boris Godunov, Mr. Anthony went on to sing 2,928 performances with the company. His last appearance was as the Emperor in Turandot on January 28, 2010.

What conductor has conducted the most performances with the Met?

The Met's Music Director, James Levine, has conducted almost 2,500 performances with the company, more than any conductor in the Met's history.

What operas have been performed the most in Met history?

The operas that have been performed the most are Puccini’s La Boheme, followed by Verdi’s Aida and Bizet’s Carmen. For more information, see Met History.

How many operas have had their world premieres at the Met?

The Met has presented the world premiere of 31 operas, including Puccini's La Fanciulla del West and Il Trittico, Humperdinck's Königskinder, and five recent works: John Corigliano and William Hoffman's The Ghosts of Versailles (1991), Philip Glass's The Voyage (1992), John Harbison's The Great Gatsby (1999), Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy (2005), and Tan Dun's The First Emperor (2006).

Who were the first African-American performers at the Met?

Helmsley Winfield danced in the role of Witch Doctor in The Emperor Jones during the 1932–33 season. However, Janet Collins was the first African-American dancer engaged by the Metropolitan Opera as solo dancer in a variety of works. She made her debut on opening night, November 13, 1951, as soloist in Aida. Marian Anderson was the first African-American vocal soloist engaged by the Met. She made her debut as Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera on January 1, 1955. Robert McFerrin was the first African-American male singer engaged by the Met and made his debut as Amonasro in Aida on January 27, 1955.

Who was the first female conductor at the Met?

Sarah Caldwell was the first female conductor at the Met, making her debut conducting La Traviata on January 13, 1976.