Metropolitan Opera House (Lincoln Center)
The Metropolitan Opera House is an opera house
Opera house
An opera house is a theatre building used for opera performances that consists of a stage, an orchestra pit, audience seating, and backstage facilities for costumes and set building...

 located on Broadway at Lincoln Square
Lincoln Square, New York
Lincoln Square is the name of both a square and the surrounding neighborhood within the Upper West Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan...

 in the Upper West Side
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, that lies between Central Park and the Hudson River and between West 59th Street and West 125th Street...

 of Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Part of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of New York City's Upper West Side. Reynold Levy has been its president since 2002.-History and facilities:...

, the theater opened in 1966. It replaced the former Metropolitan Opera House
Metropolitan Opera House (39th St)
The Metropolitan Opera House was an opera house located at 1411 Broadway in New York City. Opened in 1883 and demolished in 1967, it was the first home of the Metropolitan Opera Company.-History:...

 at Broadway and 39th St. and is the current home of the Metropolitan Opera
Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company, located in New York City. Originally founded in 1880, the company gave its first performance on October 22, 1883. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager...



Although the house would not officially open for several more months, the first public performance at the new Metropolitan Opera House was a performance of Giacomo Puccini
Giacomo Puccini
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian composer whose operas, including La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire...

's La Fanciulla del West
La fanciulla del West
La fanciulla del West is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini, based on the play The Girl of the Golden West by the American author David Belasco. Its highly-publicised premiere occurred in New York City in 1910...

on April 11, 1966 with Beverly Bower
Beverly Bower
Beverly Bower was an American operatic soprano who had an active international opera career from the mid 1950s through the early 1970s. She began her opera career at the New York City Opera where she sang between 1956-1963...

 as Minnie, Gaetano Bardini as Dick Johnson, and Cesare Bardelli as Jack Rance. The production was attended by 3,000 high school students and was followed by a series of sound tests that included a loud chord from the orchestra and a blast from a pistol. The new building officially opened on September 16, 1966, with the world premiere of Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber
Samuel Osborne Barber II was an American composer of orchestral, opera, choral, and piano music. His Adagio for Strings is his most popular composition and widely considered a masterpiece of modern classical music...

's Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra (opera)
Antony and Cleopatra is an opera in three acts by American composer Samuel Barber. The libretto was prepared by Franco Zeffirelli based on the play Antony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare...


While the Met Opera Company is on hiatus, the Metropolitan Opera House is home to the annual Spring season of American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre , based in New York City, was one of the foremost ballet companies of the 20th century. It continues as a leading dance company in the world today...

 (ABT). It regularly hosts touring opera and ballet companies including the Kirov
Mariinsky Ballet
The Mariinsky Ballet is a classical ballet company based at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Founded in the 18th century and originally known as the Imperial Russian Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet is one of the world's leading ballet companies...

, Bolshoi
Bolshoi Theatre
The Bolshoi Theatre is a historic theatre in Moscow, Russia, designed by architect Joseph Bové, which holds performances of ballet and opera. The Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera are amongst the oldest and most renowned ballet and opera companies in the world...

, and the La Scala
La Scala
La Scala , is a world renowned opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre at La Scala...

 companies. In addition, the Met has presented recitals by Vladimir Horowitz
Vladimir Horowitz
Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz    was a Russian-American classical virtuoso pianist and minor composer. His technique and use of tone color and the excitement of his playing were legendary. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century.-Life and early...

, Kathleen Battle
Kathleen Battle
Kathleen Battle , is an African-American operatic soprano known for her agile and light voice and her silvery, pure tone. Battle initially became known for her work within the concert repertoire through performances with major orchestras during the early and mid 1970s. She made her opera debut in...

 and others. Philip Glass
Philip Glass
Philip Glass is an American composer. He is considered to be one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century and is widely acknowledged as a composer who has brought art music to the public .His music is often described as minimalist, along with...

's Einstein on the Beach
Einstein on the Beach
Einstein on the Beach is an opera that premiered on July 25, 1976 at the Avignon Festival in France, scored and written by Philip Glass and designed and directed by theatrical producer Robert Wilson. It also contains writings by Christopher Knowles, Samuel M. Johnson and Lucinda Childs...

was staged independently at the Met in 1976.

Several notable non-operatic performances occurred in 1986. On July 8, a gala fund raiser performance to benefit ABT and Paris Opera Ballet
Paris Opera Ballet
The Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest national ballet company in the world, and many European and international ballet companies can trace their origins to it...

 saw the first joint performance in over ten years of ABT artistic director Mikhail Baryshnikov
Mikhail Baryshnikov
Mikhail Nikolaevich Baryshnikov is a Soviet and American dancer, choreographer, and actor, often cited alongside Vaslav Nijinsky and Rudolf Nureyev as one of the greatest ballet dancers of the 20th century. After a promising start in the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he defected to Canada in 1974...

 and Paris Opera Ballet Director Rudolf Nureyev
Rudolf Nureyev
Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev was a Russian dancer, considered one of the most celebrated ballet dancers of the 20th century. Nureyev's artistic skills explored expressive areas of the dance, providing a new role to the male ballet dancer who once served only as support to the women.In 1961 he...

. On August 9 and 10, comedian Robin Williams
Robin Williams
Robin McLaurin Williams is an American actor and comedian. Rising to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork and Mindy, and later stand-up comedy work, Williams has performed in many feature films since 1980. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance...

 recorded performances that were shown on HBO and released on compact disc under the title Robin Williams Live at the Met. On October 19, 1986, the Opera House hosted Herbert von Karajan
Herbert von Karajan
Herbert von Karajan was an Austrian orchestra and opera conductor. To the wider world he was perhaps most famously associated with the Berlin Philharmonic, of which he was principal conductor for 35 years...

 and the Berlin Philharmonic during their North American tour.

