By Chris Hale

Metropolitan opera

   The original Metropolitan Opera House first opened October 22, 1883 on a parcel of land between 39th and 40th Street on Broadway. The current Metropolitan Opera House opened September 16, 1966 and is situated on W. 62nd through W. 66th Sts. between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center Plaza is one of the world’s greatest opera houses. The opera house is first-rate in every aspect – from its majestic sets and staging to its featuring the world’s most revered artists accompanied by superior orchestral and choral musicians. The opera season runs over 32 weeks (from opening night at the end of September to the first week of May). During that period the opera house stages more than 200 performances with about 800,000 total attending the performances. The current opera house is a magnificent structure. Inside the opera house you are treated to swirling red carpeted stairs, crystal chandeliers, 24K gold ceilings and two enormous Chagal paintings. A recent addition to the opera house is the “Met Titles” feature: computerized screens that are mounted on the backs of the spectator seats to provide each person with their own opera-translation monitor. The Met Opera Guild offers backstage tours from October through June. For further information call (212) 769-7020 Monday thru Friday between 10-4 pm Eastern Standard Time. Current tour costs $9.00 per adult and $4.00 per student. Lincoln Center Tours (which includes The Metropolitan Opera) are given daily. For information call (212) 875-5350. The charge for this tour is $9.50 per adult, $4.75 for children 6 to 12 and $8.00 for students and senior citizens. Metropolitan Opera House, 132 W. 65th Street, New York, New York. (212) 362-6000.


 Photo: (c) Caroline P. Digonis 2006