In addition to regular Metropolitan Opera radio and television broadcasts, several other television programs have been produced at the Metropolitan Opera House including Danny Kaye's Look-In at the Metropolitan Opera (CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

, 1975) and Sills and Burnett at the Met (CBS, 1976). In 1999 and 2001, the Opera House was the venue for the MTV Video Music Awards
MTV Video Music Awards
An MTV Video Music Award , is an award presented by the cable channel MTV to honor the best in music videos...



The Metropolitan Opera House contains 3,800 seats and 195 standing room places and was designed by architect Wallace K. Harrison
Wallace Harrison
Wallace Kirkman Harrison , was an American architect.-Career:Harrison started his professional career with the firm of Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray, participating in the construction of Rockefeller Center...

. Although west-east roads do not run through Lincoln Center itself, the Metropolitan Opera House is parallel to the block from West 63rd Street to West 64th Street. The rear of the House meets Amsterdam Avenue
Tenth Avenue (Manhattan)
Tenth Avenue, known as Amsterdam Avenue north of 59th Street, is a north-south thoroughfare on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City. It carries uptown traffic as far as West 110th Street, also known as Cathedral Parkway for the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine...

 and the entrance to the Opera House is at Lincoln Center Plaza which begins at Columbus Avenue
Ninth Avenue (Manhattan)
Ninth Avenue / Columbus Avenue is a southbound thoroughfare on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City. Traffic runs downtown along its full length...

. The building is clad in white travertine
Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, and cream-colored varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot...

 and the east facade is graced with a distinctive series of five arches.

On display in the lobby, and visible to the outside plaza, are two murals created for the space by Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century."According to art historian Michael J...

. The murals are approximately 30 ft (9.1 m) by 36 ft (11 m). The south wall holds the work entitled The Triumph of Music while the north wall contains The Sources of Music. In 2009, the opera's board of directors decided to use the paintings as collateral for a long-term loan which previously relied on cash for backing. Some sources estimate the value of the paintings at $20 million.

The lobby is dominated by a cantilevered
A cantilever is a beam anchored at only one end. The beam carries the load to the support where it is resisted by moment and shear stress. Cantilever construction allows for overhanging structures without external bracing. Cantilevers can also be constructed with trusses or slabs.This is in...

 stairway that connects the main level with the lower level lounge and upper floors. Suspended in the lobby are 11 crystal chandeliers resembling constellations or starbursts. The auditorium contains 21 matching chandeliers, the largest of which measures 18 ft (5.5 m) in diameter. These were a gift of the Austrian government and designed by Dr. Hans Rath of J & L Lobmyer of Vienna. The chandeliers in the auditorium are raised to the ceiling prior to performances so as not to obstruct sightlines of the audience in the upper levels. In 2008, the chandeliers were dismantled and sent to the Lobmyer workshops to be refurbished prior to the Met's 125th anniversary season. Workers re-wired the pieces and replaced any of the 49,000 crystals that were broken or missing. The lobby also contains sculptures by Aristide Maillol
Aristide Maillol
Aristide Maillol or Aristides Maillol was a French Catalan sculptor and painter.-Biography:...

 and Wilhelm Lehmbruck
Wilhelm Lehmbruck
Wilhelm Lehmbruck was a German sculptor.- Biography :Born in Duisburg, he studied sculpture arts at the academy of arts in Düsseldorf and contributed to an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris. From 1910–1914 he lived in Paris, where he met Modigliani, Brancusi, and Archipenko...

 as well as portraits of notable performers and members of the Met company.

The auditorium is fan-shaped and decorated in gold and white with five levels above the orchestra. The square gold proscenium
A proscenium theatre is a theatre space whose primary feature is a large frame or arch , which is located at or near the front of the stage...

 is 54 ft (16.5 m) wide and 54 ft (16.5 m) high. The main curtain of custom-woven gold damask
Damask is a reversible figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers, with a pattern formed by weaving. Damasks are woven with one warp yarn and one weft yarn, usually with the pattern in warp-faced satin weave and the ground in weft-faced or sateen weave...

 is the largest tab curtain
Theater drapes and stage curtains
Theater drapes and stage curtains are large pieces of cloth that are designed to mask backstage areas from spectators. They come in various types, each designed for a different purpose, though most are made from black or other dark colored, light-absorbing material such as heavyweight...

 in the world. Above the proscenium is an untitled bronze sculpture by Mary Callery
Mary Callery
Mary Callery was an American artist known for her Modern and Abstract Expressionist sculpture. She was part of the New York School art movement of the 1940s, '50s and '60s....


The stage is 80 ft (24.4 m) deep from the curtain line to the rear wall. The overall dimensions of the stage with wing space are 90 ft (27.4 m) deep and 103 ft (31.4 m) wide. The stage contains 7 full elevators that are 60 ft (18.3 m) wide, with double decks; three slipstages (large spaces on either side of and behind the main stage, each capable of holding a complete stage setting), the upstage one containing a 60 ft (18.3 m) diameter turntable; 103 motorized battens (linesets) for overhead lifting; and two 100 ft (30.5 m)-tall fully enveloping cyclorama
Cyclorama (theater)
A cyclorama is a large curtain or wall, often concave, positioned at the back of the stage area. It was popularized in the German theater of the 19th century and continues in common usage today in theaters throughout the world...

s. The large and highly mechanized stage and support space smoothly facilitates the rotating presentation of up to four different opera productions each week.

External link

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.